The Q&A Archives: Smaller alternate for tree

Question: I am looking for a smaller alternate to a Pitisporim Silversheen tree possibly an evergreen shrub that would have a similar light, whispy look. I'm not concerned with height which I can control by pruning but the tree eventually could become too wide and I'm limited to 3-4 feet maximum. Can you recommend anything?

Answer: Here's a shrub you might like: Dappled willow (Salix integra 'Hakuro-nishiki')
This deciduous shrub produces foliage with green, pink and creamy-white variegation. The delicate catkins that appear in spring are followed by bright pink shoots which open to mottled leaves. In winter the bare stems are reddish. 'Hakuro-nishiki' is sometimes grafted onto a single stem to form a standard (tree form). Most often, the cultivar is sold as a shrub. The solid green Salix integra is native to Japan and is a shrub with pendulous shoots. 'Hakuro-nishiki' should reach a height of five feet with a spread of four feet and is hardy to USDA Zone 5.

Plant as a specimen (by itself) or in a shrub border. A dark evergreen backdrop would show off the winter color and the bright foliage of late spring. Site in full sun. Cut back in early spring to encourage good foliage color.

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