tree for small front yard - Knowledgebase Question

Albany, CA
Question by stephanisca
October 27, 2006
I have a small front yard and would like to plant a tree there that would serve as a focal point. It must be able to take full sun as the front of the house faces west.Also something that would not grow too tall, maybe 6-8 ft at most.


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Answer from NGA
October 27, 2006

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Most small trees reach a minimum of 15' so you may have to settle for a specimen shrub rather than a tree. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions:

Prunus ?Hally Jolivette? is a beautiful little (grows to 15?) dense branching, fine textured semi-double flowering cherry tree or multi-stemmed shrub (though this form is rarely available). Pink buds start to open in late April through early May. Flowers are light pink or white with a deep red or purple center and appear before the leaves providing continually opening blossoms over a 10 to 20 day period. Small trees are fast growing and flower when young; a very cold hardy and stress tolerant.

Hinoki Falsecypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa) is a broadly conical evergreen with short, flattened sprays of glossy green leaves, 8' to 10' tall. Foliage is pleasantly aromatic when crushed.

Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea Abies ' Pendula') is a slow growing evergreen with pendulous branches growing to 8' tall. Often used as a specimen plant.

Camellia sasanqua blooms in fall (numerous cultivars available) and makes a good "small tree". It grows rapidly, in full sun or part shade and has an upright, columnar growth habit, reaching 8-15' tall and 5-7' wide.

Chionanthus virginicus (Fringe Tree) grows slowly and has a round, spreading top. It grows best in full sunshine, 10-12' in height and 8-10' in width.

Cleyera japonica (Ternstroemia) has a moderate growth rate, prefers partial shade,
has an upright form and reaches 8-12' X 6-7' at maturity.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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