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8 best small trees for small gardens

Garden advice
8 best small trees for small gardens
All Green
All Green
June 25, 2021
minute read

Minimal space can still be green with small trees

It can feel as though suburban blocks of land are increasingly smaller each year, reducing the size of many gardens to just a few square metres. The good news is that with some creativity, you can still have a beautiful green garden in a small space.

Here at All Green, we've got a massive team full of horticultural experts. We've pooled our knowledge and come up with the following guide. Read on to find some of the best small trees small gardens.

Create a place of peace in your yard with small trees suitable for tiny yards. You'll find a range of small trees to grow in Melbourne at All Green Nursery & Garden.

Small evergreen trees

These trees stay small and maintain lush green foliage year-round. A small evergreen tree is perfect for a low maintenance yard that doesn't need sweeping in the autumn.

Dragon tree Dracaena draco

A species originating in the Canary Islands, this distinctive tree tolerates drought. It grows slowly and can be placed in a container while young, making it suitable for paved courtyards.

Dragon tree has a single thick trunk with spaced branches that can grow wide with time. The blue-green leaves are stiff and flexible, and the tree can grow up to 10-12 metres in ideal conditions.

Flowering gum Corymbia ficifolia

Flowering gum features bright red flowers in spring and grows to around 15 metres high and between two and five metres wide. Blossoms attract a range of bees and nectar-eating birds, perfect for bringing wildlife into your yard.

It prefers low summer humidity and a sunny, well-drained position in the garden. This evergreen gum tree doesn't shed its bark annually, making it ideal for a low-maintenance yard.

Flowering small trees

Add colour and interest to your courtyard or outdoor space with flowering trees. Just remember that the flowers will fall, so you'll need a broom handy at the end of spring.

Ornamental pear Pyrus calleryana

Ornamental pear Pyrus calleryana

Found in many Melbourne gardens, this resilient tree can withstand water logging. Popular due to its thick foliage, Pyrus calleryana is perfect for creating privacy in a small courtyard.

It's best to prune it annually or biannually to maintain the trees petite size and shape. Ornamental pear will grow to around 6 metres tall and 4 metres wide if left unchecked. Regular pruning will ensure the leaves remain dense and compact.

As the name suggests, this tree produces a small fruit that birds and wildlife can enjoy.

The silver princess Eucalyptus caesia

Bring vibrancy to any courtyard with the bright, waxy bark and rose-pink flowers of this eucalyptus. The silver princess prefers a sheltered position with well-draining soil.

Deciduous small trees

Autumn colours are irresistible and well-worth the clean up once the leaves fall. These small trees won't disappoint, rewarding you with bright colours as the weather cools.

Japanese maple Acer Palmatum

Japanese maple Acer Palmatum

This small tree grows in the shade, making it suitable for small courtyards in Melbourne. Some varieties have bright red bark complimenting the elegant foliage and leaves in a range of colours. Red varieties need sunlight to bring out the rich colour.

It prefers cooler climates and regular water but can survive as the temperature climbs. In autumn, it will reward you with brilliant red foliage. In springtime sees small flowers appear in a cluster before the fruit ripens.

This tree requires minimal pruning and will grow from 1.2m to 7.5m depending on the variety, soil and space available. Japanese maple prefers slightly acidic soil that remains moist but well-drained and will grow well in suitable containers.  

Maidenhair tree Ginkgo bilboa

Native to China, this deciduous tree grows well in Melbourne. The unique fan-shaped leaves boast stunning colour in autumn before dropping to leave the branches bare in winter.

The maidenhair tree grows slowly. Over a long time, it can grow to 12 metres when fully mature. It withstands frost, flourishing in full sunlight and rich, moist soil.

Native small trees

These native trees add a stunning feature to your yard and withstand drought.

Queensland bottle tree Brachychiton rupestris

This native tree grows to a maximum size of around 15m high and 5m wide in ideal conditions. Young trees grow slowly, with the bottle-shaped trunk forming noticeably once the tree reaches 5-8 years.

Queensland bottle tree makes a distinctive feature for your garden. It doesn't attract many pests and can handle hot summer days, with water it stores in its rounded trunk.  

The trunk is critical to the tree's well being, so be careful not to damage the bark with a mower or pile mulch against it, as this can make the tree susceptible to infection.

Scentuous Corymbia citriodora

Scentuous Corymbia citriodora

A eucalyptus with a refreshing lemon scent, this small native tree will keep your yard smelling cool and clean. Mature trees grow up to 7m high.

Eucalyptus trees are evergreen, which means you'll enjoy the fragrant leaves all year round. The soft green leaves complement the white or pinkish bark, and in spring, the tree blossoms small cream flowers.

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