What are the Best Small Trees for a Courtyard?

Do you have a small courtyard in Brisbane? The right small tree can make a huge difference, beautifying the area and making it more inviting. Depending on the size of your courtyard and whether its inside or out, you need to choose a tree which compliments.

One point to remember is – deciduous species will block the hot summer sun and allow light through in the winter months. Other things to consider are foliage options, flowering capabilities and maintenance needs. Here are 7 small trees to consider that might suit your courtyard.

1. Philodendrons

Philodendrons are well suited to courtyards and for indoor growing. They require little maintenance and have few disease or pest issues. They do best in the sun, but can withstand considerable shade. It should grow well in a small courtyard if you get a mix of sun and shade.

2. Japanese Maple

Japanese Maples are ideal for courtyards, especially if shaded. It’s quite a small tree, making it easy to prune and take care of. Curled and crinkled leaves grow in tufts along the stem, turning from green in the spring/summer to gold with red tints in the winter months.

3. Ornamental Pear

Ornamental Pear trees are common in Melbourne, usually grown as screening trees. They also work well in courtyards, being cheap to buy, fast growing and resilient to water logging. It will need a little more maintenance than some of the other trees – a good prune every 12 months and a sweep up when the flowers fall.

4. Dragon Tree

The Dragon Tree has great drought tolerance and does not do well with water logging. Ensure your courtyard has adequate drainage. The foliage does spread quite wide, so this tree is suited to larger courtyards. Dragon Tees prefer bright, indirect light, but can adapt well to lower levels of light.

5. The Silver Princess

If your courtyard receives enough light, the Silver Princess tree is a great choice. It offers a beautiful waxy bark and brilliantly pink flowers which really make a statement. This tree is known for its root instability which makes it susceptible to wind. But in a protected courtyard, this should not be a problem.

6. Crepe Myrtle

Crepe Myrtles are a very popular choice for Brisbane gardens.  They love our subtropical climate and offer the beautiful flowers in summer, nice new growth in Spring and attractive bark and tree form in Winter.  Being deciduous, consider planting on the Western side of the building as they will give shad in Summer and allow light through in Winter. 

7. Tuckeroo

Tuckeroos are a native tree species and popular choice for street tree planting.  They’re a hardy, evergreen small tree which are also very tolerant or high winds and salt spray so suitable for coastal planting.