list of deciduous and evergreen small trees for landscaping front yard

Small Trees for Four-Season Interest:

I am not a professional landscaper.
However, I have landscape various houses that we owned over the years and also helped some of my friends with their landscaping. Makes me a professional, right? :)
Now I'm at it again: I have a small front yard that I'm landscaping for my neighbourhood and I have to get some small trees, because of the power line we have going from the street to our house.

My dilemma:

This is my front yard, which I want it to be low maintenance, have four season interest, be calming and deal with power lines.

Tree Choices were either:

Small trees, Dwarf, Bonsai and Weeping.
So, I went to the local "tree nursery" and they had a "weeping pine". I have never heard of that. They grow about 15 feet, straight up and then the leader bends and continues to grow.

Shrubs that can be trained into small trees (Standard):

I have done this with "Japanese dapple willow, Lilacs, Pee-wee Hydrangeas, Forsythia and Boxwood".
It takes time, but it's inexpensive and exciting to sculpt and watch your little tree grow.
Now I am looking for a dwarf blue spruce to buy.

Tree Shapes:


A tree growing with several closely growing trunks. Birches are often sold in clumps.


A tree with upswept branches, narrow near the base than at the top, such as Elm trees.


A tree with branches that form an oval silhouette.


A tall, narrow form tree.


A cone-shaped tree, such as spruces.


Cone-shaped, but with a narrower profile than a pyramidal tree.


A tree with branches that droop toward the ground, such as a weeping willow.

Small Flowering Trees


Flower Colour

Amelanchier spp.: (Serviceberries) White
Cornus mas: (cornelian cherry) Yellow
Cercis canadensis: (Easter Redbud) Pink
Cercis chinensis: (Chinese Redbud Magenta
Magnolia Stellata: (star magnolia White to pale pink
Magnolia soulangiana: (sauce magnolia) White to Wine
Cornus florida: (flowering dogwood) White and Pink
Malus spp.: (crab apples) White, Pink and Red
Cornus Kousa: (kousa dogwood) White
Styrax japonicus: (Japanese showbell) White
Syringa reticulata: (Japanese tree lilac) White
Lagerstroemia indica: (crape myrtle) White, Pink and Lavender
Stewartia pseudocamellia: (Japanese stewartia) White

Small Trees




Acer griseum: (Paperbark Maple)
Height: 25-30 feet
Turns dark orange in fall. Full sun to partial shade.
Zones: 5-8
Acer palamatum (Japanese Maple)
Height: 20-25 feet
Foliage turn scarlet in fall. Full sun to partial shade.
Zones: 5 or 6-9
Amelanchier laevis (serviceberry)
Height: 15-25 feet
Yellow to red fall colour Full to partial shade.
Zones: 5-7
Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)
Height: 20-30 feet
Full sun to partial shade
Zones: 5-9
Cornus Florida (Flowering Dogwood)
Height: 20-30 feet
Red fall colour and fruits Full sun.
Zones: 5-8
Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle)
Height: 20-25 feet
Full sun.
Zones: 7-10
Magnolia stellata (Star Magnolia)
Height: 15-20 feet
Dark Greens leaves and fragrant. Full Sun.
Zones: 4-8
Malus spp. (crab apple)
Height: 15-25 feet
Showy yellow or red fruits Full Sun.
Zones: 3-9
Syrinca reticulata (Japanese tree lilac)
Height: 25-30 feet
Fragrant white flowers Full Sun to partial shade.
Zones: 3-9

I hope this helps someone with their "small tree" selection.

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