A tree is more than just an eye-catcher, it is also a functional addition to the garden. In summer, it provides shade and privacy; in fall and winter, its colorful foliage adds character to the outdoor space. Its flowers attract birds, butterflies and bees, and hammocks are hung from its branches. Even if the plot turns out small, nothing stands in the way of planting a tree. We list several varieties that have a compact growth.
Table of Contents
- 1. low-maintenance tree for small garden: the most important issues at a glance.
- 2. choose a tree for small garden depending on its function
- 2.1 An evergreen tree for small garden: an eye-catcher all year round
- 2.2 Small tree for garden: shade-giving species
- 2.3 A tree as a screen for the small garden
- 2.4. a slender tree for small garden: narrow growing columnar trees
- 2.5 Deep-rooted trees for small gardens
- 2.6. bee-friendly trees for small gardens
- Trees under 10 meters for the allotment garden: examples of successful design
1. a low-maintenance tree for the small garden: an overview of the most important questions
There are many low-maintenance and small-growing trees that are perfect for small gardens. However, there are a few things you should consider when choosing. Ultimately, a tree is a long-term investment and can have a significant impact on the look of your garden.
1. Many garden owners ask themselves, “Which trees stay small?”. But not only the height plays a major role in the choice. The shape of the tree’s crown is also very important and should be chosen according to its function and location.
- Spherical trees are suitable as accents in the flower bed.
- Trees with overhanging crowns are the perfect shade trees for the terrace.
- Columnar trees can be combined with other hedge plants and serve as privacy screens.
2. an evergreen or a deciduous tree? In principle, it is a matter of taste. However, when it comes to a tree for the allotment, then you should think twice about your decision. Evergreen columnar trees are perfect for planting along the property line. Be sure to take local ordinances into consideration. Deciduous trees can be planted in the front yard or around the patio.
3.A tree in front of the house looks nice, but it can quickly become a problem. Therefore, the location and type of tree should be chosen very carefully.
2.Choose tree for small garden according to the function.
Which tree is suitable for the small garden ? We list several varieties that have a compact growth
2.1 An evergreen tree for small garden: an eye-catcher all year round.
- The mountain pine (still known as mountain pine) is a shallow-rooted conifer that reaches a maximum height of 6 meters. It prefers a sunny location, but can also thrive in partial shade. A mineral, moderately dry soil provides the best conditions for rapid growth. Mountain pine has a bushy growth habit, but tolerates topiary.
- The silver pine is the perfect addition to the rock garden or for the allotment garden . It has a dense canopy, so the area under the pine is difficult to plant. Silver pine reaches a maximum height of growth of 6 meters, tolerates frost well. However, the snow can injure the needles.
- European larch and Japanese larch are two dwarf forms of larch. They grow around one meter tall, but can reach 2.5 meters with good care. These larch varieties need an off-sun place in the home garden. In winter, brave snow, wind and frost, in summer – heat.
- The globe fir is an evergreen globe tree that grows up to 2 meters high. It prefers a location in partial shade and a nutrient-poor, slightly acidic soil with a high sand content.
Areas of use: At the edge of the garden, as an accent in the rock garden, in the Japanese garden.
2.2 Small tree for garden: shade tree species
Fast-growing ball tree varieties that provide shade in the garden are:
- The globe robinia is a hardy, pruning-tolerant tree that grows as tall as it is wide. It grows about 10 inches a year until it reaches 5 feet tall. A loose, well-drained, humus-rich soil provides the best conditions for its rapid growth. It is a true sun worshipper that feels best in full sun.
- The amber tree grows around 2 feet tall and has a rounded crown.
- The silk acacia is a fast growing tree that can reach its maximum growing height of 8 meters relatively quickly. Its umbrella-like crown provides shade on hot summer days.
- The globe trumpet tree “Nana” is a small-growing trumpet tree variety that grows up to 6 feet tall. It prefers an off-sun location, but needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. As for the soil, however, it is undemanding. This trumpet tree is conditionally hardy and requires frost protection from December to March.
Areas of use: Terrace, seating areas in the garden, front garden
2.3 A tree as a screen for the small garden
- The globe maple has a spherical crown. It can be used as a solitary tree in the allotment garden, but also cuts a good figure in groups, e.g. around the driveway.
- The golden elm is small-growing, reaching a maximum height of growth of about 5 meters, depending on the variety. Therefore, it is the perfect house tree for the front yard. The golden elm is a deep-rooted tree, which you can underplant imaginatively. Plant several golden elms around the patio so that the seating area is protected from the wind and shielded from prying eyes.
- The hanging birch is a tree that can be staged in many ways. In a small garden, even a small-statured birch like the variety “Youngii” cuts a good figure, especially as a soloist. You can also group several small birches if you wish, as long as you have the appropriate space in the garden. Suspended birch should not be planted too close to the house, because it grows very quickly and forms a dense crown that hardly lets sunlight through. The birch is extremely easy to care for and can withstand heat. It prefers a dry and sandy soil and cannot tolerate waterlogging.
Areas of use: Around the garden entrance or driveway, in front of the hedge, centrally as an accent.
2.4 A slender tree for the small garden: narrow-growing columnar trees
- In terms of height, the golden elm is not exactly small. But the columnar tree scores with a very narrow crown and an upright growth. The tree tolerates shaping and pruning, if this is done in winter. If the golden elm is in full sun, its leaves turn yellow and are particularly decorative. If the location is in partial shade, they remain green.
- The columnar mountain ash can grow between 5 and 7 meters high, depending on the variety. It cuts a good figure especially as a soloist in the front garden. The rowan prefers a humusy, airy, moderately moist soil and an off-sun location. The fruits of the columnar mountain ash provide food for animals and birds.
- The columnar hawthorn lends itself to narrow niches and corners. The slender tree reaches a maximum growth height of just under 5 feet and scores highly for its compact habit.
Areas of use: In groups around the patio as a windbreak and privacy screen, around the garden path.
2.5 Deep-rooted trees for small gardens
- Hawthorn is a deep rooter that needs moderately dry, nutrient-rich soil. The tree grows up to 6 feet tall and produces large pink flowers in May. The true redthorn provides nesting habitat for birds and has decorative value as an ornamental shrub.
- The European yew is a low maintenance tree that even tolerates pruning well. In the fall, the yew forms small red fruits.
- The blood plum is a tree that can grow up to 6 feet tall. There are also dwarf varieties that grow up to 2 meters high. The blood plum grows very slowly and has more of a decorative value.
Areas of use: In the flower bed, in front of the house or in the front yard. Suitable for underplanting
2.6 Bee-friendly trees for small gardens
- The cherry varieties “Accolade”, “Kanzan” and “Ruby” grow up to 8 meters high. Their fragrant flowers attract birds and butterflies to the garden.
- The Canadian Judas tree reaches a maximum growth height of 4 meters. The nectar plant is particularly bee-friendly. The common Judas tree prefers a moderately dry, nutrient-poor soil with a high clay content and a location in full sun.
- The copper rock pear is a multi-stemmed tree with a maximum growth height of 6 feet. At the end of March it forms snow-white flowers that attract bees and birds. The tree has no special requirements to soil and location. It tolerates drought and waterlogging equally well, and can also easily withstand a strong wind in winter.
Areas of use: In the natural garden, in the cottage garden, in the kitchen garden.
Trees under 10 meters for the allotment garden: examples of successful design.
Lagerstroemia is a tall-stemmed house tree. Depending on the variety, it blooms in red, lavender or white. Particularly beautiful varieties are “Arapaho” and “Catawba”. These two score points not only for their flowers, but also for their particularly attractive fall color. The tree thrives best in full sun and needs a well-drained soil.
How to plant Lagerstroemia in the garden:Right in front of the garden fence in combination with a columnar tree and a tall shrub. The tree is perfect for underplanting, as its crown allows sunlight to pass through. At the same time, it provides privacy.
With its pink or white flowers, the flowering dogwood is one of the most beautiful North American trees par excellence. For the home garden, the varieties “Cloud Nine” and “Cherokee Sunset” are particularly interesting. The first forms large filigree flowers, the second scores with a beautiful dark pink color. The tree grows to a height of around 9 meters.
How to put the flower dogwood in the garden:In the middle of the flower bed in the natural garden. Tulips and other seasonal flowers are the perfect planting partners. The house tree has similar soil and site requirements as the conifers and can also be combined with firs.
The laburnum is confusingly similar to the blue rain. Its overhanging branches and large flower clusters are often flown over by bees and bumblebees. The tree grows 9 feet tall.
How to put the laburnum in the garden:In the rock garden and along the garden path it makes a particularly good figure. Laburnum does not tolerate neighbors, especially if they are as tall or taller. It feels much better at the edge of the lawn, where there is no root competition.
The redthorn is a real magnet for bees. At the beginning of summer, it forms white flowers that emit a pleasant strong fragrance throughout the garden. In late summer and autumn it attracts birds with its red fruits. Its orange-red fall color makes the tree a highlight in any garden even in autumn.
How to use the red thorn in the garden:As a privacy screen on the garden fence or as an accent in the front yard.