Fall In Love With Sall Flowering Trees
Small flowering trees are some of the most rewarding plants you can add to your landscape. Requiring little care, they fit perfectly into urban gardens where large shade trees would be overpowering. Location will determine which type you choose
Mini Flowering Trees
Most of the trees in this group are simply flowering shrubs grafted onto small tree trunks. They require only one square meter’s growing space.
To maintain the globe shape, prune spring-flowering trees annually, after the flowers have finished, and late-flowering trees, such as Peegee hydrangea, in early spring. The more branches, the greater the profusion of flowers.
Weeping Flowering Trees
If you prune these trees every year, their branches will form an umbrella shape. If you don’t prune them, the branches will cascade over decks, large rocks, and retaining walls.
The growing space they need is a maximum of 2 by 2 meters. In winter, the bare branches add interesting shapes and textures to your dormant garden.
Small Flowering Trees
These trees remain under six meters in height without pruning. You can grow them as single or multiple trunks.
Small flowering trees fit nicely in places in the landscape where flowering shrubs would be too small or informal and shade trees too large
Either way, you can plant them as small shade trees or simply as focal points that add color to the garden.
Don’t expect any fruit though; these trees are purely decorative. Allow a 5 – by – 5 – meter growing space for all the trees in this group.
Paperbark maple (Acer griseum). There’s more to a plant than bloom, which lasts only two weeks at best in most trees and shrubs.
Those with small gardens also should consider autumn color, the habit of growth, and bark when choosing a tree.
The paperbark maple excels in all these qualities. Hardy, tolerant of both sun and shade, and with lovely peeling bark, it is particularly valuable in winter. And yes, it does have flowers. You just may not have noticed.
Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). This species is only marginally hardy in the Chicago area, but the cultivar “Burgundy Lace” is the hardiest of the lot. It’s lovely red, cut-leaf foliage makes it worth trying. Provide shelter from winds.
Serviceberry (Amelanchier Arborea). This tree has everything: super cold-hardiness, early fragrant blooms, edible berries, striated silver bark, and glorious fall color.
Dogwoods (Cornus genus). There’s good news and bad about this tree.
Cornus florida is succumbing to a nasty fungus in the East and is likely to be wiped out there. However, C. kousa apparently is immune, and this is a great tree. Another tree to try is C. alternifolia, the native American pagoda dogwood.
Magnolia, several hybrids: M. x soulangiana “Andre LeRoi,” M. x loebneri “Merrill” and M. x loebneri “Leonard Messel.” Among the star forms, he praised M. stellata “Centennial” for its good form and twice the number of petals.
Crabapples (Malus genus). Make sure you get a rust-resistant variety. The species M. sargentii is a true dwarf that’s 9 feet high by 15 feet wide at maturity.
The cultivar “Donald Wyman” is a superlative winter plant with fruit that lasts to the spring. Its red buds open to white. Malus “Dorothea” has yellow fruit.
Cherries (Prunus genus). P. sargentii has beautiful mahogany bark and striking purple leaves in autumn as well as glorious pink flowers in spring.
More Small Flowering Trees
- Double-flowering almond Spring Pink Forsythia
- Spring Yellow Korean spice viburnum
- Spring White Pea shrub
- Spring Yellow Peegee hydrangea
- Summer/fall White/pink Purple sand cherry
- Spring Pink Tree – from French lilac
- Spring Pink/red/purple/white Weigela Summer Pink/red
- Weeping crab apple
- Spring White/red Weeping flowering cherry
- Spring Pink Weeping fruiting mulberry
- Spring White Weeping pea shrub
- Spring Yellow Weeping pussy willow
- Spring Gray Crab apple
- Spring Red/white/pink Flowering cherry
- Spring Pink Flowering pear
- Spring White Saucer magnolia
- Spring Pink/mauve Star magnolia
- Spring White Tree – form ivory Early White silk lilac summer Tree – form
- Spring White serviceberry