Small-stature Trees for Iowa

Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

“What tree should I plant in my yard?” is perhaps one of the most frequent questions we get.  It’s a perfectly legitimate question, but one that can be difficult to answer.  Difficult because there are so many choices, and the fact that not every tree will succeed in every landscape situation.  It’s a little bit like choosing a companion animal (dog, for example) for your family.  There are an endless array of breeds, but not all will be suitable for any given family unit.  Similarly, trees must be matched to the site.  Spatial, environmental, and aesthetic needs and features top the list of important considerations.

Tree lists like the ones provided are a good first step, but they must be interpreted and understood.  So, if you see a species or cultivar that sounds interesting, do some research to find out what the tree needs in terms of space and growing conditions.  Remember, tree lists are not like restaurant menus.  Not every entrée or tree is suitable for every occasion.

Recommended Small-stature Trees for Iowa

Deciduous Small-stature Trees

Height

Width

Growth Habit

Acer buergerianum – trident maple 20-30'  20-30' Round-spreading
Acer campestre – hedge maple 35'  18' Round-spreading
         'JFS-Schichtel2' (Streetside® 35'  18' Upright                                       
Acer griseum – paperbark maple  20-30' 20-30' Upright-spreading
         'Ginzam' (Gingerbread) 25-30'  15-20' Upright-spreading  
         'Girard’s Hybrid'  20-30' 20-30'  Round-spreading
Acer pseudosieboldianum × palmatum (Korean × Japanese maple)      
        'IslNW' (North Wind®)   20' 15' Upright-spreading
        'IslAJ' (Arctic Jade®)   20' 15' Upright-spreading
        'IslID' (Ice Dragon®)   8' 10' Spreading-weeping
        'Hasselkus' (Northern Glow®) 20' 24' Upright-spreading
Acer triflorum – three-flower maple 25' 25' Upright-spreading
Amelanchier spp. – serviceberry 15-20' 15-20' Upright-spreading
      'Autumn Brilliance' 20' 15' Upright-spreading
      'JFS-Arb' (Spring Flurry®) 28' 20' Upright-oval
Carpinus caroliniana – American hornbeam 20' 20' Round-spreading
       'CCSQU' (Palisade®) 30' 15' Narrow-oval
      'JFS-KW6' (Native Flame®) 30' 20' Upright-oval
      'J.N. Upright' (Firespire 20' 10' Upright
     'J.N. Globe' (Ball O’ Fire) 15' 15' Round
     'Uxbridge' (Rising Fire®) 30' 15' Narrow-oval
Carpinus caroliniana × betulus 'Fastigiata' (American × European hornbeam)      
     'Shelby' (Skylark) 25' 10' Narrow-oval
Cercis canadensis – American redbud 25' 25' Spreading
Cornus alternifolia – pagoda dogwood 15' 20-25' Spreading
Cornus controversa – giant dogwood 30' 40' Spreading
     'June Snow-JFS' (June Snow) 30' 40' Spreading
Cornus mas – corneliancherry dogwood 20' 20' Round-spreading
     'JFS-PN4Legacy' (Saffron Sentinel®) 22' 12' Narrow-upright

Crataegus viridis – green hawthorn

     

     'Winter King'

20' 25' Wide vase-shaped

Hamamelis ×intermedia – witchhazel

     
     'Arnold Promise' 20' 20' Open-spreading

Hamamelis virginiana – common witchhazel

     
     'Harvest Moon' 15-18' 10-12' Open-spreading
Koelreuteria paniculata – golden raintree     Round-spreading
Maackia amurensis – Amur maackia 25' 25' Wide vase-shaped
     'JFS-Schichtel1' (MaacNificent®) 30' 22' Vase-shaped
Magnolia × 'Butterflies' 15-20' 10-15' Upright-irregular
Magnolia ×loebneri – Loebner magnolia      
     'Merrill' 25' 25' Upright-spreading
     'Ruth' (Spring Welcome®) 20' 20' Round-spreading
Magnolia ×soulangeana – saucer magnolia 20-25' 20-25' Round-spreading

Malus spp. – crabapple 

     
     'Adirondack' 18' 12' Vase-shaped
     'JFS-KW218MX' (Snow Crystal®) 15' 12' Pyramidal
     'JFS-KW207' (Sparkling Sprite®) 12' 12' Round
     'JFS-KW213MX' (Raspberry Spear®) 20' 8' Upright-narrow
     'JFS-KW5' (Royal Raindrops®) 20' 15' Upright-spreading
     'JFS-KW139MX' (Ruby Dayze®) 22' 6' Upright-spreading
     'Orange Crush' 15' 15' Round-spreading
     'Shotizam' (Show Time) 20-25' 15-20' Upright-spreading
Ostrya virginiana – American hophornbean 25' 20' Upright-spreading
Prunus sargentii – Sargent cherry      
     'JFS-KW58' (Pink Flair®) 25' 15' Upright
Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis – Pekin lilac      
     'Morton' (China Snow®) 20' 20' Upright-spreading
     'SunDak' (Copper Curls®) 20' 15' Upright-spreading

Syringa reticulata – Japanese tree lilac

     
     'Bailnce' (Snowdance) 18' 20' Round-spreading
     'Ivory Silk' 25' 15' Upright\
Last reviewed:
April 2023