The Q&A Archives: not to tall tree

Question: I want a small tree next to my porch. Beside c. myrtles what could I use? zone 8

Answer: Some small trees to consider include crabapples, especially disease resistant cultivars such as Beverly (single pink); Centurion (rose-red); Indian Magic (large, deep pink); Red Baron (red), and Red Splendor (single, rose-pink).

Manchurian apricot (Prunus armenica mandshurica), features a striking appearance with a round-headed shape and lush green foliage. Though it may bear fruit only once in every five years, in this climate, the single, pinkish 1 1-4 inch diameter flowers that appear in April are reward enough for growing this tree. It reaches 12-15 feet high at maturity.

A slightly larger tree with a similar rounded crown is Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata). This plant is notable for its white, 6-12 inch flowers borne in mid-June, as well as its distinctive, reddish-brown, cherry-like bark. The plant presents a stiff, upright appearance and 3-5 inch leaves, slightly less heart-shaped than the leaves of the familiar common lilac.

Also outstanding is a small maple (Acer saccharum var. grandidentatum) called Bigtooth maple, is one of the best small trees for low water landscapes. This tree grows to a height of 30 feet with a 20-foot spread. The leaves are 3-5 lobed, similar to the eastern sugar maple. Like its distant cousin, Wasatch maple bursts with fall color. Leaves vary from yellow through orange to red.

Similarly, Russian hawthorn (Crataequs ambiqua) also requires less water than other hawthorns planted in this area. A moderately slow grower, it peaks at 25 feet high and l5 feet wide. The plant's best features are the small, pinkish-white May flowers, red fruit in the fall, and glossy, deeply lobed leaves. Like most hawthorns, this tree grows three-eights-inch thorns.

Hope these suggestions are helpful!

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