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Ten trees suitable for small gardens. It's time to plant!

A tree for every garden. 10 small trees

It's almost November and the perfect time for planting trees and shrubs. Even those with small gardens can find plenty of choice, in fact there's a tree to fit just about every space imaginable. Of course it's important to choose a tree that's going to offer you lots of positive benefits. If you are worried about size and structural problems such as subsidence, you will need to ensure that your tree doesn't have invasive roots.  Select a suitable variety and you need not be concerned about cracking foundations or wobbly patios. You'll want some sort of seasonal interest, perhaps flowers, fruit or leaf colour. it's all about choosing the right tree. Here's 10 trees which are suitable for small gardens: Malus: crab apples

 Malus 'Butterball'. This crab apple is perfect for a small garden

Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel' is a great tree for a small garden. It has different interests throughout the seasons.   Consider Malus x robusta 'Red Sentinel' and 'Butterball'. These lovely trees produce brightly-coloured small fruits which persist long into autumn and even winter. The tree itself has an attractive shape and it offers great feeding and nesting opportunities for birds. Typically it grows no more than about 5m tall so it's just about perfect for small gardens. Choose an RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) tree for reliability. Other good varieties include 'Comtesse de Paris' and 'Pink Glow'.

Prunus, ornamental cherries

An upright cherry, Prunus 'Amanogawa'  doesn't take up too much space in a small garden.

A cherry with a difference! Prunus 'Kojo-no-mai' has curious zig zag stems and this tiny tree is highly suitable for a small space, or even a pot. Prunus represent a great choice. There are so many to choose from, but some of the most popular include the upright (fastigiate) 'Amanogawa' which takes up very little room; Prunus 'Kojo-no-mai' which can even be grown in a container and 'Pink Perfection' which spreads outwards but not very far upwards, reaching a height of only about 5m.

Sorbus, mountain ash

Sorbus 'Joseph Rock' is a great choice for a small garden. It has yellow berries and great autumn colour. Sorbus have something for all seasons including lovely berries and bright autumn foliage. 'Joseph Rock' is considered to be one of the best with its white spring flowers and yellow berries. There are red berried alternatives too such as 'Olympic Flame'.

Amelanchier, the Juneberry or Snowy Mespilus

Amelanchier 'Ballerina' makes a lovely multi-stemmed small tree. It has flowers, fruit and autumn leaf colour.

Amelanchier 'Robin Hill', grown with a clear stem, makes a great 'lollipop'-shaped tree. Amelanchier is a lovely small tree that is considered by most to be an outstanding choice for small gardens. There are at least 10 different varieties including 'Robin Hill' and 'Ballerina'. They all have lovely autumn colour, spring flowers and fruit too. They won't generally grow higher than up to 10m.

Acers, the Japanese variety

Acer palmatum dissectum is a great Japanese Acer which is highly suitable for a small garden.

Acers come in so many different colours, each having something remarkable to bring to a garden. Japanese Acers have so many positive attributes it's difficult to know where to start. Their foliage can be vibrant in the autumn but also beautiful from spring through to leaf drop. There are Acers with brilliant scarlet leaves right through to variegated creamy limes. So many to choose from: Acer 'Orange Dream' has lime-green spring leaves with an orange and salmon-pink rim, turning to yellow during autumn. Garnet has finely dissected leaves which turn brilliant red in autumn. Katsura has yellow/orange foliage which turns a brighter orange before dropping its leaves.

Maples such as Acer griseum

Acer griseum is another lovely small tree which has tremendous value because of its interesting bark. Not all Acers are Japanese. In fact there's a Maple or Sycamore tree suitable for practically every sized garden or space. Some are grown specifically for their bark and this is certainly the case with Acer griseum, the paperbark, which has orange-brown old bark which peels off to reveal fresh, new bark underneath. The leaves turn orange and red in autumn and there are large winged seeds too. Watch a video about Acers here:  

Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'

The ornamental pear is easy-to-care-for and this weeping silver-leafed tree is sometimes mistaken for a Salix. It has narrow foliage with silver undersides and the white flowers are popular with garden insects. This tree keeps its shape rather well and rarely grows taller than 4m. Perhaps the perfect tree for small gardens?

Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' is a lovely weeping tree for a small garden.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'

The Cercis 'Forest Pansy' is a beautiful small tree that has heart-shaped leaves. They have wonderful autumn colour. This little tree is also known as the Eastern Redbud as it has heart-shaped red/purple leaves. These turn a glorious shade of orange in autumn. The large shrub or small tree bears pea-like purple/pink flowers in spring which appear on the bare branches. A true sight to behold.

Cornus kousa

Cornus kousa has the most wonderful flower bracts. Although officially a shrub, Cornus kousa can be treated as a tree as the form of dogwood will gradually grow up to around 6m. It has the most delightful white flower bracts in white or pink in May and June and also displays excellent autumn colour.

Crataegus, Hawthorn

Crataegus prunifolia is not only good for gardens but for wildlife too. Hawthorn makes a wonderful little tree which has shape, colour, form, spring blossom, red fruits and wildlife-attracting properties too. Ideal for a small garden, particularly Crataegus persimilis ‘Prunifolia’ which has long thorns and masses of white flowers together with great autumn colour. Slightly more compact is Crataegus laevigata, the Midland hawthorn. So many beautiful little trees, plant one in November for many years of pleasure to come. You can also consider small fruit trees too - these patio peach and nectarines are a delight. Watch the video to find out more about them:  
By Perfect Plants


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