The Q&A Archives: What to get?

Question: I'm planning to landscape my front yard and I thought a nice small tree would be nice. We once had a Chinese Elm,which grew too big and the roots were interfering with the pipes underground. So we took it out. But can you tell me of any small growing tree with small roots that I can plant?

Answer: Normally, when we categorize trees as small, we think 25-30'. Something that reaches less than that 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. Flowering crabapple is an attractive tree that can be maintained on the small side with annual pruning. Hope this information helps you find just the right plant for your yard.

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