Trees For Real Yards

August 5th, 2014

By ‘real yards’ I mean the 30 to 50 foot yards that most of us have. And even if you have a bigger one, I think tree size is equally important as I have had to assist several home owners with “too many trees… too close together syndrome” over the years.

I often feel un-Canadian when I tell my customers that I do not recommend a Maple tree for their yard or I recommend they move the Maple tree that their builder so kindly planted 5 feet from their front door of their new home.

My reasons are simple.  At 40 plus feet tall and wide, these trees over time are just plain too big for our yards.  They’re aggressive and any shallow root system makes it impossible to grow anything under it, including grass, and the shade they create while initially practical will be so dense that other areas in the yard will be affected as well.

By choosing smaller trees, they will complement the yard and gardens better as everything grows in. If privacy is what you are after, grouping smaller trees together will create a nice screen but still allows the trees to reach maturity without concern of crowding.

There are many, many great small tree alternatives; here are some of my favorites:

Ivory Silk Lilac
(Syringa reticulata ‘Ivory Silk’)
Nice showy white flowers in June 15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide
(Amelanchier canadensis)
Lacy white flowers in spring, fruit for birds in summer and brilliant fall colour 25 feet tall, 20 feet wide
Pyramidal Oak
(Quercus robur “Fastigiata”)
Pyramidal shape, retains leaves in winter, great for privacy 50 feet tall, 10 feet wide
Chinese Flowering Dogwood
(Cornus kousa)
Showy white flowers with long bloom time and red fall colour 15 to 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide
Pagoda Dogwood
(Cornus alternifolia)
Clustered white flowers in spring, fruit for birds late summer and nice fall colour, good for shade, north or east side of house 20 feet tall, 25 feet wide
Columnar Siberian Crab Apple
(Malus baccata “Columnaris”)
Fragrant white flowers in spring and persistent bright red fruit in fall, nice narrow habit 25 feet tall, 8 feet wide
Dawyck Beech
(Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Purple’)
Rich, dark purple foliage and extremely narrow habit 18 feet tall, 6 feet wide
Japanese maple
(Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’)
Slow growing beautiful ornamental tree that is burgundy in colour, deepens in fall 20 feet tall, 20 feet wide
Ornamental Pear White spring flower, fall colour, columnar shape 15 feet tall, 15 feet wide
Amur maple
(Acer ginnala)
A compact, dwarf form of maple tree that’s much more appropriate for small spaces than its many imposing relatives 15 feet tall, 15 feet wide

If you have any questions about the right tree for you, please post a question on Facebook and I would be happy to help.

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3 Responses to Trees For Real Yards

  1. […] Here is a sampling of trees for real yards: […]

  2. Jenny says:

    Thank you for this! Can you recommend how close or far apart to plant dawyck beech from one another. ? (3 in a row? ) thank you!

    • blogadmin says:

      They get to be about 6 ft wide, so it depends if you want them to be a screen for privacy then plant them 6 ft apart and they will grow into each other. Or if you still want to see them as 3 individual trees then about 9 ft apart if you have the room. Hope that helps,