The Q&A Archives: small tree for focal point

Question: I am interested in a centerpiece type tree for a bed in the front of my house. I have another bed in the front with a malus tina crabapple in it. This area is sunny, with sun from noon on. I looked at a hydrangea tree but am concerned it is too sunny for it in this location. Do you have any recommendations? I live in zone 4.

Answer: Here are two suggestions for a sunny spot: Magnolia xsoulangiana (Saucer Magnolia); Height: 25-30' Spread: 15-25'; Wide spreading to rounded Growth Rate: Medium Zone: 4-9. Cultural Requirements: Best planted in full sun to light shade in moist, well-drained soils high in organic matter. Roots need ample room to develop and benefit with a 3-4 inch layer of organic mulch. Ornamental Characteristics: Large, deep pink, cup-shaped flowers bloom in early spring. Long, bold-textured dark green leaves remain long into fall. Smooth, gray bark and furry buds add winter interest.

Prunus maackii (Amur Chokecherry); Height: 20-30' Spread: 20-30'; Pyramidal in youth becoming rounded with age Growth Rate: Fast Zone: 3-6; Requires full sun in well-drained soil. Outstanding glossy, cinnamon colored bark. In youth, the bark tends to exfoliate, adding texture that can be enjoyed in the winter landscape. A profusion of 2 to 3-inch long white, fragrant flowers appear in spring, followed by tiny, black fruits that ripen in late summer and attract birds.

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

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