Need shrub or small tree idea for specific site

New London, NH(Zone 5a)

I'm trying to figure out what small tree (15' tall x 10' wide -- at most) or shrub/shrubs of similar height to plant at the top of a new hillside garden (which already holds peach trees, blueberries, baptisia, yarrow, chives, nasturtium, strawberries, borage, asclepias -- in other words, mostly permaculture-recommended plants). Here's what I have:

* The space available is about 7' x 10' squarish, with a little wiggle room. There is nothing at all in this spot now except dirt.
* We're newly located in zone 5a generally (by the new maps ... we are 4b until then and we might really be 4b still ... most of us can't grow buddleias here except in protected places, and redbuds are not hardy here) , at about 1,300 feet elevation above sea level. Our town gets the most snow of any of the surrounding towns in winter, and our yard in particular gets more than everyone else. We seem to be on a ridge. But this particular little spot, being over the septic field and in full sun, melts first.
* The area is over/near the septic field so the plants need to have non-invasive roots.
* Full sun.
* Some winter wind from the NW, which is an important consideration here in central NH. But the spot may be partially protected by a very large spruce tree some 15 yards away and further up the hill, and a thick raspberry patch behind that.
* The neighbouring spruce is very pyramidal in shape, so we don't want something else the same shape ... perhaps something weeping, rounded, or vase-like in habit.
* Not an especially moist spot.
* It will be seen only from a bit of a distance, so things like bark are not of interest, but overall shape is

We love the look and dappled shade of a honeylocust but the standard locust is of course way too big for this spot. That's the sort of tree we'd like, though, just smaller. (Is there a hawthorn that would work?) Other trees and shrubs we're considering, suggested at the nursery, are

Tree Hydrangea (various varieties)
Weeping Beech tree
Rose of Sharon shrubs (maybe)
some weeping/irregular evergreen trees (whose names I can't recall and which were $300)

Other/better suggestions? I really think a tree would work best here but am open to shrubs. I don't care if it flowers or whether it's evergreen.

We already have several carefree crabapples (Tina, weeping Jade) and dogwoods (Pagoda and shrub) in the yard, which I love but I don't need more of them, and I don't want another fruit tree or a ninebark, serviceberry or a euonymus. Redbuds are not hardy here. The nursery owner said no to magnolias shrubs, Japanese maple trees and several others (can't recall which) because of the winter winds.


Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I'm way out of your zone so I'm not sure what does well up there. Witch hazel might be an option.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Elderberry or Viburnum?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Washington Hawthorne, small tree or shrub, fragrant late spring blooms. Hazlenut tree, (Gurney's seed and nursery or Henry Feilds,.com, bareroot, under $20). A large shrub...look at prunus cistena (purple leaf sandcherry), 6-8ft^X6-8ft>, leaves are redish with Very fragrant light pink blooms in early spring, very little fruit that is cherry sized, they turn a brilliant red in fall, ( can ya tell this is one of my all time favorites ). Home Depot had some in 1 and 5 gallons, both for less than $20. You can google any of these. Hope that gives you a few more ideas.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
New London, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks, NicoleC, flowAjen, and warriorswisdomkathy ! Love the idea of the Washington Hawthorn but it looks a little big (30' height? We thought about elderberry but decided against. I don't like viburnum or witch hazel much (I know, what's my problem?), though witch hazel would be good in a permaculture garden for its medicinal properties and early bloom. Might go for two purple-leaf sand cherries. Thanks all.

Laceys Spring, AL(Zone 7a)

If you are open to shrubs, one of my favorites and I believe it is hardy in zone 5, is Chamaecyparis 'Gold Mop'. Beautiful color and evergreen. There are other Chamaecyparis varieties that I love as well that grow larger you might like.

New London, NH(Zone 5a)

Thanks, OutsidePlaying ... that is a pretty plant. I've already bought and installed the purple-leaf sand cherry but will keep some of these others in mind for different places in the yard later. (We're officially zone 5 now but our particular spot seems to be more zone 4 still, so I don't buy many expensive plants that are for zone 5 and up.)

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Mango....make sure next spring treat yourself and remember to smell the blooms, hope you enjoy it.......Kathy.

pix: 1rst bloom from my new tree peony, shrub that keeps it's branches and get 5X5foot.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy

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