It is easy enough to find miniature trees for container growing or bonsai, but digging a little further will turn up miniatures for landscaping, too. Whether your space is limited, or you just want the novelty of small trees, you will find choices to suit every spot. You won't have to worry about these trees dropping limbs on the driveway or clogging the rain gutters with leaves. Miniature trees have all the good points of tall trees except the size. Choose miniatures for texture in the landscape design, ornament or even fruit.
Miniature maples are a widely available tiny tree, but look for maples called "dwarf" instead of "miniature." Some trees called miniatures are not the smallest you can find. They may grow to 15 or 20 feet, when you are looking for a tree to reach maturity at 3 to 6 feet in height. Dwarf Japanese maples are bred specifically to be landscape dwarfs. They reach no more than 10 feet tall. The Japanese maple is slow growing. The trees change color early in the fall and drop their red leaves if they are started from seed. Choose a sapling from a reliable nursery.
Dwarf fruit trees are the most widely available miniatures. They reach 4 to 5 feet in height and can produce three or four dozen pieces of normal-sized fruit. With these yields and the manageable size of the trees, you can create a miniature orchard. Fruit trees enhance the ecosystem of your landscape by inviting bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. Nut trees are miniaturized as well; you can try almond, apricots, apples, cherry and peach dwarfs.
The Japanese dwarf white pine, with its blue-green needles, is a good example of a miniature evergreen. When dwarf evergreens stay as small as this one — 3 feet at maturity — some people consider them to be shrubs. You can look for evergreen dwarfs that grow upright instead of spreading if you want to be sure they will look like trees. Most dwarf evergreens, such as the dwarf balsam fir, are compact and dense. Pinus Sylvester is a conical-shaped dwarf tree. Dwarf Alberta spruce, emerald green arborvitae and Holmstrup arborvitae are other possibilities if you want greenery all year.
Miniatures with flowers can be a wonderful addition to any yard, especially when paired with other ornamentals or fruit trees. Snow fountains are the dwarf version of the weeping Higan cherry tree. It grows to 12 feet, which may seem tall for a dwarf, but it needs room to weep. The dwarf pagoda can give your landscape the look of a Japanese garden and produces small white flowers for the entire summer. Another choice for flowers it the pygmy holly. It is an evergreen with ornamental leaves that are thick, small and layered closely.
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