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Ornamental trees for small gardens

Published: 10th April, 2019

ornamental treesTrees are a beautiful part of any garden landscape but one thing that people tend to forget when choosing and planting trees is that they grow! Some species of trees can eventually grow to be 30m monsters! This is just too big for most gardens, so we are going to give you 5 options for smaller ornamental trees that won’t get too big, wont cast too much shade and will allow things to grow under and around them. In short you’ll love them in your garden.

Japanese Maple

There are literally thousands of different kinds of Japanese maple. Some grow to be 20 feet tall, some only 3 feet tall. Some grow upright, others have a weeping habit. Leaf colour can be red, orange, yellow, green or purple. There is a Japanese Maple to suit every taste and colour scheme. They grow slowly so they won’t outgrow their space and demand regular pruning – you can even grow them in a container.

Dwarf Flowering Cherry

If you’re one of those people that just can’t wait for Spring to arrive then a flowering cherry tree is a must as it’s going to be one of the first flowering trees in the neighbourhood. They have showy pink blooms and foliage which gives interest in the autumn when it develops shades of orange and red. They will reach an estimated height and spread of just 3 x 3 metres in 20 years and take well to pruning in the winter months.


Of all the ornamental flowering trees, magnolias, with their large exotic, waxy blooms, are perhaps the most spectacular but they can grow too large for many gardens. A beautiful exception is Magnolia stellata which will grow slowly up to about 3m tall. In early to mid-Spring it will be a mass of puff ball petals in shades of white to pale pink with a wonderful fragrance. Magnolia stellata are very easy to grow and pretty well pest free.

Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo, known as the Strawberry tree, is a beautiful small evergreen tree which produces white bell-shaped flowers in late summer followed by bright-red fruits in the autumn which look like strawberries and are great for attracting wild birds into your garden.  It will tend to grow like a shrub with foliage from the base, but you can prune it back to look like a tree and it will not complain.

Flowering Crab Apple Trees

Flowering crab apple trees are a great choice for home gardens due to the amount of interest they provide throughout the seasons. A Red Sentinel crab apple is one of the best all-rounders. It gives you beautiful white blushed flowers in the spring, gorgeous foliage in the autumn and lush red fruit that the birds will love. It won’t grow above 4 or 5m.

Before you choose any kind of tree for your garden ask yourself 3 questions; First, will it grow in your soil, secondly, how tall do you want it to grow and thirdly, do you want an evergreen or do you prefer glorious spring and autumn foliage colour. If you’re not sure of which tree to choose why not visit Henry Street Garden Centre and tell us the size of your garden and what you’re looking to achieve and we’ll help you make the perfect selection, with some priceless tips on how to plant and care for your new garden addition.


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