Lisa’s Top 7 Deciduous Trees for Small Spaces

by Susan Harris

Japanese Maples

First we presented Lisa Winters’ Top 6 Evergreen Trees for Small Spaces.  And now, as promised, here are her top deciduous trees for small spaces – seven of them.  Lisa, a certified professional horticulturist and Master Gardener who just happens to work at Homestead, shared her favorites at a recent Winter Workshop.  (Oh, she’s also in charge of the Vegetable Garden at the Governor’s Mansion in  Annapolis.)

Eastern Redbud

Japanese maples are a favorite of many gardeners in our area  for good reason – their great form and great color.  They require no regular pruning at all.

The Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a big spring show-off and one of the best native plants for the garden.

Flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida) are also native to this region, and have been popular in gardens forever.  I’ll never forget  the dogwoods that my mother grew in her garden in Central Virginia, or being warned by my friends that it was a crime to remove any parts of a dogwood – because it Virginia’s State Flower. I still wonder how much of that rumor is true.

Kousa dogwoods (Cornus kousa) are becoming increasingly popular because of their resistance to disease and drought, and their horizontal form.

Crape myrtles naturally made it to Lisa’s list.  What’s not to love about small trees that bloom for such a long time, and in late summer, too?  Oh, and their bark is stunning.

And rounding out the list are two slow-growing trees we don’t see enough of – the Japanese Stewartia, (which also sports gorgeous bark) and the Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonica).

Japanese Stewartia (L) and Japanese Snowbell (R)

Photo credits:  Eastern redbud by Karen3. Kousa dogwood by Pompien.  Stewartia photo credited to the National Gallery of Art.  Snowbell by Disneyite. Japanese maples by Susan Harris.

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