Trees for Smaller Yards

Trees for Smaller Yards townhome

We have all seen yards becoming smaller over the last 20 years and for the plant enthusiast this is a big challenge. The question often asked is what plants will give me that punch or special look but not over crowd the yard?  Small trees are more important then ever and the selection grown at Bylands may be the solution for you.  Narrow trees, small trees and “wait a minute! I never thought of those as trees” are some of the solutions we have to offer. These plants can easily be found or ordered from your local independent garden center.

Great narrow trees like Dreamweaver and Purple Spire columnar flowering crabapples are two of the newest. They both offer beautiful pink spring flowers and purple foliage through out the year and get no taller then about 16 feet and 3-6 feet wide. A nice medium size tree at about 20 feet tall and 7 feet wide is the Pyramidal Mountain Ash which offers winter colour and bird feed with its berries.  If looking for taller varieties both Tower popular and Swedish aspen work very well and help block out decks, windows and other unsightly elements in close proximity to your yard. If planting in a row odd numbers often look the best. Evergreens such as Weeping White or Blue Spruce, Norway weeping Spruce, Columnar Blue Spruce and upright junipers like Moonglow, Wichita and Medora offer winter colour and a nice look for front yards. With winter lasting 6-7 months evergreens will add life when approaching your home and a good rule of thumb is to make 50% of overall mass evergreen.

small yard townhome Trees for Smaller Yards

When it comes to small trees that are not columnar some great choices to consider are Rosthern and Gladiator Flowering Crabapple (newer variety worth considering), Sutherland Caragana, Fernleaf Caragana, and Dakota Pinnacle Birch. Fruit trees such as Hardi-Mac and Honeycrisp apples and Opata, Pembina, Brookred and Brookgold plums are always very popular. Cherry trees, like the new Romance Series, which includes Romeo, Juliet, Cupid, Valentine and Crimson Passion are all a big hit on the prairies. If looking for something really special Combination Apples and Plums can be found where multiple varieties have been grafted onto one tree and with Cherries multiple varieties in one container. Growing your own food is also a big trend and fruit trees not only help you but wildlife as well.

For those really small areas where a tree form is desired but space is very limited, often, it is not a tree you are after but a shrub that has been grafted on top of another plant. We call these top grafted trees and they come in many varieties. Some of the more popular varieties are Dwarf Korean and Miss Kim lilac, Weeping Caragana and Walker Weeping Caragana, Double Flowering Plum and Purple Leaf Sand Cherry. Ask your local garden center professional about mature sizes as these are two plants growing together. Another way of achieving the same look is by buying shrubs that have been turned into a tree by training only one stem and removing the rest.  Varieties such as Coppertina and Diabolo Ninebark, Limelight Hydrangea, Nanking Cherry, Northern Gold Forsythia, Ivory Halo Dogwood and a number of lilacs such as Charles Joly, Madame Lemoine, Sensation, Royalty, Donald Wyman and James McFarlane. 

dreamweaver crab apple trees for small yards

Happy Gardening!

For more ideas ask your local garden center professionals and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest for other help tips and hints.


Guest post by Rich - Bylands Account Representative

My personal garden is now 17 years old and most of the trees 19 years. shrubs, evergreens and perennial beds are all bordered with large sandstone boulders.  Two reasons I have had to replant each year are: Shasta Daisy was a white German Shepherd and Georgia Peach is a caramel with white and black Shepherd, Husky something cross.  My dogs are always named after plants.