by Lisa Watters-Lain, Arizona’s Garden Gal
We don’t all have room for a mighty Maple or the outstretched branches of a native Sycamore in our backyard, but here we have the fantastic few that outshine the rest in today’s modern yard.
Whether you are looking for shade or spring’s bright colors in your yard, these trees mature below 25 feet and require minimal maintenance. Here are small trees ideal for spring landscapes in tight spaces.
Insider tip: If you have a small yard, focus on vertical space — select plants with an upright growing habit. Focus on raised beds and containers to maximize your ground space.
This is the No. 1 evergreen for you. The needles are very dense, and the Alberta retains a perfect pyramidal shape without pruning. Growing only 3 inches per year, this slow grower is ideally grown in containers and raised garden beds.
Even the most minuscule yards have room for a crabapple tree. Crabapples typically top at maturity around 12-15 feet. They provide a month of spring flowers that attract native pollinators, including honeybees. Dangling clusters of fruit follow the flowers and are popular with birds.
In early spring, this tree bursts into flower. There are dozens of varieties, with most flowers in hot pink more than red. Popular with early butterflies, the Eastern redbud averages 15-20 feet.
A distinctive green bark marks this tree. The clover-like leaves allow the dappled sun to break through, but the long clusters of brilliant yellow flowers make this tree a show stopper. This tree blooms in late spring and grows 15-20 feet.
This tree is beloved for its delicate leaves, to the point of being fringed. Green and red leaf varieties turn eye-catching shades of red, orange and purple in the fall. Their average mature height is 15 feet; they prefer the shady spots in the Arizona landscape.
This beauty has a tropical appearance with sweeping, fern-like leaves. Silk tassel tree is the common name to the fast grower for the fragrance and thread-like flowers. Hummingbirds and Monarch butterflies fall in love with this 20-foot tree.
Flowers cover these tree from their crown to the tips brushing the ground. These spring bloomers look best when given a prominent spot they can truly show off. Pruning typically isn’t necessary.
This tree is an early spring bloomer in white related to the rose family of plants. Like crabapples and rose hips, the fruits are edible but tart and popular with birds. They make excellent landscape plants no more than 20 feet.
The fragrant purple to white flowers appear before the leaves unfurl in spring. The flowers are 10 inches across, so named “saucer.” Saucer magnolias need shaping at first planting but never grow over 20 feet.