The Q&A Archives: Fast growing small tree

Question: Hello,

I'm looking for a fast growing small tree (20' to 30' high x 15' to 20' wide), that can be planted next to a patio, and that will do well in the Portland Oregon area. The soil is rich and well drained, and there is full sun most of the day. Any suggestions?

Answer: Here are three suggestions for attractive patio trees: Cornus kousa (dogwood), with attractive white or pink flowers each spring; Redbud (Cercis canadensis) in either single or multi-stem form. It flowers early, but by June its breathtaking pink mantle is transformed into waxy heart-shaped leaves -- sure to evoke romantic evenings. In our climate, this tree probably won't grow taller than 25 feet, but its spread can be as broad as it is tall; Washington Hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)
Long before the Washington Hawthorne became a favorite public street tree, it was adored as a jewel of patio settings. It has a sterling reputation, spring, summer and fall. In anticipation of an occasional dilatory spring storm, it doesn't leaf out until later in the season, a "smart" tree. By June, delicious pink-centered white flowers appear, and in the fall the glistening red fruit hangs on long after the brightly colorful leaves have dropped.

The Washington Hawthorne also can be purchased in either single or multi-stem form. Again the random branching pattern makes it easy to encourage directional growth. It does have one prickly problem. Pruning, without a hefty pair of thorn-proof gloves, can be disquieting. It is, however, kid proof. Most nurserymen will give you double your money back, if you catch a neighbor boy, or girl, climbing in its branches.

Hope one of these trees is just right for your patio.

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