Single stem trees for small gardens are an ideal solution for adding visual interest, shade and increased privacy. Small single stem trees are a perfect example of how ‘smaller’ can make a ‘bigger’ difference in a limited-sized landscape!

The Pinus Pinea Full Standard trees could be used for above fence screening or as a specimen plant.

People tend to think that having limited garden space automatically means having limited choices, especially when it comes to trees. While of course you will always have to account for the ultimate size, you do have options – and plenty of them. Our collection of small single stem trees is a case in point. Read on to find a perfect match for your own compact garden as well as learning how to visually transform a small space with clear stem trees.

Best Evergreen Single Stem Trees for Small Gardens

Year-round greenery, attractive form, and eye-catching shapes all make for a fantastic point of interest in a small garden. And less leaves to pick up in the autumn! Here are our top-selling evergreen small single stem trees:

Arbutus Full Standard

Also known as the Killarney strawberry tree, Arbutus Unedo boasts unusual fruits and compact size.

Whether you are looking for elegant solutions for above-fence screening or want a striking specimen plant, the Arbutus Unedo Strawberry Tree is an excellent choice. The combination of serrated evergreen foliage and strawberry-like fruits leaves no one indifferent. Standing at a height of 3.5 to 4 metres, this standard shaped tree has a clear trunk and a crown of evergreen serrated foliage. 

Topiary Bay Trees

The lollipop-shaped Laurus Nobilis will command attention in any landscape. These small single stem trees are shaped to have spherical balls of foliage nested atop a clear single stem, and they come in 4 sizes: half, quarter, ¾ and full standard. The sizes of these attractive topiary trees for small gardens vary, the smallest being 80 centimetres high and the largest reaching 3 metres.

Full Standard Holly Trees

A beloved classic, the tough and adaptable Holly is perhaps best known for its glossy evergreen leaves and blood red winter berries. The full standard shape is an attractive twist on the well-known shrub form and it is ideally suited for smaller gardens. Ranging from 2.75 metres to 4 metres in height, these gorgeous single stem trees will be a match for any garden.

Twisted Stem Bay Trees

bay tree topiaries as single stem trees for small gardens

Whether shaped as a lollipop or with a unique twisted trunk, Bay Trees are a perfect choice for small gardens.

If you are looking for something compact but unusual to add a drama to your garden room, Twisted Stem Bay Trees are ideal for the role. Highly ornamental, these bay tees feature clear stems twisted in a spiral and make a fantastic focal point in the garden without hogging the space. Available in heights from 1.2 to 1.8 metres- with a special offer on pairs.

Pinus Pinea Stone Pine – Standard Shape

Are you pining for a striking pine that cannot fit in your small garden? With this standard shaped conifer, even gardeners with limited space can enjoy the scented evergreen needles and ornamental cones. Also known as Italian Stone Pine, Umbrella Pine or Pine Nut Tree, this cultivar will thrive in almost any conditions including coastal gardens. These extremely robust and adaptable standard trees are available in heights from 2 metres to 4 metres.

Best Deciduous Small Single Stem Trees

If you prefer trees with autumn interest, flowering trees, or want to combine beauty and usefulness with a tree that bears edible fruit, you will find what you need in our collection of deciduous trees. The best part is that there are plenty to choose from, even when you are looking for something that needs very little space to thrive!

Catalpa Bignonioides Nana Standard Tree

This rounded, more compact form of the Indian Bean Tree is ideally suited for smaller gardens. The heart-shaped leaves offer interest from spring through to winter, with gorgeous yellow autumn colour. Well suited for compact city gardens as it is tolerant of urban pollution, this large-leaved small tree is available in sizes from 2.3 metres to 2.9 metres in height.

Crab Apple Trees

The spring blossoms of Crab Apple varieties will look even more stunning in a smaller garden.

Compact and grown as standard shape trees, Crab Apple varieties offer plenty of interest for big and small gardens alike. And there is a cultivar to match anyone’s needs and preferences! If you prefer a semi-weeping habit and clusters of white to pale pink blossoms, Malus Toringo Brouwer’s Beauty will be your favourite. Malus Rudolph is for those gardeners that would admire masses of vibrant pink cup-shaped flowers in the spring. Resistant and adaptable, Malus Professor Sprenger boasts large and fragrant white blossoms that unfurl from pink buds. And so on – you can find over a dozen of crab apple tree varieties at Paramount Plants and Gardens, ranging from 2.5 to 4 metres in height. 

Hydrangea Paniculata Half Standard Form

hydrangeas grown as small single stem trees

Hydrangeas are not always shaped as shrubs: these attractive cultivars are trained as small single stem trees.

Paniculata Hydrangeas have an upright growth habit, so they can be grown as small trees rather than shrubs. In their half standard form, arresting Hydrangeas make fantastic single stem trees for small gardens. The variety Limelight boasts large cone-shaped white flowers, and the  Vanille Fraise dazzles with its creamy white flowers that turn to pink-tinged and finally deep red as the seasons progress. These single stem Hydrangea trees vary from 80 centimetres to 1.4 metres in height.

Prunus Padus Bird Cherry Tree – Standard Shape

This ornamental bird cherry tree offers ornamental value and sustenance for wildlife – a perfect combination! The masses of baby pink blossoms borne in racemes will steal everyone’s attention in the spring. The summer fruit that follows are cherished by birds. Tolerant of urban pollution and generally tough and low-maintenance, this beautiful flowering tree will pretty up any small city garden. The lowest height of these small single stem trees is 2.5 metres and the tallest is 4 metres.

Robinia Pseudoacacia Umbraculifera – Standard Shape

The gorgeous False Acacia in standard shape is compact but no less stunning than its larger relatives.

The dense but airy crowns of this False Acacia provide pleasant dappled shade in the garden, whether when grown as above fence screen or specimen. Easy to grow and care for, this elegant tree requires very little effort to thrive and look its best. In its clear stem form, Robinia Pseudoacacia Umbraculifera is between 2 and 3 metres high. Tall enough to walk under comfortably and to provide privacy from neighbours and all the while being compact enough to fit in smaller gardens.