Q. I have a sunny area and would like to grow a row of small decidious trees. Max about 15' tall what would you suggest?

I would like to be able to walk under the trees but don't want them to be too big. I could use some other bush that could be grown as a standard, too.


You can stand underneath a 15 foot tree if the trunk is clear of branches for 6 feet. The size of the crown is best determined by prunning when the tree is young and monitored each year as the tree grows. I would start by removing branches from the lower 25% of the young tree. At 40 % when 10 feet tall, most likely the trunk will be clear up to 4 feet, and standing under it will be difficult. A tree that tops out at 20 or so feet would offer you the opportunity of walking under it at a younger age. Also, there are few trees that top out at 15 feet. 20 to 25 feet opens up a lot more choices. I would recommend mixing up the trees you plant. With these comments in mind, here are my recomendations.

Eastern Redbud, many new cultivars, but not much of a crown

Native dogwood

Cornus kousa, Japanese dogwood, mottled bark

Franklinia alatamaha

Magnolia X Soulangiana, a little bigger, but a superstar

Star magnolia

Flowering crab apple

Japanese snowbell

Japanese tree lilac

Cotinus coggygria, the smoke bush that can be grown as a shrub or a tree. The purple cultivar has colorful plumes.

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 70
  • Answered By Aska Gardener

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