How to - Gardening Resources

Pick the best tree to plant in your yard

Whether you're on a huge lot or a tiny piece of paradise, breathe life into your garden with the right tree

12 best trees for small properties
As lovely as they are, large, stately trees don’t fit comfortably into small plots. Nevertheless, all gardens need trees—not only to clean the air and offer shade, but also to provide vertical interest and habitat for wildlife. Choosing specimens with a slender growth habit is the answer. Here are a dozen slimline options to consider. —with files from Trevor Cole

NameHeight x Spread (m)Comments
‘Newton Sentry’ sugar maple
(Acer saccharum ‘Newton Sentry’) 
Zone 4

10 x 2.5Orange-yellow fall foliage
Single seed hawthorn
(Crataegus monogyna ‘Stricta’)
Zone 3

10 x 4White flowers, red fruit; lustrous, dark green foliage
Princeton Sentry maidenhair tree
(Ginkgo biloba ‘PNI 2720’) 
Zone 4

12 x 3Male clone (no smelly fruit); bright yellow fall foliage
‘Pencil Point’ common juniper
(Juniperus communis ‘Pencil Point’)
Zone 3

10 x 1.5Dense growth habit; bright green needles
Upright Siberian crabapple
(Malus baccata ‘Columnaris’)
Zone 2

9 x 3White flowers, yellow fruit; new foliage tinged bronze
‘Pink Spires’ crabapple
(M. ‘Pink Spires’)
Zone 4

6 x 4Pink blooms, purple-red fruit; copper foliage
Serbian spruce
(Picea omorika)
Zone 3

20 x 3Retains evergreen branches down to the ground; pollution tolerant
‘Tower’ poplar
(Populus x canescens ‘Tower’)
Zone 2

20 x 4Almost disease-free male clone; yellow fall foliage
‘Amanogawa’ Japanese flowering cherry
(Prunus serrulata 'Amanogawa’)
Zone 6

8 x 3Pink, semi-double, fragrant flowers; black fruit; bronze-red fall foliage
Upright English oak
(Quercus robur forma fastigiata)
Zone 5

15 x 5Dark green foliage; very slow growing
Upright oakleaf mountainash
(Sorbus x thuringiaca ‘Fastigiata’)
Zone 5

8 x 3White flowers, showy red berries; resistant to fire blight
‘Elegantissima’ white cedar
(Thuja occidentalis ‘Elegantissima’)
Zone 3
5 x 1.5New needles tipped with yellow

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