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Need help finding trees that don't grow too large for zone 7a

Started 1284175995.013 in In the Garden | Last reply 1284842416.373 by JustJazzmom

I'm looking to plant a few trees along the outside of a fence around my backyard. I don't want anything that gets huge. Many of my neighbors have crape myrtles so I don't really know if I want those.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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JustJazzmom1284178058.11727567 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

How tall and wide are we talking?

Kwanzan cherry trees get about 25' wide and 20' tall.

Dogwoods both Chinese and American get about 20' wide and tall.

Magnolia 'Little Girl Series' with names like 'Jane' with training to be a tree instead of a giant shrub get to be about 15' tall and wide.

Amelanchier is another not too tall tree that gets about 20' tall.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

Primetimep­laya1284180707.69154 PostsRegistered 1/22/2008

Maybe 15 feet tall at most. Don't really want anything quite as tall as my house but I do want a little height to help enclose my fence. I have a corner lot.

gardenman1284209856.516642 PostsRegistered 6/30/2005Southern New Jersey

At 15 feet maximum, you're probably looking more at shrubs. If you're patient, you can train many shrubs into a tree form to create a smallish tree-like plant. You can also find many that have been pretrained in a large garden center. Even then you might have a challenge keeping many under 15 feet, crape myrtles can get larger than that. My neighbor across the street has one that's easily 20 feet tall.

Trees are very tricky to say how big they'll get. We had a flowering cherry in our backyard that became huge. (It was located right between two septic tanks which may have played a big role in its size.) The trunk was over three feet in diameter and it had at least a fifty foot spread before we finally had to take it down. It was probably forty to fifty feet tall also. It was a giant. Of course it had unlimited food and water, but it got a whole lot bigger than anyone thought it would.

You could also go the dwarf fruit tree route. Many of those will top out at ten to fifteen feet. There are pros and cons to using fruit trees as landscape plants. They require more maintenance. The pruning required for optimal fruit set may not make the prettiest ornamental tree.

Fly! Eagles! Fly!

Primetimep­laya1284210518.16154 PostsRegistered 1/22/2008

I assume the tree you're talking about was many years old. I don't really know how I might feel about the trees if I still own this house in 10 years. Most crape myrtles in this area may not be very old because 90% of what i've seen are no more than 10 feet tall at the most. A neighbor has had one planted in his front yard the last couple or three years and it's no more than 6 feet tall.

JustJazzmom1284217154.4427567 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

Fungal resistant crab apples are another low height tree. Not sure if you want to deal with the fruit falling off the tree but this is another choice. Look online for 'wire friendly trees' as well (usually put togther by electric companies for their customers who don't want the trees growing into the overhead electric lines).

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

kachina6241284698336.6815306 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004New Mexico

One of my favorites is the Yupon Holly. They grow maybe 10ft high and are evergreen so there is no mess from dropping leaves. They are drought tolerant once established. They are compact trees with an interesting shapes, almost sculptural. To keep them in a tree shape, all sprouts should be removed from the trunk. They will usually have several trunks....I keep the most interesting for a pleasant shape and get rid of the rest. Mine has never had a "mate" but if their is one around, they'll have red berries. They grow wild in Texas.

JustJazzmom1284728954.36327567 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

Yaupon hollies are not available in the North East. Here is more info on them.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

Rap21284729988.413235 PostsRegistered 5/24/2006

Was going to suggest Crepe Myrtles but you said you don't want those. Leyland Cypress trees are good for privacy and are evergreen. They grow fast but grow tall so you would have to trim if you want them to stay short. What about a Bradford pear tree? They are a medium height and have beautiful white flowers in March. A tulip tree is another. I am Zone 7A.

ownsyjay1284731212.517422 PostsRegistered 5/11/2006

Both banana shrub and tea olive can be grown as trees rather than as shrubs. Both have fragrant flowers and evergreen glossy leaves, and both grow in Zone 7. I'm in 7b, and they are very happy here!

JustJazzmom1284761351.87727567 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!
On 9/17/2010 Rapunzel2 said:

Was going to suggest Crepe Myrtles but you said you don't want those. Leyland Cypress trees are good for privacy and are evergreen. They grow fast but grow tall so you would have to trim if you want them to stay short. What about a Bradford pear tree? They are a medium height and have beautiful white flowers in March. A tulip tree is another. I am Zone 7A.

Bradford pears are no longer recommended because of their narrow crotches on their branch angles. They easily snap off in high wind situations so you could end up losing a side of your tree!{#emotions_dlg.crying}

Tulip tree is nice as are little leaf linden trees.

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

ownsyjay1284834218.453422 PostsRegistered 5/11/2006

The other drawback of Bradford pears is that they have an unpleasant odor when in bloom--I've always likened it, accurately or not, to rotting meat. But that thought did remind me of another possibility, which is gingko. You can get the gender of gingko that does not have the foul-smelling fruit, and then, all you have is pure beauty.

JustJazzmom1284842416.37327567 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007My garden, of course!!

All ornamentals pears have that unpleasant odor to which I fondly refer to "that scent of tuna on a warm day!"{#emotions_dlg.laugh}

Ginkos must be positively sexed as a male before purchasing and it should state on the label that it is a male tree. The females are the fruit bearing partners. It takes 20 years to positively s#x a ginko tree and if you happen to have a female in your neighborhood and there is a male somewhere else in the neighborhood, they may be able to pollinate because they do it through wind pollination.{#emotions_dlg.ohmy}

☼The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. GBShaw☼

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