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10 Dwarf Trees For Zone 5

While trees are a nice addition to any yard or property, not everyone has enough space to manage them when they are fully grown. Dwarf trees are the answer to this dilemma.

These trees come in countless varieties, so you can find one that you enjoy without worrying about managing a tree that is too large.

Like all trees and other plants, dwarf trees require different conditions to thrive, including hardiness zones. You may wonder what dwarf trees you can grow if you live in zone 5.

Well, you're in the right place, as we have all your answers below!

Plants that thrive in zone 5 can handle temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Here are ten dwarf trees that you can plant in this specific USDA growing zone:

  1. Romeo Dwarf Cherry Tree
  2. Little King River Birch
  3. Japanese Cedar
  4. Yellowhorn
  5. Hinoki Cypress
  6. Japanese Maple
  7. Dwarf Alberta Spruce
  8. Lavender Twist Redbud
  9. Dwarf Dogwood Tree
  10. Golden Chain Tree

We will introduce you to these trees to learn about their appearance and growing needs. When you're done reading, you'll know which trees are right for your property.

Beautiful Japanese Maple Tree with Red Leaves - 10 Dwarf Trees For Zone 5

Dwarf Trees That Thrive In Zone 5

While each of these trees has its characteristics, you can easily grow them in zone five.

1. Romeo Dwarf Cherry Tree

Dwarf cherry fruit, red ripe little dwarf cherries on the cherry fruit tree branch

Fruit trees rarely do well in the cooler zones, but cherry trees are the exception. The Romeo dwarf cherry tree reaches only 5-8 feet, making it perfect for a small yard.

Whitish-pink flowers will bloom in mid-spring with cherries ready for harvest in midsummer.

Planting And Care

This tree requires full sun but can survive temperatures as low as -40 degrees. Prune away dead or damaged limbs in early spring to keep the tree healthy for the next growing season.

2. Little King River Birch

A weeping river birch in a park

Because they can grow to over 70 feet tall, enjoying the unique peeling bark of birch trees in a residential landscape is challenging. The Little King river birch is the answer to this.

At maturity, it grows up to only 10 feet with all the characteristics of a traditional birch.

Planting And Care

The Little King river birch needs to be watered weekly and enjoys full sun. However, it tolerates warm and cold temperatures and requires very little maintenance.

3. Japanese Cedar

Young Cryptomeria japonica (Vilmoriniana) trees in a row in the pot.

While classified as a tree, the dwarf Japanese cedar grows to resemble a shrub. It measures only 2-3 feet tall at maturity and can be used as a border or a container plant.

This evergreen starts with green foliage that turns red in the winter months.

Planting And Care 

The dwarf Japanese cedar requires little maintenance. It enjoys full sun and must be watered when the soil becomes dry.

4. Yellowhorn 

Chinese flowering chestnut (Xanthoceras sorbifolium)

Yellowhorn trees are rare in the United States but can thrive in zones 4 through 7. They produce beautiful white flowers that bloom in the late spring.

While they can reach over 25 feet tall, the smaller varieties only grow to as low as 8 feet, making them more manageable for yards and gardens.

Planting And Care

These trees require at least 6 hours of full sun and must be watered every 7-10 days. Conservation Garden Park recommends pruning them regularly to remove dead flowers and branches to help them maintain their shape.

5. Hinoki Cypress

Outstanding specimen informal upright Hinoki Cypress bonsai on display in an enthusiasts garden in Bangor Northern Ireland

While you're likely looking for something bigger than a bonsai for your yard, the bonsai tree is probably the most well-known version of the Hinoki cypress tree.

The Hinoki cypress can grow as tall as 75 feet, but numerous varieties can remain as small as a bonsai or up to 5-10 feet.

Planting And Care

The Hinoki cypress needs full sun but needs to be protected from direct sun in areas that get too hot. You can start these trees in containers if you wish, then transplant them when they outgrow the containers.

Use a bigger container, though, because this tree does not like to be transplanted. The less often you have to do so, the better.

6. Japanese Maple

Beautiful Japanese Maple Tree with Red Leaves

This Japanese native will be the star of any garden or yard, thanks to its stunning red foliage. With a multitude of varieties to choose from, the Japanese maple comes in many shapes and sizes.

Be sure to get a dwarf variety, or you might find yourself with a 40-foot-tall tree!

Planting And Care

Unlike many of the trees on our list, partial shade is ideal for the Japanese maple.

Too much sun can cause the leaves to scald, especially in hotter areas, and too much shade can cause the tree to lean in search of the sun.

Watering is important when the tree is first transplanted or planted. Then, it can tolerate the natural conditions of your environment.

7. Dwarf Alberta Spruce

Three spruce with dense foliage that resemble dwarfs. Tree's name is Dwarf Alberta Spruce or Picea glauca 'Conica'.

This is the tree for you if you want a miniature Christmas tree on your property. The dwarf Alberta spruce grows in the classic conical Christmas tree shape but doesn't get taller than 10-13 feet.

Some varieties grow no taller than 5-8 feet, however if you prefer a smaller tree.

Planting And Care

While the Alberta spruce is a dwarf tree, it still needs enough space to grow to maturity. Be sure to plant it somewhere that can accommodate its full size.

This tree prefers full sun and does best in slightly acidic soil. You can add peat moss or compost to your ground to make it ideal.

8. Lavender Twist Redbud

Lavender twist weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis Lavender Twist).

The pink foliage of this tree makes it a good addition to a whimsical or romantic garden theme. It grows in a weeping pattern to about 5-6 feet tall at full maturity.

The bright foliage also attracts birds and butterflies.

Planting And Care

This tree is relatively low-maintenance with no special soil or pruning needs. While it is a weeping tree, you can prevent this by staking it when it is young to train the trunk to grow straight.

Once your plant your redbud, avoid moving it as it does not transplant well.

9. Dwarf Dogwood Tree

Dwarf Dogwood in Bloom

Dogwood trees can grow over 40 feet, but the dwarf varieties, such as the Red Pygmy, only grow to 7 feet. Although small, the dwarf varieties still produce the flowers that make dogwood trees popular.

Planting And Care

While small dogwoods can be planted in containers, they are more susceptible to the cold if grown. You can add mulch or keep them inside if your area is too cold.

Dogwoods don't need fertilizer but adding some can help keep the roots warm and the soil moist.

10. Golden Chain Tree

Yellow Flowering Labernum Tree (Golden Chain) in a Country Cottage Garden in the Rural Village of Tintinhull, Somerset, England, UK

The brilliant yellow blooms of the golden chain tree will bring color to your garden or yard. Larger versions can grow up to 25 feet, but dwarf versions will only grow to 12 feet.

While this tree is gorgeous, it is also toxic. Do not choose this tree for your property if you have children, pets, or wildlife.

Planting And Care

While this tree is toxic, you will still be able to maintain it without harm. The golden chain tree can be planted in planters for your porch, patio, or yard as an ornamental tree.

The golden chain doesn't enjoy humidity but is not picky with the soil it grows in.

The tree enjoys partial to full sun. A location with full sun during the day and partial shade in the evening is ideal to avoid scorching. It does not need to be watered unless your area is experiencing exceptional heat or drought.

In Summary

While traditional trees may be too big for your yard or property, there are countless dwarf trees to choose from that thrive in zone 5.

Whether you want a dwarf version of your favorite tree or a variety that naturally grows small, you will surely find plenty to choose from.

For more zone 5 landscaping inspiration, take a look at these related articles:

10 Beautiful Vines And Climbing Plants For Zone 5

10 Zone 5 Perennials That Like Wet Soil

10 Zone 5 Perennials That Like Full Sun