What Small Trees Can Be Planted Close To A House?

What Small Trees can be Planted Close to a House? - Patricia Godwin

If you are eager to improve the curb appeal of your property, trees are a lovely addition. Aside from enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home, trees can boost the overall value and purify the air.

However, planting trees requires proper planning and figuring out the suitable types of trees to plant and the ideal spot.

If you are planning to plant trees close to your home, you might be wondering what small trees can be planted close to a house.

Considerations before tree planting

Before moving on to the selection of small trees that you can plant close to your home, I recommend checking out several essential considerations first.

Location and tree type

When cultivating trees, you have to consider various aspects. A usual danger that a tree poses to a property is falling branches or limbs. Suppose you are going to plant a tree close to a structure; the likelihood of damage increases, especially during severe weather conditions. Additionally, some trees can damage the foundation of a building by causing the ground to shift and crack.

In case there is not enough space in your yard, I suggest choosing a variant that will not grow too high and large. With this in mind, you should figure out the type of tree that is best for your region and if you can plant them on your property.

Tree size

Always consider the full size of a tree once it reaches maturity. A medium-sized tree, usually between 20 to 30 feet tall is a suitable choice if you have limited space on your property. It can provide adequate shade and privacy without causing damages or making your area feel cramped.


If you live in an urban area, I suggest selecting low maintenance trees resistant to disease and resilient. You should also go for varieties that have striking greenery and flowers if you do not mind regular clean-ups on your yard before spring.

Recommended small trees to plant close to a house

If you are wondering what small trees can be planted close to the house, I recommend several small varieties that boast the ideal size.

Crabapple (Malus)

Even if you have a small yard, it can accommodate a crabapple tree. Generally, crabapples cease to grow once they reach around 12 to 15 feet tall. It can provide a month of spring flowers that attracts a variety of pollinators including honeybees. When it comes to pruning, it is not always necessary, but you can do the task late in winter.

Dogwood (Cornus)

If you want a fast-growing tree, dogwood trees are a good choice and can thrive well in a partially shaded location. Generally, they are one of the initial trees to blossom during spring and look great when surrounded by their dropped petals. Since there are numerous dogwood species available, you need to choose the right one that is suitable for your location.

Most dogwood trees can grow between 15 to 25 feet tall. Make sure that you will plant one in well-draining soil. Remember that even if they prefer moist conditions, soil that is too damp can harm them.

Red Buckeye (Aesculus Pavia)

The red buckeye showcases an impressive display of flamboyant red blooms that can last for weeks. It is a small tree that will make a lovely addition to your property.

As a slow-growing tree, it reaches maturity at the height of 15 feet with a canopy spread. It cannot tolerate dry, hot conditions, which can scorch the leaves. I suggest planting the tree in a location that receives afternoon shade. Do not forget to water it during dry spells.

Saucer magnolia

The saucer magnolia can produce aromatic purple-and-white flowers before the leaves unfold in the spring. The flowers can reach up to 10 inches in size, strikingly resembling a saucer, and covers the tree’s canopy.

The tree might require minimal shaping through pruning, but they do not grow taller than 20 to 25 feet. Ensure that the soil moisture is consistent since they do not thrive well in soil that is too wet or too dry.

Crepe Myrtle (Lagerstroemia)

Crepe myrtles need an extended, warm growing season but can provide you with lovely flowers throughout the summer and eye-catching fall foliage. You can even remove the lower branches to expose the attractive bark.

Crepe myrtles bloom on new wood and require pruning during late winter. The plant can grow up to 25 or 30 feet high.

Japanese Maple

The Japanese maple can be shrubby or small trees with weeping habits or spreading canopies. Among the small trees that you can plant close to your home, it boasts delicate, deeply lobed leaves, sometimes reaching the point of being fringed.
There are red and green-leaf variants that transform into alluring orange, red, and purple shades during the fall. The Japanese maple can reach an average height of 15 to 25 feet tall. Regular pruning is not needed, but you can remove the lower branches to achieve a tree-like canopy.


The mimosa tree boasts a tropical appearance with its enormous, fern-like foliage. It produces unusual, sweet-smelling, thread-like flowers, giving the plant its other name – silk tree. Although the tree is prominent and popular among wildlife, it can be invasive in some areas. With this in mind, you should check with the local authorities before planting one in your yard.

It can grow to an average height of 20 to 40 feet. The tree is tolerant of heat and some drought, but they thrive best in conditions with consistent moisture.


Pawpaw trees boast foot-long leaves and tropical-looking fruits with a flavor that is cross between a sweet mango and an avocado. If you are planning to produce fruits from the tree, you need two pawpaw trees for cross-pollination.

The pawpaw is a small-sized tree that can grow around 15 to 30 feet tall. I recommend planting these trees in a location that receives enough sun since they can become leggy when under the shade.

Paper birch

A birch tree is likely to grow in multi-trunk clumps. Most showcase gorgeous bark, mainly the white paper birch and river birch, along with a unique golden color during fall.

Although the tree can reach up to 60 feet tall, they have a narrow spread at the base while the canopy allows dappled sunlight to pass through into a small yard. The paper birch tree requires minimal pruning. As part of care, make sure that the soil stays moist especially if there are extended periods without rain. Additionally, you can add mulch around the tree to keep the roots cool.

Eastern redbud

The Eastern redbud tree produces flowers during the early spring season before they leaf out. The flowers boast a hot pink hue, and there are also white flowering variants.

The tree boasts an attractive spreading habit that opens into a vase-like form and is preferred by butterflies. The Eastern redbud tree can grow between 20 to 30 feet in height. If you want to grow one on your property, you should provide good drainage. Make sure that you will choose a permanent spot for this tree since it does not do well with transplanting
The serviceberry trees are part of the rose family and boast striking similarities in their fruits and white spring flowers. Similar to crabapples and rose hips, the fruits they produce are edible but can be sour.

There are several species and variants of serviceberry available that will make lovely additions to your property. Some can grow only 8 to 10 feet in height, while others reach maturity at around 20 feet. I suggest removing root suckers from your tree if you want as they will promote a shrub-like spread.

Dwarf Alberta spruce

Various evergreens are great specimen plants in small yards. The dwarf Alberta spruce is not a dwarf variant. It grows at a slow rate and develops only between 10 to 13 feet tall. It has highly dense needles and retains its pyramid-like form without requiring pruning. Nevertheless, it cannot tolerate pollutants and salt spray well so make sure that you will plant it in a spot away from roads.

Golden chain tree

You can easily distinguish a golden chain tree by its characteristic green bark. The clover-shaped leaves will allow some sunlight to shine through, but its elongated clusters of superb yellow flowers make this tree a stunner and a lovely addition to your property.

The tree blooms in late spring and can grow around 15 to 25 feet tall. I suggest growing this tree in a spot that is protected from strong winds since it has fragile branches. Additionally, the trunks of young trees are often limp and can significantly benefit from staking.

Even though the seed pods of this tree are ornamental, they are considered poisonous and must be kept away from pets and children. The majority of gardeners will remove the pods since they draw energy from the plant.

Japanese Stewartia

The Japanese Stewartia tree boasts attractive, white flowers that open over a series of weeks during midsummer. The flowers have peeling bark in blotchy shades of red, orange, brown, and grey.

As an ornamental specimen tree, it grows steadily but can reach heights of over 30 feet. It is low maintenance and only requires pruning for shaping or removing any parts with damage. In most cases, the tree does not have any problems with diseases or pests.

Weeping cherry

A weeping cherry tree has branches that can be covered with flowers from the crown to the tips, even grazing the ground. As spring bloomers, they truly stand out if you will provide one with enough space on your property to spread out.

There are dwarf variants that only develop around 8 to 10 feet in height or wider varieties that can tower up to 40 feet over time. Pruning is unnecessary aside from getting rid of dead, damaged, or diseased parts of the tree. In case you want to thin out the branches to improve the air circulation, it can prevent fungal or insect problems.

Cockspur hawthorn

If you have pets and young children around, it might not be best to have a cockspur hawthorn tree around. Among the small trees that you can plant on your property, it offers outstanding white spring flowers along with long-lasting red fruits that birds love. During fall, it showcases lustrous orange foliage.

Once the tree reaches maturity, it can reach between 15 to 25 feet in height and the thorns should not be a problem anymore. You can prune the tree as necessary, but it is best to wear protective clothing due to the thorns.

Witch hazel

The witch hazel trees boast bushy, citrus-scented flowers in lush shades of orange, yellow, and red. You can find various species and varieties that you can plant close to your home. Some generally bloom during late winter before the leaves open, while others put on a magnificent display during fall.

As small trees that average between 10 to 20 feet tall, they require low maintenance. You can prune the tree during early spring if you want to get rid of any damaged sections or shape it to your liking.

Final Thoughts

When you want to boost the overall look of your yard, adding small trees close to your house will work wonders. Now that you are familiar with several suitable small trees that you can position relatively near your home, you can make the right choice depending on the look you want to achieve for your yard. Just imagine it all in a photograph and work towards that image!

Tribal Writer

Edited by
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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