Trees for smaller gardens

We have many tree available sale that are suitable for smaller gardens, in all shapes and sizes, evergreen and deciduous. It is important that any trees chosen are right for their surroundings, in terms of proportion as well as for their decorative value.

Here is a selection of trees for smaller garden, but also consider the space you have available. Trees with a weeping form rarely increase much in height; similarly consider a columnar tree, which will not spread appreciably.  When do you want your tree to look good, what the ‘season of interest’; flowering time, foliage, fruit and bark. If you only have room for one tree ideally look for one with more than one season of interest such as fruit or autumn colour following on from flowers.

1.Catalpa bignoniodes ‘Nana’ / Dwarf Indian bean tree

Catalpa bignonioides Nana

This Dwarf Indian Bean Tree has a ‘mop-head’ shaped crown, making it well suited for restricted spaces, with a mature height of 4m and 3m width. Catalpa bignonioides Nana has white flowers followed by long, slender, pendulous pods, the large (10-15cm) light green, heart-shaped leaves turn yellow before falling in the autumn.  Prefers moist and nutrient-rich soils, dry positions are tolerated surprisingly well but intolerant of chalk.

2. Cercis siliquastrum / Judas tree

Cercis siliquastrum
Cercis siliquastrum

The Judas tree is a slow growing small deciduous tree reaching 4-6m tall and wide, it is funnel-shaped becoming umbrella like. In April for 2-3 weeks fragrant, crimson-pink flowers appear in clusters directly on the stem and branches. Flat brown seed pods persist all winter. Cercis siliquastrum prefers sunny hot areas in well drained soil, its can be susceptible to frost, prefers calcareous sandy or loamy soils. Tolerant to draught.

3.Laburnum watereri ‘Vossii’ / Golden Chain

Golden Rain tree (Laburnum watereri ‘Vossii’)
Laburnum watereri ‘Vossii’

Voss’s laburnum is a small tree with a vase-shaped crown which reaches a height of perhaps 5-7 meters. In spring the tree is covered in a lavish display of extremely long clusters of attractive golden yellow flowers.  It produces pods of shiny black seeds that should be to aid good flowering the following year.

Laburnum x watereri Vossii is an easy tree to grow which performs well on a wide range of soil types and makes a superb specimen in a small garden.

4.Malus / Flowering Crabs

Malus flowering crab apples
Malus floribunda
Malus Professor Sprenger zumi

This tree genus comprises of around 30 species including 5-6 metres high deciduous trees. The flowering time is usually 10-14 days, the earliest varieties starting at the beginning of May, the latest the beginning of June and the flowering colours are vary too from white, pink and red. Many varieties have miniature apples ranging in colours of yellow to orange to reds. Plant in sun to light shade in well drained, slightly acidic to alkaline soil.

5. Mespilus germanica / Medlar

Mespilus germanica

Medlar is a slow growing, 3-5m high deciduous tree. Large white flowers appear after leaves shoot in May-June and these dark green leaves turn yellow or orange-brown in the autumn. Edible, sticky and sweet, broadly round apple shaped fruits. Plant in sun to semi-shade, tolerates heat. Deep rooting, Mespilus germanica prefers well drained loamy soil, slightly acidic to very alkaline.

6. Prunus serrulata / Flowering Cherry

Prunus serrulata Shirofugen
Prunus serrulata Tai
Prunus serrulata Kiku shidare zakura
Prunus serrulata pink perfection

Cherries are attractive and versatile trees and their blossom is a welcome addition to the spring garden. Blossom can vary from delicate, single flowers on bare branches to clusters of full-skirted flowers that almost weigh down the branches. Many flowering cherries make good ornamental trees for smaller gardens, due to their modest size.

We have many Japanese flowering cherry trees, Prunus serrulata including

Plus many other, see our Tree finder for more details.