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|
|Lacy white flowers in spring, fruit for birds in summer and brilliant fall colour||25 feet tall, 20 feet wide|
(Quercus robur “Fastigiata”)
|Pyramidal shape, retains leaves in winter, great for privacy||50 feet tall, 10 feet wide|
|Chinese Flowering Dogwood
|Showy white flowers with long bloom time and red fall colour||15 to 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide|
|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|
(Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Purple’)
|Rich, dark purple foliage and extremely narrow habit||18 feet tall, 6 feet wide|
(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|
|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.