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Trees, Shrubs and Conifers: Smallest tree species?

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Forum: Trees, Shrubs and ConifersReplies: 5, Views: 60
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keithp2012
West Babylon, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 13, 2013
10:36 PM

Post #9598108

Does anyone know of a tree species that stays small enough it can live in a pot all its life? Yet be large enough that its visible. Something mabye 3-4 foot max.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


July 14, 2013
2:58 AM

Post #9598186

Well, the real answer to your question is that there isn't any species that fit your description. A tree is described as, "woody plant having one erect perennial stem (trunk) at least three inches in diameter at a point 4-1/2 feet above the ground, a definitely formed crown of foliage, and a mature height of at least 13 feet." This is different from a shrub which is a "woody plant with several perennial stems that may be erect or may lay close to the ground. It will usually have a height less than 13 feet and stems no more than about three inches in diameter."

I think what you're looking for is a cultivar of a tree that remains very small. Bonsai trees are shaped for centuries and remain in their pots but many have their roots pruned and it takes quite a bit of maintenance. I saw a very nice Elm Ulmus x hollandica 'Jacqueline Hillier' http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/95448/ today which was probably less than a foot. There are many dwarf conifers that should do fine in a pot for some time. It might take ordering something from a local nursery or finding one online. Quite a few Trough plants or alpine trees remain very small or their are cultivars of tree species that remain miniature/small.

Maybe if you give a description of what you're looking to do - ie. exposure, evergreen/deciduous, size of pot, etc maybe some suggestions can be given.
keithp2012
West Babylon, NY
(Zone 7a)

July 14, 2013
8:34 AM

Post #9598426

[quote="growin"]Well, the real answer to your question is that there isn't any species that fit your description. A tree is described as, "woody plant having one erect perennial stem (trunk) at least three inches in diameter at a point 4-1/2 feet above the ground, a definitely formed crown of foliage, and a mature height of at least 13 feet." This is different from a shrub which is a "woody plant with several perennial stems that may be erect or may lay close to the ground. It will usually have a height less than 13 feet and stems no more than about three inches in diameter."

I think what you're looking for is a cultivar of a tree that remains very small. Bonsai trees are shaped for centuries and remain in their pots but many have their roots pruned and it takes quite a bit of maintenance. I saw a very nice Elm Ulmus x hollandica 'Jacqueline Hillier' http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/95448/ today which was probably less than a foot. There are many dwarf conifers that should do fine in a pot for some time. It might take ordering something from a local nursery or finding one online. Quite a few Trough plants or alpine trees remain very small or their are cultivars of tree species that remain miniature/small.

Maybe if you give a description of what you're looking to do - ie. exposure, evergreen/deciduous, size of pot, etc maybe some suggestions can be given.[/quote]

Well to narrow down my zone is 7a. I would like something that flowers preferably, if not grown for attractive foliage. Sun exposure can be full to partial. Not really looking for evergreens unless they have dwarf specimens that stay really small and have variegated foliage and cones/fruit.

growin

growin
Vancouver, BC
(Zone 8b)


July 14, 2013
11:35 AM

Post #9598633

Take a look at this, amongst many other, webpages on dwarf conifers: http://www.stanleyandsons.com/products/miniature-dwarf-conifers.html
Do a google image search on "flowering quince bonsai" - you'll need to regularly prune it. You could also check into something like this: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/143949/
There are a lot of possibilities. As a subscriber, I'd highly recommend using the advanced search in Plantfiles: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/advanced.php?sname=Plants as you can more easily narrow down what you like.
mlmlakestevens
Lake Stevens, WA
(Zone 8a)

July 14, 2013
2:41 PM

Post #9598811

hi Keith- I think what you need is a shrub, trained as a 'standard'. This is a way to prune shrubs so that over time they develop a single trunk, and look like a little tree. I used to have a 'Playboy" rose like that. You can buy them already trained, or do it yourself which would be fun and much cheaper, but it would take a few years. Do a little searching on DG and Google Images to see what I mean. How about a variegated Hydrangea trained as a standard?
FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

July 16, 2013
4:11 PM

Post #9601492

you might look into crepe myrtles

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