The Q&A Archives: dwarf trees

Question: I am looking to plant a dwarf tree in the front of my house in Zone 5 (Michigan). I'm looking for something that won't get bigger than 6 or 8 feet and not wider than 5 or 6 feet. Is there any such tree? What do you suggest?

Answer: Here are a few suggestions to consider:
Picea glauca ?Conica?; a classic cone shaped conifer. Grows 3?6?/year. Matures at 8?12? tall and wide but easy to prune to size.

Ribes sanguineum ?King Edward IIIV?, a flowering currant. Beautiful teardrop pink flowers in spring. Vibrant fall color before the leaves fall to reveal pealing bark. Reaches 8? tall and 3?-5? wide. Part shade or full sun (with ample water).

Rhamnus frangula ?Fine Line?? Buckthorn Thin leaves on this columnar shrub. Reaches 5?-7? tall. A clean formal look. Striking in a tall container. Full sun.

Salix caprea ?Pendula?? Weeping Pussy Willow. This pendulous form reaches 8? tall/wide. Silvery gray furry flowers in February/March. Requires a lot of water if kept in a container. Easy to prune to size.

Sciadopitys verticillata? Umbrella Pine. Thick, flattened ?needles? form whorls around the branches. This conifer can reach 20?+, BUT it grows about 6?year and can be pruned to keep smaller. Evergreen. Slender habit.

Ulmus parviflora ?Seiju? or ?Yatsuba?? Little Leaf Elm. These striking Elms grow in full sun to part shade up to 6?-8? tall. The thick robust branches and stiff branch angles are perfectly complimented by tiny leaves. This strong structure makes a good focal point any time of the year.

Or, you might try a columnar apple tree. These trees are great for containers and grow up but are barely more than about 18" wide. They flower in the spring and you may even get the bonus of a few apples.

Enjoy your new plant!

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