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10 Top Tree Choices for Smaller Gardens

It’s often assumed that if you don’t have a big garden to work with, you can pretty much forget about trees. Which in the case of some of the biggest and most expansive trees is of course accurate. A towering oak and a tiny plot of land don’t make the best of bedfellows.

Nevertheless, some trees are ideal for landscapers working with limited space. It’s simply a case of being strategic when it comes to the trees you choose, in order to avoid planting anything that eventually takes over the place.

So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of 10 simply stunning trees that are firm favourites among landscapers. All of which can be picked up semi-mature for a reasonable price:

1. Serviceberry

First up, the serviceberry tree is available in a wide variety of variants, ranging from the size of a modest shrub to that of a small tree. In all instances, they can produce the most beautiful white flowers, followed by fabulous fruit that’s not dissimilar to blueberries. If it’s a species you haven’t heard of, serviceberry is also commonly referred to as sugar plum and Saskatoon. Always a winner with savvy landscapers.

2. Crape Myrtle

One of the best things about crape myrtle is that it is particularly forgiving. It isn’t picky with soil conditions and can also be kept very much under control in terms of size. The flowers the crape myrtle produces are nothing short of stunning. Colours range from fuchsia to brilliant white. Great for landscapers looking to add a real splash of colour.

3. Dogwood

There are various different types of dogwood available, many of which are ideal for smaller gardens. They tend to do particularly well when kept in shaded locations with plenty of moisture. Landscapers love them for their stunning red, pink and white flowers during the springtime. Many species also produce the kind of fruit that is a guaranteed magnet for local wildlife.

4. Japanese Maple

Just because the Japanese maple tree produces fruit that isn’t edible and flowers that are less than spectacular doesn’t mean they should be written off. A mind-blowing centrepiece when the leaves change during autumn, Japanese maple is also easy to look after.

5. Witchhazel

Prized for centuries as a powerful ingredient in all manner of herbal remedies, witchhazel brings a wonderful touch of colour to any garden during the autumn and winter months. Though witchhazel grows in a near endless array of shapes and sizes, specimens usually measure somewhere between a large shrub and a small tree.

6. Elderberry

Technically more of a shrub than a tree – at least in terms of shape and size – being able to grow and harvest your own elderberries really is an absolute joy.  They are best suited to soil that is slightly acidic, though are also very forgiving in terms of general growing conditions. You’ll simply never get tired of experimenting with this extraordinary fruit. A winner with landscapers for a good reason.

7. Apple

Contrary to popular belief, it is perfectly possible to keep dwarf apple trees under control and to a size more than suitable for the most compact gardens.  And even when kept under such strict control, the right conditions can still lead to the most incredible harvest of home-grown apples.

8. Fig

Figs have been the flavour of the month for some time now on the global gastronomic calendar. Why pay premium prices for them when you can easily grow your own?  Believe it or not, there are plenty of fig varieties that are by no means exclusive to the Mediterranean climate. Definitely worth considering and a favourite among expert landscapers.

9. Vitex

Gorgeous purple flowers, an enchanting fragrance and the promise of a veritable avalanche of butterflies every spring and summer season. Legend has it that the leaves of this particular tree were once heralded as a powerful natural aphrodisiac!

10. Redbud

Last but not least, redbud trees don’t exclusively produce red flowers, but nonetheless promise a beautiful spring spectacle of whites, pinks, reds and pretty purples. Careful pruning is needed to keep a redbud tree under control, as left to their own devices they routinely reach heights of around 30 feet.

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