Thompson & Morgan

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Trees for small gardens

Trees for small gardens


When choosing trees for small gardens it is worth considering just how much space you have and which seasons of interest best suit your planting scheme. Trees can bring all sorts of interest to your garden whether through flowers, foliage, fruit or bark; and can create colour and interest all year round. Bear in mind the tree’s mature height and spread - even the smallest trees can eventually reach a height of 6m or more. For the smallest trees choose those with a weeping habit or try growing fruit trees, which are often grafted on to rootstocks which restrict their height. You could even grow your trees in large containers!


Small trees for spring interest

Small trees for spring interestInteresting Features

Medlar - Mespilus germanica ‘Nottingham’

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Flowering cherry - Prunus spp.

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Fruit trees including apples, pears, apricots, plums, and cherries.

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Crab apple - Malus x robusta

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Sorbus vilmorinii (Vilmorin’s Rowan)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum’

Interesting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Silver Pear)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colour

Magnolia - small cultivars such as ‘Jade Lamp’, ‘Pink Beauty’, ‘Norman Gould’ or ‘Brozzinii’.

Interesting Features - Colour flowers

Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ (Kilmarnock Willow)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Architectural


Small trees for summer interest

Small trees for summer interestInteresting Features

Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) - ‘Forest Pansy’ has attractive red/purple leaves.

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Laburnum alpinum ‘Pendulum’ (Scotch Laburnum)

Interesting Features - Colour flowers

Acer palmatum varieties (Japanese Maple)

Interesting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Silver Pear)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colour

Catalpa bignonioides ‘Nana’ (Indian Bean Tree)

Interesting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colour

Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Pendula’ (Weeping Copper Beech)

Interesting Features - ArchitecturalInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colour

Albizia julibrissin ‘Summer Chocolate’ (Silk Tree)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colour

Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Umbraculifera’ (Mop-head Acacia)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Architectural


Small trees for autumn interest

Small trees for autumn interestInteresting Features

Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Crab apple - Malus x robusta

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Sorbus vilmorinii (Vilmorin’s Rowan)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Acer palmatum varieties (Japanese Maple)

Interesting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Brilliantissimum'

Interesting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Cotoneaster ‘Exburiensis’

Interesting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Quince (Cydonia oblonga)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’ (Spindle Tree)

Interesting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit


Small trees for winter interest

Small trees for winter interestInteresting Features

Eucalyptus pauciflora subsp. niphophila (Alpine Snow Gum)

Interesting Features - EvergreenInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Attractive bark

Paper-bark Maple (Acer griseum)

Interesting Features - Attractive barkInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour

Juniperus chinensis ‘Obelisk’ (Juniper)

Interesting Features - EvergreenInteresting Features - Spring/Summer leaf colourInteresting Features - Architectural

Cotoneaster ‘Exburiensis’

Interesting Features - Autumn leaf colourInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Corkscrew Hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’)

Interesting Features - ArchitecturalInteresting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Colourful berries or fruit

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

Interesting Features - Colour flowersInteresting Features - Autumn leaf colour