Just Right: Picking Medium Trees

Not too big and not too small, a medium-sized tree is just right. Pick the best mid-sized stunner for your yard by getting to know some medium trees' characteristics and ideal growing conditions.

Excerpted from Garden Design
  • Boxelder Known for Spring Flowers and Fall Color

    Variegated Boxelder

    Also known as the ash-leafed maple, the white-tipped divided leaves of the variegated boxelder look good planted near dark-leaved plants. Under prefered growing conditions - full or partial sun, and well-drained or moist soil - the variegated boxelder can grow to 50 feet in height and 30 feet in width.

  • European Hornbeam has Great Coppery Fall Color

    Upright European Hornbeam

    This dependable, deciduous, spring-flowering tree turns copper in the fall. The upright European hornbeam makes a great hedge, and an excellent substitute for beech on drier soils. Expect the hornbeam to grow to 50 feet tall and 40 feet wide in its ideal growing conditions: full or partial sun, and well-drained soil.

  • Indian Bean Tree Known for Heart Shaped Leaves

    Golden Catalpa

    The beautiful, spreading, deciduous golden catalpa is beloved for its large, heart-shaped yellow leaves, clusters of tubular flowers and long bean-like seed pods. It makes a striking feature element when planted alone, but can also fit well in a border. In ideal conditions - full sun and well-drained or moist soil - the golden catalpa grows to 40 feet tall and 40 feet wide.

  • Dove Tree Commands Attention with Pom Pom Blooms

    Dove Tree

    The elegant dove tree (also known as the handkerchief tree) is named for the conspicuous white leaves that surround the small flower heads in spring; ridged inedible fruits hang from long stalks in the fall. This fine focal tree, which grows to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide, is deciduous, with sharp-pointed, red-stalked leaves and smooth gray bark. Ideal growing conditions are full or partial sun, and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Common Ash Grown for Rounded Habit and Foliage

    Common Ash

    The common ash is a vigorous, deciduous tree, grown for its round shape and attractive foliage. In the fall it produces bunches of winged inedible fruits, and in winter conspicuous black buds appear. In full sun and well-drained or moist soil, it can grow to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide.

  • Honey Locust has Long Curved Seed Pods

    Sunburst Honeylocust

    The striking, fast-growing deciduous sunburst honeylocust has delicate, golden foliage and long, curved seed pods in the fall. Excellent as a specimen tree, the sunburst honeylocust craves full sun and well-drained soil. Provide those conditions, and it will grow to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide.

  • Black Mulberry has Purple Black Fruit When Ripe

    Black Mulberry

    The deciduous black mulberry is a round tree with heart-shaped leaves and fruit that is edible only when fully ripe, identifiable by its dark purple-black color. Take care to avoid planting it near pale paving - the fruit will stain it when it falls. Black mulberries grow to 40 feet tall and 50 feet wide when planted in full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Chinese Tupelo Grown for Foliage and Fall Color

    Chinese Tupelo

    Grown for its pretty foliage and brilliant fall color, the slender, tapered leaves of the deciduous Chinese tupelo turn bright shades of orange, red and yellow in the fall. An excellent focal point at around 40 feet in height and width, the Chinete tupelo looks very effective alongside water. Ideal growing conditions are full or partial sun, and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Princess Tree Grown for Showy Foxglove Like Blooms

    Princess Tree

    The fast-growing, deciduous princess tree has large, attractive leaves, and fragrant, graceful pinkish-lilac flowers which open in late spring before the leaves appear. The princess tree can reach 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide when grown in full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Brewers Weeping Spruce has Purple Cones in Fall

    Brewer Spruce

    The popular Brewer spruce is a hardy, slow-growing, blue-green conifer with horizontal branches and long, slim branchlets that give it a distinctive appearance. Purple cones decorate the branches in the fall. The brewer spruce can be an effective windbreak or specimen tree that will reach 50 feet tall and 12 feet wide when grown in full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Colorado Spruce Makes Wonderful Ornamental

    Koster Blue Spruce

    A hardy evergreen tree with scaly, gray bark, light brown cones and sharp, bluish-green leaves, Koster blue spruces make wonderful ornamentals where space is available to fit their 50 feet in height; they only need 15 feet for width. Ideal growing conditions are full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Scots Pine Widely Grown for Timber

    Scotch Pine

    The Scotch pine is widely grown for its wood, but its cultivars make excellent garden trees, as well. These upright conifers have striking golden yellow leaves in winter, and do equally well planted alone or in groups. Scotch pines grow to 50 feet tall and 28 feet wide when planted in ideal conditions: full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Bird Cherry Tree Creates Stunning Spring Display

    European Bird Cherry

    The deciduous European bird cherry produces slender spikes of fragrant, star-shaped white flowers in mid-spring, followed by small black inedible fruits in summer and, later, red or yellow leaves. In ideal growing conditions - full sun and well-drained or moist soil - the European bird cherry grows to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide.

  • Golden Locust has Beautiful Golden Yellow Foliage

    'Frisia' Black Locust

    Deciduous and fast-growing, the 'frisia' black locust has coarse bark, pea-like flowers and dark brown seed pods in summer and golden-yellow foliage that turns orange in the fall. Plant the 'frisia' black locuse in full sun and well-drained or moist soil and watch it grow to 50 feet tall and 25 feet wide.

  • Silver Willow has Foliage that Sparkles in Breeze

    White Willow

    The white willow is a fast-growing, deciduous tree that shifts from cone-shaped when young, to round when mature. Its long, narrow, sparkly silver-gray leaves and yellow catkins emerge in early spring. The white willow will grow to 50 feet tall and 25 feet wide in ideal growing conditions - full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

  • Golden Weeping Willow Grown for Cascading Habit

    Golden Weeping Willow

    A deciduous tree, the golden weeping willow boasts a beautiful cascade of supple yellow stems and leaves and slender yellow or green catkins that reach toward the ground. It looks particularly striking when planted by water, especially when it reaches its full maturity at 50 feet tall and 50 feet wide. The golden weeping willow prefers full sun and well-drained or moist soil.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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