Small Tree for Patio

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by kleinardo, May 9, 2008.

  1. kleinardo

    kleinardo Member

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    I had a diseased maple cut down, and now have to plant a tree to replace it [as per City of Vancouver rules]. I would ideally like a tree that is slow-growing, relatively small, and somewhat tropical looking. Am considering a Magnolia.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions?

    Do trees stay smaller if planted in a pot?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What was wrong with the maple? Could certainly affect suitability of site for another tree. Replacement might have to be resistant to verticillium wilt, for instance.
     
  3. greergardens

    greergardens Member

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    It is really just common sense that a plant will stay smaller in a pot once it reaches the limit of the pot size. As to another tree, how about an Albizia julibrissin. Though they grow fairly wide, they are not huge trees for many years, especially if you can locate the cultivar 'Summer Chocolate' and they have a "tropical" appearance. A Stewartia would be another suggestion, or a Cornus kousa cultivar.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Silk tree is prone to twig dieback in this region. Need to find out if there is a disease problem on the site before making recommendations.

    How does the city come into it? Is this a street tree? Here muncipalities such as Seattle prohibit certain kinds of trees from being planted (although in the past this has been only a few obvious kinds like cottonwoods that most people wouldn't choose for that use anyway) and have certain other requirements.
     
  5. kleinardo

    kleinardo Member

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    Thank you both for your replies!

    I used the wrong term -- the maple was not diseased -- one of the branches was pushing against the neighbour's fence, and had to be removed.

    When we got the permit to take the tree down, we were told that we have until October to plant another tree to replace it. Those are the rules in the City of Vancouver. They even send someone out to check that it has been planted.

    The problem for us is that we have a very small "yard". Really, it's just a patio. So we are trying our best to find a tree that isn't too overwhelming for the small space.

    The tree will be planted on the west side of the house.

    Thank you for any suggestions you have for us.
     
  6. greergardens

    greergardens Member

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    I would go back to my suggestion of a Stewartia or a Cornus kousa cultivar.

    I also must say how much I detest cities telling you that you can or can't cut down a tree and what you can plant. Those telling you often don't know anything really about plants or trees. Sorry, don't get me started on this subject!
     
  7. 1950Greg

    1950Greg Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley, B.C. Stones throw from old HBC farm.
    What about a Ginkgo Biloba which has a sort of tropical look and fairly slow growing and not to dense of a canopy.
     
  8. greergardens

    greergardens Member

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    If you plant a Ginkgo be sure you chose a small cultivar, or you will have a great big tree!
     
  9. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Just how much room do you have for the canopy of the tree? Would a tree with a canopy that gets to 20 feet across be too big?

    Newt
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Probably not suitable but olives make lovely patio trees even in pots. I love there silver leaves and delicate shape. I just thought that given every one seems to grow bannanas and palms up there these might work.?? :)

    They do grow bigger than the ones in the pics. Mine is a lovely mop shape for sitting under

    http://www.toptopiary.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=42
    Liz
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Have a look at the current edition of the Sunset WESTERN GARDEN BOOK. Patio Trees, Deciduous is on page 79, Trees & Shrubs for Containers starts on page 123 and there is also a Small-space Solutions section (with trees) on page 157.
     
  12. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Possibly a Chionanthus?
     
  13. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Maybe a pawpaw (asimina triloba), pretty and small tree, tropical looking leaves, may or may not fruit for you, but nice flowers, said to grow to 30' but also said to be more like 12-15' in the northwest. A compact form of arbutus unedo might also work, as would a contorted or weeping mulberry; maybe a medlar, also has tropicalesque foliage.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2008
  14. kleinardo

    kleinardo Member

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    Thank you all so much for all your replies. I really appreciate it!!!!

    I'm happy to announce that we found a tree that we're really pleased with... a flowering dogwood called Eddie's White Wonder.
    http://www.jfschmidt.com/articles/eddies_white/

    Thanks again!
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    A very nice flowering tree, now coming on in this area. Note that dogwood trees cannot really be pruned to control size without spoiling the branch pattern and beauty. You will want to be sure you have enough room for this to develop.

    One at Rhody Ridge, Bothell, WA was 33 ft. tall with an average crown spread of 21 ft, in 1993.
     
  16. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    A month or so ago, I took advantage of a 75% off offer from Arthur Lauer (formerly Wood Classics), a reputable teak outfit in New York State. I was amazed that they'd be marking down so low. Weak economy, I guess. [And yes, I feel somewhat guilty about teak].

    By the way, pawpaws are lovely in the wild (lots of them at my employer's Training Center campus on the Potomac upstream from Washington). And of course dogwoods are wonderful.
     

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