6 Flowering Trees For Small Spaces

Fall is a great time to spice up your landscape by planting a new flowering tree. For our clients that live farther out in the suburbs with lots of yard space, adding a new tree may be easy; however, for our clients in DC and Arlington that have smaller yards, planting a new tree may seem impossible. But don’t give up just yet! There are lots of options for small yards or small spaces, it just takes a little planning to make sure you choose the right tree for your space. 

We’ve compiled a list of 6 flowering trees that are perfect for small spaces and will spice up your landscape. Read on to learn which tree is best for your yard. 

1. Sargent Crabapple

Small Trees - Sargent Crabapple

The Sargent Crabapple, Malus sargentii, is compact tree with a height of only 6-10 feet and a spread of 6-12 feet at maturity. It’s compact size makes it perfect to plant under utility lines and in confined yards. In the spring, the Sargent Crabapple puts on a brilliant show of small fragrant white flowers. It may even bring birds to your yard as it’s tiny fruits are a favorite of cedar waxwings, robins, grosbeaks, and mockingbirds.

Hardiness Zone: 4-8
Sun Preference: Full Sun
Mature Height: 6-10 Feet
Mature Spread: 6-12 Feet

2. Star Magnolia

Small Trees - Star Magnolia

The Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, is a stunning compact tree. It sports white flowers with lots of petals in early spring before the tree’s leaves unfurl. The bark is silvery gray and the leaves dark green creating a striking look no matter the season. Star Magnolias are best planted in sheltered locations near a patio, entryway, or shrub border to protect the tree’s flowers from late spring frosts. 

Although a little bigger than it’s star counterpart, homeowners may also want to check out the closely related Saucer Magnolia which sports showy white and pink flowers. 

Hardiness Zone: 4-9
Sun Preference: Full Sun
Mature Height: 15-20 Feet
Mature Spread: 10-15 Feet

3. Smoketree

Small Trees - Smoketree

The Smoketree, Cotinus coggygria, is a small multi-stemmed tree that blooms from June through August. It’s blooms are wispy clumps of filaments that resemble puffs of smoke. In spring these blooms are yellowish turning into a smokey pink to purplish pink in the summer months. In fall it’s bluish green leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and purplish red. This hardy plant has no serious insect or disease problems and is great for small spaces. 

Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Sun Preference: Full Sun
Mature Height: 10-15 Feet
Mature Spread: 12 Feet

4. Kousa Dogwood 

Small Trees - Kousa Dogwood

The Kousa Dogwood, Cornus kousa, is a compact tree that adds color in the spring and the fall. In spring it produces beautiful white star like blooms while in fall it’s leaves turn spectacular bright red. Unlike the typical flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), the Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) is resistant to dogwood anthracnose. 

Hardiness Zone: 5-8
Sun Preference: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Mature Height: 15-25 Feet
Mature Spread: Under 25 Feet

5. Purpleleaf Sand Cherry

Small Trees - Purple Leaf Sand Cherry

The Purpleleaf Sand Cherry, Prunus x cistena,  is a hardy compact tree that can be planted close to paved surfaces and near utility lines. In spring this tree displays eye-catching small pinkish-white flowers with striking purple foliage. This purple foliage stays all summer long turning bronze in the fall. The tree also produces tiny cherries that attract birds and other wildlife. 

Hardiness Zone: 3-7
Sun Preference: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Mature Height: 7-10 Feet
Mature Spread: 5-7 Feet

6. Pee Gee Hydrangea 

Small Trees - Pee Gee Hydrangea

The Pee Gee Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’, can be grown as a large shrub or small tree depending on how you prune. In spring this tree blooms large clusters of white flowers that turn purplish-pink throughout the summer and rust colored in the fall. It’s compact size makes it perfect for planting in small spaces or under utility lines. 

Hardiness Zone: 3-8
Sun Preference: Full Sun/Partial Shade
Mature Height: 10-20 Feet
Mature Spread: 10-20 Feet

Need help keeping your newly planted tree healthy? We can help. Give us a call at 703-573-3029 to set up a consultation or book an appointment online. Our certified arborists will give you a customized canopy protection program to keep your small newly planted tree healthy year round.

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