Dwarf trees are a perfect way to add a little personality to a backyard with limited space. Many also start bearing fruit earlier than their larger cousins and their diminutive size makes them easy to take care without using a ladder.
There are many great options of dwarf trees to plant in your backyard, but the best results will depend on the size of your available space, what you want out of your tree, and what will thrive best in your environment. A consultation with a local tree service will go along way toward finding that ideal choice.
Location, location, location!
As with any tree, choosing the right dwarf tree will require some research and consideration. The wrong choice might not do well in Portland’s soil or climate. Spending some time doing online research or getting help from a local tree service can make all the difference between a healthy tree and a sick one.
It’s also advisable to have someone help you find the perfect spot in your backyard for your tree, as factors like the shade from another larger tree can affect how well your tree grows and bears fruit. A professional from a local tree service can help you find the right spot and ensure your tree is properly planted.
Trees are an investment, so it’s best to make sure your investment takes to its new ground and appropriately adapts to its new environment. Ask for help when planting your new dwarf tree and you will certainly have a tree that survives and flourishes.
Best Dwarf Trees for Your Backyard
Here are some of the best dwarf trees you can plant in your small backyard.
Dwarf Citrus Tree – While normally grown in subtropical environments, citrus trees such as lemon, lime, and oranges can be adapted to flourish in the Pacific Northwest. This is a great example of how an expert can help you find the perfect location and method for planting a dwarf tree in your backyard.
Citrus dwarf trees usually grow between 8 and 12 feet tall and often produce more fruit than their larger cousins, meaning it will be easy to harvest a large crop. Citrus trees will also need to be covered in winter, but it’s worth it to be able to pluck your own fruit straight from the branch all summer long.
Dwarf Crabapple – Another tree that grows between 8 and 12 feet, crabapple varieties are exceptionally hardy trees that are extremely resistant to disease and able to adapt to many different soil types. They have spectacular foliage, valued for beautiful spring flowers, ornamental fruit, and colorful leaves in the fall. The fruit will also attract birds that like to eat them, meaning you can regularly wake up to them singing in your backyard. Dwarf crabapples come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so choosing the perfect tree to fit in your garden will be easy.
Japanese Maple – Dwarf varieties of this tree can grow from roughly 3 to 12 feet tall and typically remain very small throughout their lives. Their foliage, however, can provide great shade from a hot summer sun, and the leaves will turn most any color during the fall, depending on the variety.
Japanese maples can also live for an exceptionally long time as long as they are planted and maintained correctly. Using a professional from a local tree service will help ensure your maple lives a long and full life in your backyard.
Dwarf Whitebeam – Also known as ‘false medlar,’ dwarf whitebeam is a species native to central and southern Europe that can easily grow in the Pacific Northwest. It is also less common, meaning it will make a unique addition to your backyard.
Typically only growing to about 10 feet tall, the whitebeam produces a pretty pink flower that will make an excellent part of any home or garden. Like the crabapple, the fruit from this tree will also attract all kinds of birds to your backyard, making it even more of a delight to sit near throughout the changing seasons. l.
Hinoki Cypress – This variety of evergreen will make an excellent compact element to your small backyard. The Hinoki typically only grows to about 9 feet tall and takes up about 5 square feet. It needs to have plenty of sun and water, but if this tree is properly looked after it will have a beautiful green hue year round. A professional tree service can give you tips on the best place to plant this tree in your garden to make sure it stays healthy while providing you with endless enjoyment.
Dwarf Dogwood – This variety of dogwood is native to North America, meaning it will do quite well in Oregon. The dwarf dogwood will grow best in soft soil with plenty of shade and, in the right environment, can grow up to 15 feet tall.
While this tree does not technically flower, it produces four white leaves, called bracts, that resemble flowers, and in the fall these turn into bright red berries. The berries aren’t poisonous, but they don’t taste great, meaning they’re probably best left for the birds.
Dwarf Flowering Plum – The dwarf variety of flowering plum trees may be smaller, but they are no less beautiful than their larger counterparts. In the spring, these trees produce beautiful flowers ranging in color from white to pale-pink to almost purple, while the fruit these grow in the fall are delicious.
Most dwarf varieties grow between 6 and 10 feet tall, making them ideal for a small backyard. The only real drawback to these trees is their short lifespan and relatively low disease resistance.
As with any tree on this list, getting help from a professional tree service prior to planting will help ensure your plum tree lives and flourishes for as long as possible.