Landscape Design

Don’t Look Down on Dwarfs

By David Beaulieu | June 17, 2010

Mugo Pine“What’s up with dwarf trees? Who would want a tree that’s essentially a runt? I’d somehow feel gypped if I bought a tree that stayed short instead of growing up tall like all the normal trees.” I can easily imagine such lines appearing in a Jerry Seinfeld act. Or to put it more succinctly, in honor of a comedian from an earlier era: “Small trees get no respect.” But dwarf trees can be a valuable addition to many landscapes and landscape design projects.

Indeed, “dwarf tree” would seem, at first glance, to be an oxymoron. We’re used to looking up (literally!) to trees with an admiring gaze that says, “How kind of you, gentle giant, to grace my landscape with your enormous presence!” For most of us, “trees” is almost synonymous with “shade trees” or, at the very least, with the medium-sized flowering trees that dominate the spring landscape.

But here’s a case where less can be more. When planting in a small space, such as in a foundation bed, you need to be confident that you’re not installing something that you’ll only end up removing after but a brief interval, because it has outgrown its allotted space. Slow-growing dwarf trees justify our confidence in their ability to fill such niches. And for that, they deserve our respect.

Learn more about Dwarf Trees and small-yard design techiniques.

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  • Reply Wm. John Fugatt March 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Are the fruit trees REGULAR or DWARF? Are they all the same price?

    Do you/Arbor ever run Dwarf Fruit Trees on SPECIALS?

    • Reply Ben March 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Depending on the trees we have both Regular, Dwarf, and some Semi-Dwarf.

      Our prices on Fruit Trees are very affordable.

  • Reply D. Peterson April 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I live in central Florida and need a tree for my front yard that will not grow taller than our ranch house roof. I would love a birch tree but know that is impossible in this zone. Any suggestions?

    • Reply Ben April 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

      @ D. Peterson.
      A great tool for you is our Best Tree Finder: Tree Wizard. In 4 Steps it will figure out what tree you should plant based upon where you live and what type of tree you want.

  • Reply rischmidt June 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Is it possible to find dwarf weeping willow trees or something similar for home landscaping ?

  • Leave a Reply to Ben Cancel Reply