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Top 3 small trees
Small trees can provide colour, seasonal interest and much need height without creating issues with power lines. Treated well these trees will become a feature of your garden and give you and your plants some respite from the summer heat. All sizes given are the approximate height in 20 years but allow for some variation as soil,availability of water and competition all have their part to play.
Botanical name : Lagerstroemia indica
Common name : Crepe myrtle
Size : Between 3-8m tall depending on the variety
Features : This tree provides interest throughout the year. Flowers in late spring into summer. Colours include white, a range of pinks, red and lilac. Leaves turn yellow, orange and red through autumn and the bark peels back with age to reveal mottled trunks especially notable in winter.
Position : Grow in a well drained soil in full sun for best results. Very drought tolerant.
Notes : The original varieties were prone to powdery mildew – look for the Indian Summer range for resistant varieties. There are dwarf varieties available so check the label for eventual size. Slow to moderate growth rate
Botanical name : Acer palmatum
Common name : Japanese maple
Size : Most are between 2-6m tall but check labels
Features : Beautiful autumn foliage usually gold-copper or fiery red tones. Some varieties have coloured bark. Shapes range from upright vase to weeping.
Position : Prefers a sheltered position away from hot winds, well drained but moist soils. Once established they are drought tolerant.
Notes : There are many varieties, most are slow growing and perfect for a courtyard.
Botanical name : Prunus “Elvins”
Common name : Flowering plum
Size : 3x3m
Features : Flowers change from white to pink in spring – often on bare branches before the leaf appears. Autumn turns the leaves yellow and orange. Beautiful rounded shape even unpruned.
Position : Flowers best in full sun
Notes : Very tough once established. Moderate growth rate. Perfect for an exposed front yard.
Honorable mentions : Syringa – Lilac ‘Congo’, Malus – Crab apple floribunda, Laburnum ‘Vossii’.
Finding it hard to choose? See our choosing a shade tree article or visit our pinterest site for inspiration.