Bigger is not always better. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your landscape is to add dwarf tress. For small yards or patios, dwarf trees fit perfectly. The look like they belong and they bring the space together in a natural way. Too many homeowners with small yards plant trees that quickly overtake the space, making it look even smaller than it already is. It’s important to choose the right size of plant for your property.
Benefits of dwarf trees:
Because these trees are naturally smaller than typical trees, they have a unique set of benefits you can’t find in ordinary trees.
· Because they are naturally compact, they don’t require hardly any pruning.
· Evergreen options make a great privacy fence without growing overly tall over time.
· There’s no worry about huge roots or long branches interfering with your home or plumbing.
· They are typically low maintenance and tolerant of most climate conditions.
Dwarf trees come in all varieties including deciduous, evergreen, and even fruit trees. They sometimes can look more like a shrub, but are classified as a tree. Often they can be used on a patio or in a small yard but even larger yards can benefit from the variety brought by dwarf trees.
Evergreen Dwarf Trees:
· Mugo Pines:This is a beautiful pine option that is often used as ground cove because they can spread easily. The conical or rounded shape remains green all year and is very versatile. It’s pretty easy to grow almost anywhere. They are susceptible to pests, but do well with regular pesticide treatments.
· Dwarf Alberta Spruce: This spruce tree can actually be a container plant for the front porch. They remain small for several years, but eventually could reach 12 feet in height.
· Dwarf Scotch Pine: The scotch pine is a popular option for a wide range of climates. While it can grow up to 6-feet tall, it often stays shorter than that. It grows well in full sun with regular watering. It also can be a favorite spot for bids.
· Hinoki Cypress: This evergreen has soft needles that have a feathery texture. The fan-shaped foliage that is lush and green even in winters that dip well below zero degrees. The Hinoki Cypress can grow 10-12 feet over 20 years, but a sister variety, the Nana Gracilis tops out at just 5 feet tall.
· North Star Dwarf White Spruce: If you’re looking for a typical, pyramid, evergreen that will last through the years – you found it. It’s deer resistant and hardy in 50 degrees below zero. It can get to between 5-10 feet tall and is easy to maintain it’s neat and tidy shape.
· Green Spire: Winter hardy and well behaved, this is an elegant dwarf tree with a more formal appearance than some other options. The glossy, green foliage maxes out at 6 to 8 feet, making it a great option for creating a narrow hedge or screen
· Tip Top:This is a hardy and adorable little tree that tops out at between 6-8 feet. It’s a loveable tree because the long, soft needles gives the appearance of a shaggy green muppet. It grows in a natural cone and requires zero pruning.
Deciduous Dwarf Trees
· Japanese Maples: This is a great option for a compact space. It can grow tall, but it takes a very long time. The small leave and short internodes are complemented by it’s bright color:
· Contorted Hazelnut:This one is also known by common names like “Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick” and “Corkscrew Filbert” It’s technically a shrub, but is actually a dwarf tree. It looks best in winter when you can see all the twists and turns without any leaves.
· Pussy Willows:These wild-looking plants are one of the favorite dwarf trees. It is popular for its catkins and unique shape. There are some varieties that grow more uniform, but the willow-tree shape is a unique option for any landscape.
· Amur Maple: This is a great little tree with wide reaching canopy to provide shade in the summer. It’s beautiful when sculpted, but can also be left to grow wild. It’s usually early to bud in the spring and turns red in the fall. It can be either a large shrub or a small tree.
· Dwarf Poinciana Tree:This is a beautiful blooming tree that shows bright red flowers from spring to early winter. It’s best in USDA Zone 9 and can grow up to 10 feet tall.
Dwarf Fruit Trees:
Dwarf fruit trees do well in containers and they are easier to care for and harvest than typical full-size fruit trees. A general rule of thumb is to start with a container approximately six inches wider than the one it’s sold in. As the tree grows, transfer to a larger container.
· Apple: Most regular-sized apple trees are also available in dwarf-sized varieties. The dwarf apple tree needs a pollinator partner, so it’s best to plant in pairs.
· Cherry: Bing cherries dwarf trees grow to only 4 feet, making it a good choice for limited outdoor spaces or growing on the back porch. Plus, it brings lovely blossoms in the spring.
· Citrus: There are several varieties of dwarf citrus trees including dwarf orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon and tangerine trees to choose from. Like large citrus, these trees need to be grown in areas that receive little or no frost. The most frost-sensitive types of dwarf citrus trees are lemons and limes.
If you think a dwarf tree is the best choice for your space, decide which type of miniature to grow. You could do a potted tree, a tree trained by pruning, or a large bush that’s close to the ground. It’s important to note that many dwarf trees will take some maintenance to keep them miniature. Left completely unattended, they will grow just like any other plant. Typically, dwarf trees grow much slower, but can still grow tall if given the opportunity. Complete your landscape and enhance your porch or deck with miniature trees that are the perfect addition.