The Q&A Archives: tree roots that won't disturb a fence

Question: Hello, I need a small tree to plant right next to a block wall fence. I would love a flowering tree. We had to take out a beautiful tree because the roots were starting to damage the wall. Would a Golden Wonder Senna be good in that situation? Or am I stuck with something like a schlefflera (I don't know if I spelled that correctly)? Thank you very much for your time, Myra Ford

Answer: Normally, when we categorize trees as small, we think 25-30 feet. Something that reaches less than 25 feet at maturity will be either a genetic dwarf, or a large shrub trained into a tree form. Here are a few suggestions for smallish trees: Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica); evergreen tree that produces abundant, edible fruit, which is a hit with wildlife; dark green leaves and reaches height of 15-25'; does well in full sun but tolerates afternoon shade; tough tree with colorful fruit and year-round glossy foliage. Southern Waxmyrtle (Myrica cerifera); versatile evergreen plant grown as large shrub or small tree; reaches 10-15' height; grown in full sun or shade and in wet or dry areas. Devilwood or Wild Olive (Osmanthus americanus); evergreen tree with open and loose growth habit, reaching 15-25' tall; grown in sun or shade but best leaf color obtained with some shade; white-yellow, fragrant flowers in spring followed by dark purplish fruit. Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata); slow growing, deciduous tree reaching 15-20' tall white fragrant flowers during winter; grown in full sun for best flowering; performs well in partial shade; cultivars available with different shades of pink to lavender flowers.

Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your landscape.

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