Answer: You can grow an Oak Leaf Hydrangea in a large container and train it into a tree form, but it will take many years for the trunk to grow tall enough to provide shade for a patio. You might be happier with a small tree, such as coral bark or hawthorn. These trees have similar leaf shapes as the hydrangea, but the flowers are smaller and appear in the spring rather than in the late summer. If it's shade you're after, and not the bloom, the trees are your best choice.
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