With yards getting smaller and the mercury rising year over year, small trees can have major impact on your landscape. Whether for aesthetic or practical purposes such as shade there is a tree to suit your needs. We’re featuring a larger tree this week with the Autumn Blaze Maple but for the sake of this blog we’ll review some smaller trees that also deliver outstanding colour and/or dimension.

Amur Maple

Like the Autumn Blaze a maple tree like this delivers big on fall colour but will stay between 15-20′ tall. The leaf shape is a little different with long pointed lobes and smaller teeth. These trees are exceptionally hardy and will survive up to Zone 2.

Japanese Maples

There are tons of varieties of Japanese Maples my personal favourite being of the Bloodgood variety – a tree that will grow up to 20′ tall and features a red so deep it’s almost maroon with red leaves all year around. If your space is a little smaller you can always go for a dwarf variety. Don’t like red? There are golden and variegated varieties of Japanese Maples available. Keep in mind most are still fairly heat sensitive so they won’t likely serve as a primary source of shade.

Edible Ornamentals (fruit trees)

Decorative fruits trees will often add several different season of visual interest to your garden. With spring flowers, summer fruit and fall colour. Some ornamental cherries, crab apples or weeping pear trees are naturally smaller but you can also simply purchase dwarf fruit trees. There is no shortage of options, with choices in not only the foliage or colour but you must also decide if you want to add a harvest time to your garden schedule. It’s taking your edible gardening to new (albeit modest) heights.

Smoke Tree

Ok so it’s not really a tree, it’s a shrub but it can add a unique look to any garden. They love full sun, so a strategically planted smoke tree could add nice shade to your landscape. When in full bloom they have gorgeous reddish brown to dark mauve feathery flowers. They will grow 10-15′ tall and have a spread of approximately 10′. Their bark is fairly sensitive to damage so if you have a loose hand with the lawn trimmer stay the heck away from your new tree.

Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs as it will give them a short season to establish deeper roots and the cooler temperatures also reduce the instance of heat stress.

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