Statement Trees for Smaller Spaces

As the saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best time is now.”

There are so many benefits to planting trees in our yards. Privacy, shade, habitat, combating climate change, accentuating architecture, grounding the house and the landscape, beauty, and the value they add to the property.

But what about planting a tree just for its singularly fantastic form–weeping, cascading, contorted–that will never stop being a wonder? Whether tall and wide to serve as a landscape centerpiece or something smaller that can be tucked into a bed or even a container, the romance of a statement tree is a garden treat that’s not to be missed.

Here are 16 of our favorite statement trees that range in height and width so there’s likely to be at least one that’s perfect for your yard. If you need other options for a specific landscape problem or have questions, please leave a comment below.

Weeping European Larch

So uniquely graceful and interesting! Soft, fluffy tufts of green needles become brilliant yellow in fall before dropping to reveal tawny drooping branches that weep to the ground. Can be grown in a large container. Up to 12′ tall and wide. Full sun. Zone: 3 – 6

UNDER 15' TALL

A pair dramatically flanking a walkway or gate or capping each end of a long mixed border. Simply planted in a row against a fence or property line. Over-the-top as a line of running along each side of a driveway or wide path (known as an allée). Or, just in a large container set on a patio, front door landing, or tucked into a flowerbed. Statement trees under 15′ tall have so many uses!

Double Weeping Rosebud Cherry

One is spectacular but planted in multiples or pairs flanking a walkway or at the edges of a long border, its a showstopper. Double pink flowers in late spring. 15 to 20 ft. tall and wide. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 8

Ruby Falls Weeping Redbud

Swoon for the maroon, heart-shaped leaves and cascading, weeping habit that shines in all seasons. Lavender sweet pea-like spring flowers. Knockout in small spaces. Containers, too. Up to 8′ tall, 6′ wide. Partial to full sun. Zone: 5 – 9

Acoma Crape Myrtle

Wonderful dwarf with luxuriously large clusters of pure-white, crinkled flowers that delight throughout the warm summer months. Excellent weeping form, warm, rich fall color, and mildew resistance. Up to 7′ tall and wide. Full sun. Zone: 6 – 9

Kilmarnock Willow

Charming small, umbrella-shape tree explodes into yellow-white pussy willow early spring blossoms prior to leaves emerging. Perfect, unexpected solution tree for wet areas of the yard. Up to 8′ tall, 6′ wide; larger with age. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 8

Young’s Weeping Birch

Most unusual small tree with very pendulous branches. Graceful mounding form beautifully displays dramatic, weeping habit. Develops noticeable trunk with age. Wonderful winter bark. Up to 10′ tall and 15′ wide. Full sun. Zone: 2 – 7

Fragrant Fountain Japanese Snowbell

Weeping branches covered in fragrant weeping white flowers? Amazing! Moderate growth rate make this small tree ideal for smaller gardens or containers. Golden fall foliage. 6 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide. Partial sun. Zone: 5 – 8

15' AND TALLER

Planted as a singular sensation in a space where it’s scale can be appreciated from all sides. Added to an existing stand of trees to showcase the form and the different foliage. Sited at the corner of a house that needs a punch of leafy impact. Or as a grove of three where you have the room. Statement trees at 15′ or taller have the power to transform a landscape.

Weeping Extraordinaire™ Double Flowering Cherry

Fluffy, frilly, and fantastically romantic springtime double blooms cluster on weeping branches clothed in copper-colored spring foliage that turns glossy green in summer. Fall color, too. Up to 20′ tall and wide. Full sun. Zone: 5 – 8

Diana Japanese Larch

Soft, twirled blue-green needles turn golden in fall before dropping, leaving a bare, twisted corkscrew-like form that glams-up winter landscapes. Add to a cluster of conifers for brilliant color contrast. Up to 20′ tall, 7′ wide. Partial to full sun. Zone: 4 – 8

Ryusen Weeping Japanese Maple

Japanese maple collector or just want a remarkable tree for a narrow space, this Acer is like no other. Rapid growth shoots straight up and then weeps down. Fall color! Up to 20′ tall, 6′ wide. Partial shade to full sun. Zone: 5 – 7

Purple Fountain Beech

Rich-purple glossy leaves cloak the cascading branches of this showy specimen. Slower growing, needs no no pruning to maintain shape. Sculptural accent for modern landscapes or to highlight architectural features. Up to 25′ tall, 15′ wide. Full sun. Zone: 4 – 7

Weeping Nootka Cypress

Buy a plant marker because everyone will ask about this unique tall and narrow N. American native tree. Drooping branchlets of dark gray-green foliage drape from spreading and upcurved branches. Up to 45′ tall and 15′ wide. Partial to full sun. Zone: 5 – 8

Weeping Norway Spruce

Very cold hardy and those CONES! Excellent when trained in a staked form to feature its naturally pendulous form, creating a dramatic evergreen garden specimen. The effect is just magical. Up to 4′ tall, 15′ wide in natural form. Partial to full sun. Zone: 2 – 8

Fancy a Few More?

We hope you enjoyed this little peek into the world of statement trees for the landscape. What’s your favorite? Weeping? Cascading? Contorted? Share in the comments below. And, treat yourself to a tree that’s just fun to look at!

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