No Space, No Problem – Small Trees for Small Spaces

Pawpaw Tree

By Abby Lapides

Enjoy all the majesty trees can bring, but in a petite sizes. Over the years outstanding trees have been developed that have all the attributes of larger ones, but remain small or grow slowly. Some trees naturally stay small. Bringing fantastic foliage, flowers, shape, texture, and even edible fruit, they will transform a small space into a gorgeous oasis. Many of these trees need little or no maintenance, and will attract birds, butterflies and other important pollinators. Read on to see a few top selections.

‘Limelight Hydrandea’ – One of the most popular Hydrangeas, Limelight Hydrangea is adored for its massive 6-12″ chartreuse flowers that transform to pinkish-white, then turn a rich deep pink, then burgundy. Flowers begin blooming in mid-summer and continue into autumn. Limelight Hydrangea creates an eye-popping display when all colors are displayed at the same time. Its flowers are fantastic fresh or dried. Limelight can easily be pruned to a shorter stature. Limelight grows 6-8’ tall and wide and prefers full sun to part shade.

‘Bloodgood’ Japanese Maple – Add a showy focal point to the garden or add a new color to understory tree plantings with Bloodgood Japanese Maple, Acer palmatum. Wine red star shaped leaves contrast beautifully against green trees and other verdant foliage. In fall leaves turn brilliant scarlet red, drawing from wherever it can be observed.

Pawpaw – 2022 Tree of the Year, Missouri State tree – The dynamic Missouri native tree the Pawpaw, Asimina triloba, provides beauty and a food source to the garden. Showy burgundy flowers in spring appear the same time as the leaves begin to emerge. Flowers give way to fruit in fall that have a flavor reminiscent of bananas. In fact Pawpaws are sometimes know as the Missouri Banana Tree.

‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry. A beautiful multi-seasonal small tree, Autumn Brilliance Apple Serviceberry, Amelanchier, is rightly designated as a Plant of Merit by the Missouri Botanical Garden. Spring brings showy snow white flowers. Summer is followed by red berries that look like tiny apples. The berries are edible and taste like blueberries, they can be used in jam and pies, but may also be left for the birds. In fall glossy leaves turn blazing orange-red.

See these and more at Sugar Creek Gardens plant nursery located in Kirkwood, Missouri and on our website: www.sugarcreekgardens.com.