Tree Choice for Backyard

Asked September 9, 2015, 9:50 AM EDT

I live in Lebanon County and would like to plant three trees that are columnar with a moderate-to-fast growth rate. What would be a good native or non-invasive choice?

Lebanon County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

Are you planting these trees in full sun or shade? What is the maximum height and spread of the trees? Are you looking for shade trees or flowering trees?

The trees would be in full sun. I have no preference as to shade or flowering. I would like narrow trees. I'm not sure what height would be good though. Twenty to 50 feet, maybe?

Some good columnar or fastigiate trees include:

  • Acer rubrum ‘Bowhall’ (Bowhall Red Maple) grows as a symmetrical elongated oval about 40 feet tall with a mature spread of 10 feet. Good red fall color.

  • Acer x freemanii ‘Armstrong’ (Armstrong Red Maple) is somewhat flat topped and grows about 60 feet tall with a mature spread of10 to 15 feet. Not a dependable fall color display, but red when it does happen.

  • Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata’ (Fastigiate European Hornbeam) is a narrow column the first decade of its life. As it matures, it takes on a more egg-shaped growth habit reaching 35 feet tall with a spread of 15 feet.

  • Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’ (Columnar Ginkgo) is slow growing but worth the wait. It can grow 60 feet tall with a spread of up to 20 feet at its base. Beautiful yellow fall color.

  • Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’ (Columnar Sweetgum) grows to 40 feet tall with a 4-foot spread. Good burgundy fall color and relatively few sweetgum balls.

  • Quercus palustris ‘Green Pillar’ (Columnar Pin Oak) grows to 40 feet tall with an 8-foot spread. Good red fall color.

  • Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ (Columnar English Oak) grows to 50 feet tall with an 8-foot spread. Not great fall color but a handsome tree.

  • Quercus x warei ‘Regal Prince’ (Columnar Hybrid Oak) is a hybrid between the English oak and the swamp white oak with powdery mildew resistance.