The Q&A Archives: How Much Space Is Needed For Planting A Tree?

Question: We have a narrow space about 36" deep from the neighborhood fence and flagstone patio. Can we plant the Fragrant Himalaysian Champaca tree in this spot?

Will the root effect the fence and patio concrete? How often we need to trim it to maintain a 15x15 feet size?

We look forward to your reply.

Answer: Michelia champaca will grow 10-20 feet tall and wide. I think it will be much too large for the area you describe. While it's possible to keep Michelia smaller with pruning, you may be pruning off the flowering branches, which will defeat the purpose of having a flowering tree. Instead of planting a tree in the small space, why not choose a flowering shrub such as Escallonia or even Lilac? You'll be able to keep these plants within bounds without extensive pruning. Best wishes with your landscape!

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