The Top Trees for Small Gardens

Honey Tree

Fall is the best time to plant trees in your garden, and many of us are having an increasingly hard time choosing trees for our smaller yards and homes. Some quick tips on choosing trees for your home, then our favorites choices for small trees!

How to Choose Trees for the Small Garden

  • Make sure the tree you choose is in scale with your home… If you have a small ranch, towering Lombardy Poplars will seem our of balance.
  • Check before you dig… you don’t want to sever a utility line, and you definitely don’t want to place a tree right over an irrigation or sewer line. Nothing like those kinds of bills once the roots invade and clog your sewer system.
  • Remember that evergreen trees can block wind in winter, and deciduous trees can provide shade and energy savings in summer. Determine whether that needs to be accounted for.
  • Look up! If you have utility lines up above, plant trees that will stay short and round, or move your planting area. We’ve all seen those tree trimming service trimming back the same trees every year from the power lines. Don’t let that be you.
  • Find out if the tree you are looking at drops any messy fruit or heavy pollen.
  • Check for fall leaf color, whether is is spring flowering, and whether it has a fragrance. All these things weigh in to your tree choice.
  • A fast growing tree is not always the best. Fast growing trees fill in quickly, but they tend to do so at the expense of strong limbs. Branches break easily in the wind, and snow can bring down a weaker tree.


Golden Chain Tree

Grows 25 feet high and wide, and is covered with long chains of yellow blooms in spring to early summer.

Golden chain tree


Japanese Maple

Not as difficult as many people believe, the Japanese Maple is a stunning landscaping tree that grows slowly to 10-25 feet, depending on variety. Plant where they receive afternoon shade in hot ares and make sure they get adequate water.



Kousa Dogwood

Kousa Dogwood has a broader, more rounded shape than a traditional Dogwood, and has the benefit of being more disease resistant. Growing to 20 feet, it blooms pink or white in spring, then turns a beautiful reddish in the fall.

Kousa Dogwood Tree


Crape Myrtle

The Crape Myrtle tree is a gorgeous tree that blooms all summer. It never gets over 20 feet tall, and can be pruned back to be smaller without any issues. They are fast growing, and have fruit that remains on the trees in winter, giving another seasons interest.

Crape Myrtle


Saucer Magnolia

You have to love Magnolia for it’s tendency to produce beautiful, fragrant spring blooms before any foliage appears. It makes the show more special somehow! Growing to 25 feet, they are moderately fast growers that can grow in part shade as well. Tend to be multi-trunked, which we love.

Saucer Magnolia

Image Credits: Honey Tree, Honey Tree, BB Webb, Southern Living

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  1. Finding the perfect small tree for an area can be difficult, but these are great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

  2. naomi buitendag says:

    the texture and colour combo is delightful and a pleasure for the heart

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