The Best Small Trees for Your Front Yard

by Carol McCullough Relocation Certified 05/08/2022

Using trees in your landscaping design is a great way to add dimension and depth to your front yard. However, it’s crucial to consider scale when choosing a tree for your yard so that you don’t completely overwhelm the space—or worse, cause problems for the foundation. Luckily there are lots of trees that work well in small yards, many of them with colorful flowers and foliage. If you’re interested in adding small colorful trees to your front yard, here are some suggestions:


Crabapple trees come in a wide variety of colors, flowering habits and size. They have large, long-lasting flowers in several shades of white, pink and red. Crabapples also produce colorful fruit and their foliage remains beautiful and colorful throughout the year. This makes them a brilliant choice for year-round color and aesthetic appeal. While some crabapple trees can grow to upwards of 30 feet in diameter, the smaller varieties are excellent choices for smaller spaces. Go for the Prairiefire or Centurion varieties, which will only grow to a maximum of 10 feet wide.


Magnolias are another staple of flowering trees and a smart option for smaller yards. While some varieties can grow very large, the Star magnolia will grow to around 10 feet wide when fully mature. Magnolia blossoms are white and extremely fragrant, but only bloom during the spring. However, magnolia trees have attractive dark green foliage and distinctive gray-colored bark which makes them a striking addition to your yard design throughout the year. One excellent advantage of magnolias is that you can train them to grow up in various shapes. If you prefer to keep it as a low shrub instead of a taller tree, you can do so with careful pruning.

Crape Myrtle

Crape myrtles are available in full-sized and miniature varieties depending on the size your yard can accommodate. They will thrive in a large range of hardiness zones and bloom throughout the summer and some until the first frost. A key aesthetic element of the crape myrtle is the option to grow it as a single or multi-trunk tree. This type of tree will also grow well in large containers or as shrubs if you prefer to use them as an accent tree rather than a focal point. Regardless of the above ground size, crape myrtle roots are non-invasive, meaning there is little risk of them damaging sidewalks, driveways or foundations.

Japanese Maple

Japanese maple trees are famous for their vibrant red foliage, but also have a unique branching pattern that keeps its aesthetic appeal even when the leaves fall in the winter. Japanese maples can grow very large, but there are many dwarf varieties perfect for smaller spaces. This tree stays fairly compact rather than spread out wide. This means you can add it for visual appeal without blocking the view. Most dwarf Japanese maple trees grow between 4 and 8 feet at full maturity.

These are just a few options for flowering trees to plant in your front yard. As long as you choose the correct variety and prune the trees according to your needs, you can easily keep them small enough to fit the scale of a smaller outdoor space.

About the Author

Carol McCullough Relocation Certified

As a Fairfield resident with a family commuting daily on Metro North, and our children graduating from Fairfield public schools, I look forward to sharing many of the great attractions in a wonderful community and county! Over the past 18 years with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services New England Properties, I have helped hundreds of buyers and sellers compete their home search and close on the sale of their property. As a Certified Relocation Specialist, my production results rank in the top 4% nationally while delivering exceptional customer service to my clients and their welcomed referrals. Real Estate is one of the most exciting investments you can make. It should be a fun and rewarding experience. Confident with your home marketing decisions and comfortable with the home marketing process is my commitment to you! I am excited to share several new marketing strategies successfully implemented in Southern Fairfield County! Regardless if you are looking to buy, or about to list your current home, you will soon BE AT HOME when working with Carol! *Connecticut Magazine 2022 Award Winner- 12th consecutive year scoring highest in overall customer satisfaction.