Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: Menomonee Falls, WI

Need help choosing a small tree

I'm looking for a small ornamental type tree to plant in a garden that doesn't get bigger than about 10 feet tall. It doesn't have to bloom, or stay green year round, but would like it to have a nice shape and be hardy and not prone to insects. Our soil tends to be high clay content. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
Zone 4

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Well, not being prone to insects has to do with how the tree is looked after as well as the species you have.

If the tree is healthy it will be more resistant to insect infestatios so, use organic fertilizers mulching techniques.

And as far as height restrictions are concerned; try looking at dwarf and semi-dwarf trees.

Some of the ornamental maples are nice, if you like fruit then apple, pear and cherry are nice. Oak are nice as well. Garry Oak will become gnarled and will give your yard a "rustic" look.

Green Thumb
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:17 am
Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b

Ten feet is very small. If you are tied to that maximum height your choices will be very limited. Chinonanthus virginicus grows to about 15' and might be a good option. Betula nigra 'Fox Valley' aka 'Little King' is about 12' tall. Viburnum prunifolium is also about 15' tall and available in a single stemmed form that gives it a more tree like character. With the possible exception of the birch I would berm the soil up to give them better drainage, as little as 6" can make a substantial difference. Be aware that both Fringetree and that form of birch grow quite wide. In some ways they are closer to very large shrubs although they are considered trees. If you want a single trunk I think the viburnum may be your best choice but a single trunked form may not be easy to find if you are far from a metro area. There are some crabapples in that size range but I would not recommend them.

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Cool Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:36 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

You could try a moptop they can survive anything and the don't grow high because they are grafted or you could get a caprea pendula they have a weaping look. I refer everyone to the moptop but I cant get over how tough they are! https://hellohello.com.au/moptop.html

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