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13 Small Trees that like Full Sun (Detailed List)

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Sun plants only produce flowers or keep their characteristic shapes if grown in full sun. Here are some small trees to plant in a sunny spot or on a sunny balcony.

 

9 small trees to plant in full sun

1. The Japanese maple

A unique silhouette, a distinctive elegant habit, sumptuous colors in any season, delicate foliage, decorative flowers and fruit, the Japanese maple is the tree that will blow you away every time!

 

Ranging from 4ft to 30ft tall, the Japanese maple’s height is more like 3 to 5m, making it a perfect choice for any size garden.

 

This small tree appreciates cool and acidic soils and undergrowth environments, but full sun, clay soils and excessive heat or cold are not really its cup of tea and can even be fatal.

 

2. The star magnolia

A small tree ideal for small gardens, the star magnolia offers a shower of fleshy, star-shaped, pure white flowers that appear before the foliage appears. Dispersing a light lemon and vanilla scent, this magnificent bloom can be the focal point of a garden for a good month if the weather is mild enough.

 

Preferring acidic soils, the Star Magnolia is adaptable to neutral soils and is very resistant to cold and wind, as well as to diseases. Soggy and clayey soils are not suitable, as well as drought and high temperatures.

 

3. Birch

A generally white bark characterizes this beautiful tree, which makes it particularly interesting in winter. Its aerial foliage, which is adorned with beautiful autumn colors, as well as its flowers, catkins that appear in spring or fall, which remain in place until early spring, also give it a lot of charm. A fast-growing tree, the birch is at home everywhere and there are varieties for all types of gardens.

 

4. Ginkgo biloba

Qualified as the only representative of the oldest known tree species, the ginkgo biloba is situated between the conifers and the deciduous ferns and offers to the eye golden yellow fan-shaped leaves in autumn which are very representative and original. This large tree (60 to 90 ft tall) is resistant to everything and has an exceptional longevity. It adapts to all types of soil as long as it is well drained and deep enough.

 

5. Lime tree

An invitation to relaxation and a majestic bearing, whose blossoms are fragrant throughout the summer: the lime tree is decorative and beneficial. Its short and straight trunk gives it a beautiful rounded and welcoming silhouette and its foliage takes on beautiful golden yellow colors in the fall. Resistant, it likes all soils and has a long life span.

 

6. The cryptomeria, or Japanese cedar

A beautiful conical or drooping habit and an airy foliage whose color varies with the seasons, the Japanese cedar is also remarkable for its reddish-brown bark cut into irregular strips. Emblem of Japan, it is superb in isolation on a grass. It particularly appreciates cool, humus-rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil, sheltered from the wind.

 

7. The cypress

With its tall, slender and conical silhouette reminiscent of Mediterranean landscapes, and its very dense and fine evergreen foliage, the cypress has a beautiful decorative effect in gardens, often planted along a path to welcome visitors. Hardy, very resistant and adaptable to all soils, the cypress comes in many varieties to adorn all types of gardens.

 

8. The tamarisk

A beautiful shrub with a slightly weeping habit, the tamarisk gives an impression of lightness, both in spring when it blooms in soft pink spikes (most often) and with its foliage composed of tiny elongated leaves.

 

It can be used as a hedge but also as an isolated plant on a grass, to give a southern accent to your garden! Depending on the variety, the tamarisk can grow up to 30 ft. high and 6 to 9 ft. wide.

 

9. Chalef or Eleagnus

Eleagnus ebbingei is an ideal shrub for sunny gardens, tolerating most soils and presenting itself as an easy to grow shrub.

easy to cultivate. Chalef is a very drought resistant shrub, especially popular along the coast because of its resistance to sea spray.

 

10. Arbutus

Also called “strawberry tree”, the arbutus is native to the Mediterranean basin. Modest in terms of maintenance, this shrub likes full sun and supports dry grounds.

 

11. The laurel-tin

One of the main advantages of the laurel-tin to be planted in full sun is that it blooms in winter, when nature is asleep, from January to April. This shrub therefore brings life to the garden during the cold season.

 

12. Bougainvillea

Inseparable from the Mediterranean, the bougainvillea adorns the facades and walls, adorning the outdoor space with its magnificent colors and abundant bloom.

 

13. Buddleia

Easy to grow, the butterfly tree is a must-have in a sunny location in the garden. Its fragrant flowers in summer attract butterflies and pollinating insects.

 

Why choose trees that are resistant to full sun?

Water is a resource that tends to become more and more precious, especially in times of drought when water restrictions are frequent. Rainwater can be collected for later use, or plants that are heat and drought resistant can be planted upstream.

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