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Monday - November 16, 2009

From: Columbia, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Small tree for yard in Columbia TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a somewhat small yard but the construction workers put a water and sewer drain in the middle of my yard. The sewer main is located on the far side of my property my width of yard is 60 feet width from street to house is 27 feet. I want a low root system tree to plant. I don't want a big tree(over 30ft). What type of tree should I get?


The fact that you are looking for a small tree makes this much easier. The extent that roots go out from a tree often is comparable to the width of the canopy. Obviously, you want to get as far from both the drain and the main when you plant the tree, but don't ignore  possible problems, like driveways, sidewalks, foundations or curbs. Your tree could cause just as much trouble getting involved with those hardscapes as it could with the drain. We are not too good at visualizing, but it sounds like, if there are no other restraining factors, you could plant a tree about 14 ft. from from the drain, and position it halfway to the property line opposite the main. Another good thing about these four suggested trees is that they all have nice blooms, and all are native to Tennessee and near to Maury County, in Central Tennessee. For more possibilities, you can go to our Native Plant Database, and narrow your search by clicking on Tennessee and then "tree" under General Appearance. By reading the page from our database on each plant, you can learn what its growth characteristics are, what sunlight requirements it has,and how much moisture it needs.

Small trees for Columbia, TN:

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms pink March to May, low water use, part shade or shade

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree) - 15 to 30 ft., deciduous, blooms white April and May, high water use, part shade

Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay) - 12 to 20 ft. tall, evergreen in the South, blooms white April to July, high water use, part shade

Prunus americana (American plum) - to 35 ft. tall, deciduous, medium water use, sun, part shade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Cercis canadensis

Chionanthus virginicus

Magnolia virginiana

Prunus americana





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