In The Garden

Japanese maple tree

Small Trees for Small Gardens

Not everyone has the luxury of a large garden, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on beautiful trees. These deciduous, small trees have a great shape, excellent autumn colour and will grow in most soils with added compost, mulch and a little fertiliser.

Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)

Height: 3-5m

Varieties range from red-stemmed with dark burgundy foliage to traditional light green with intricate, delicate small leaves. They are compact in shape and growth and produce a beautiful, dappled shade. They need regular watering and protection from burning winds.

Crab Apple (Malus - various hybrids)

Height: 3-7m

Textured bark and stunning white, pink or deep red blossom in spring. It provides an arching spread, is easily pruned to any shape, and can be espaliered against a wall. It produces small red fruits in summer which are perfect for making jams.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Height: 4-8m

Another example of a superb, tough small tree with rough bark which strips to a silvery smooth, dappled trunk as it matures. In early summer it produces papery flowers in a range of mauve, white, pink, orange and crimson. Fabulous autumn colours and great structure when bare in winter.

Forest Pansy (Cercis canadensis)

Height: 5-7m

Narrow, vase-shaped tree with heart-shaped lleaves. Deep mauve flowers emerge directly from the trunk and branches in spring/summer. Needs to be watered deeply.