Great Patio Trees

When you look up at the canopy of your shade-giving tree, do you see a monster in the making? Here are some wonderful little trees that won't take over your yard.

The mid- to late-summer flowers — when few other shrubs or trees are blooming — is one of crape myrtle's best features. Its bark, shown off on a multi-trunked form, varies from creamy white to gray to sandy brown to cinnamon, depending on the species and cultivar. Lagerstroemia sp. comes in a wide range of sizes, from dwarf (a few feet tall) to the typical tree, which averages 20 to 30 feet tall. Flowers can be pink, lavender, rose, almost-red and white. USDA Zones (6) 7 to 9. Find out more about crape myrtle's cold-hardiness.

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