Recommended small/patio trees

Asked March 6, 2018, 6:38 PM EST

Hello, I am having a hard time finding resources on architectural, clean-lined trees that grow between 8-10' tall and several feet in diameter. I often see plants used around entrances, patios, public spaces/walkways in more recent/modern buildings but the general literature for our region seems to be the same old thing with 25-60 tall trees recommended and the varieties I have seen for many years. None of them look like what I am seeing architects and recent designers using. The goal is to use them in a very modern, sculptural way, in a cluster or row. If you have some general recommendations I would appreciate that. I don't mind training them for a few years so that the trunks are cleaner looking or to create a small canopy just above the average person's height. On a more specific note, I am looking to plant a small cluster of columnar trees with the look & feel of a quaking Aspen. A single trunk would be preferred, with a small canopy diameter (6-8'), and on the shorter side overall (10-20'). Do you have any recommendations on how to achieve that or what to look for? It could be a zone tree that is close to ours or requires some training to achieve this. Lastly, is there an evenly textured/dense, round/oval shaped willow shrub that will grow well here? A height of 6'-8'would be ideal. I seem to remember seeing some years ago in Frank's Nursery before it closed. They were beautiful, modern looking and moved nicely in the wind. I would use something of that sort in a row. Thank you!

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

The following dwarf ornamental trees might serve your purpose:

Dwarf weeping pussy willow—6-8 feet tall and wide
http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2074/kilmarnock-willow/

Dwarf Arctic Blue Willow—5 feet tall x 6 feet wide
https://goo.gl/images/NbPhkL

Dwarf crabapples

Tina--6-8 feet tall x 8-10 wide
https://goo.gl/images/psFHQh

Royal Gem—5-8 feet tall and wide
https://goo.gl/images/hUH3q7

Cinderella—8 feet tall x 5 feet wide
https://goo.gl/images/pHUaaT


PeeGee tree hydrangea (tree form)--8 feet tall and wide
https://goo.gl/images/hCj5TS

Korean lilac (tree form on standard)—4-5 feet tall and wide
https://goo.gl/images/97xXGK

Many other kinds of woody plants grafted to standards may be suitable.

Use this tool and database to extend your search:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/landscaping/plant/