In some situations, evergreens may be more useful, as they will continue to block views, and especially noise, through the winter. This is especially helpful when trying to screen a busy roadway. In other situations, a smaller or larger tree will be more appropriate, and some people may want a tree with burgundy foliage, spring flowers or fruit to attract wildlife. Trees are listed from the smallest to largest.
'Dream Weaver' Crabapple (Malus x pumila): 10' tall, 2' wide. Pink blooms and green foliage in the spring turns to burgundy foliage in the summer. The fruit on this tree is large enough for eating.
'Sutherland' Caragana (Caragana arborescens): 12-15' tall, 3-4' wide. Although it is fairly tall, this is really a shrub, as it is usually grown with several stems at the base. Its growth is very upright and formal-looking. Like other caraganas, it is hardy, drought-tolerant and able to grow in poor soil. Yellow flowers appear in the spring, and this variety has few spines.
'Strathmore' Crabapple (Malus): 20' tall, 5-8' wide. The new leaves on this tree have a reddish colour, although they mature to green, and the fruit is purple-red. Unfortunately, this tree is susceptible to fireblight.
'Columnar' Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia 'Fastigiata'): 25' tall, 8' wide. A slow-growing tree that is not very common; like other mountain ash trees, it features white flowers in the spring, good fall colour and red berries that attract birds.
'Columnar' Siberian Crabapple (Malus baccata 'Columnaris'): 30-35' tall, 8-10' wide. Also susceptible to fireblight, this tree has fewer flowers than other crabapples. Be aware of new introductions of columar-type crabapple trees of different sizes, hopefully with improved disease resistance.
Swedish Columnar Aspen (Populus tremula 'Erecta'): 30-45' tall, 5-8' wide. The ubiquitous tall, skinny tree for small lots, its leaves make a pleasant rustling sound in the breeze. The roots will not sucker as much as most aspens, and the leaves turn yellow in the fall.
'Tower' Poplar (Populus x canescens 'Tower'): 70' tall, 10' wide. Unlike many poplars, this tree produces very few suckers; it also turns yellow in the fall. Much taller than the similar Swedish columnar aspen.
'Cupressina' Norway Spruce (Picea abies): 10' tall, 3' wide. This dwarf spruce has dense branches that point slightly upwards. The green needles become bluish during the winter.
'Degroot's Spire' Cedar (Thuja occidentalis): 15' tall, 2-3' wide. A slow-growing variety with very dense foliage, it has an interesting, twisted form and is perfect for a small space.
'Skyrocket' Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum): 16' tall, 2' wide. Blue-green, lacy foliage with a very narrow form.
'Brandon' Cedar (Thuja occidentalis): 30-40' tall, 6-10' wide. This variety grows faster than many others, it is also one of the hardiest varieties and will tolerate heat and dry periods. It provides a dense screen year-round. 'Skybound' is a similar variety that does not grow as tall.
'Columnar Blue' Spruce (Picea pungens var. glauca 'Fastigiata'): 30-60' tall, 15-20' wide. A narrower version of the attractive Colorado blue spruce, it has a dense, pyramidal form and a blue-green colour.
Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra): 50-60' tall, 10-20' wide. Dense, upturned branches make this an attractive tree that doesn't taper much toward the top, it does best in well-drained soil.
Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia): 65-70' tall, 25-30' wide. This pine grows very tall and straight and casts only light shade. It also does not drop cones and grows well in damp conditions.