Q. Can you recommend a small shade tree for an urban garden?

We will have a small back yard in Roxborough, Philadelphia. It's full sun and drainage we are not sure about because we haven't moved in yet. There are no trees in sight and we would like to get privacy and shade in the backyard. Any ideas for a small shade tree for an urban garden? We were thinking Eastern Redbud.


Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a fine tree. Others you might consider are:

Acer griseum – Paperbark Maple

Cornus kousa – Kousa Dogwood

Parrotia persica – Persian Parrotia


To get an idea of what these trees look like, you can search the above Latin names in Google images.

Three books with good recommendations for trees:

  Diana Miller’s  400 Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces (Timber Press, 2008).

Simon Toomer’s Trees for the Small Garden : How to Choose, Plant, and Care for the Tree That Makes the Garden Special ( Timber Press, 2005.)

Michael Dirr’s Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs. These books are available in the PHS McLean Library.

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 165
  • Answered By Janet Evans

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