The Q&A Archives: Shade trees

Question: We live in a mobile home community and would like to plant a shade tree next to our carport. We would like something that is around 10 to 12 feet high and could be pruned for not too much of a width spread to be invasive to our neighbors property. We are from New England and would love a dwarf maple or Japanese cherry - any help for us?

Answer: I'm sure you would love to have a dwarf maple to remind you of New England. The red maple grows well in Florida so perhaps you can find a dwarf variety. Cherries typically do not grow well and they get much to too large for the area you describe. One tree that remains about 10 tall at maturity is Caesalpinia pulcherrima (Dwarf Poinciana). It has beautiful flowers and would make a nice tree for your property. Or an orchid tree (Bauhinia variegata) would look really nice. These can be pruned back without harm and their lovely flowers look just like orchids. Other trees to consider include Spanish Stopper. It is evergreen, has a narrow canopy and can grow in limited soil space. Another is Glaucous Cassia, with beautiful yellow flowers. This tree is evergreen and perfect for small spaces.
Hope one of these suggestions is just right for your landscape.

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