21 Best Narrow Trees for Containers & Small Gardens

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Pick your favorite from this list of the Best Narrow Trees for Containers & Small Gardens! You can display them on a porch and balconies too!

These Best Narrow Trees for Containers & Small Gardens can help you bring a dash of greenery using tall specimens in pots!

Check out the best landscaping ideas for long and narrow gardens here

Best Narrow Trees for Containers & Small Gardens

1. Northern White Cedar

Narrow Trees for Containers

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis

USDA Zones: 2-8

Also known as American arborvitae, it grows up to 15-40 feet tall. This tree has slow growth and a stiff, narrow-pyramidal form. You can also grow it for privacy purposes.

2. Japanese Holly


Botanical Name: Ilex crenata

USDA Zones: 8-9

This upright evergreen plant can grow up to 4-7 feet tall in pots, making it an ideal choice for tight spaces. It can also thrive in part shade.

Discover the best hedge plants here

3. Japanese Flowering Cherry

Narrow Trees for Containers 2

Botanical Name: Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’

USDA Zones: 5-8

This slender and columnar tree is perfect for small yards. It grows up to 15-25 feet tall and blooms pink flowers during early spring.

Want to grow Jamaican Cherry Tree? Click here

4. Crimson Spire Oak


Botanical Name: Quercus robur x Q. alba ‘Crimschmidt’

USDA Zones: 5-9

A hybrid between English oak and White oak, this tree can grow up to 15-40 feet tall. It looks quite stunning with its combination of green and maroon-red leaves.

5. Dakota Pinnacle Birch

Narrow Trees for Containers 3

Botanical Name: Betula platyphylla ‘Fargo’

USDA Zones: 3-7

The foliage of this columnar tree takes a yellow hue in fall. It grows up to 10-25 feet tall and stays slender. Keep it in part shade for best growth.

6. Swedish Columnar Aspen


Botanical Name: Populus tremula ‘Erecta’

USDA Zones: 2-8

Erecta is a slender form of the Swedish aspen tree, which is an apt choice for small yards. This cold hardy deciduous tree features heart-shaped foliage.

7. Dwarf Hornbeam

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Botanical Name: Carpinus betulus ‘Columnaris Nana’

USDA Zones: 4-8

This slow-growing columnar tree reaches up to 4-8 feet tall at maturity when grown in pots. It produces rich, medium green foliage that turns yellow in the fall.

8. Japanese Maple


Botanical Name: Acer palmatum

USDA Zones: 5-9

This is one of the best contenders for pots if you want a tall tree. It sports an upright growth pattern and displays deep red leaves all season long on red stems.

Learn about growing Japanese Maple in pots here

9. Nootka Cypress

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Botanical Name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Van den Akker’

USDA Zones: 5-8

This columnar tree is a perfect pick for small yards and gardens. It grows up to 10-20 feet tall and just a foot wide. The trunk stays upright, making it perfect for compact areas.

10. Wissel’s Saguaro Cypress


Botanical Name: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Wissel’s Saguaro’

USDA Zones: 5-7

‘Wissel’s Saguaro’ is a slow-growing narrow tree that resembles a saguaro cactus hence the name. This distinct false cypress grows up to 7-10 feet tall.

11. Slender Silhouette Sweetgum

Narrow Trees for Containers 6

Botanical Name: Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette’

USDA Zones: 5-9

The Slender Silhouette can achieve an impressive height of 25-50 feet. The tree grows fast and boasts red fall color. Keep it in full sun for the best foliage color.

12. Pencil Point Juniper


Botanical Name: Juniperus communis ‘Compressa’

USDA Zones: 2-7

As the name suggests, the plant grows long and slender, achieving a height of 8-15 feet. It offers light green leaves patterned with lines and fine markings.

13. Dragon Tree

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Botanical Name: Dracaena marginata

USDA Zones: 10-12

You can grow this dracaena variety in containers as a houseplant too. It grows up to 4-6 feet tall indoors with a 1-3 feet spread.

Check out the best dwarf ornamental trees here

14. Bay Tree


Botanical Name: Laurus nobilis

USDA Zones: 8-10

You can grow topiary bay trees in patio containers. This plant can be pruned in any shape like pyramids, balls, or even lollipops. It grows slowly, giving you much time to train it.

15. Pyramid Oak

Narrow Trees for Containers 8
Oswald Tiedemann

Botanical Name: Quercus Robur ‘Fastigiate Koster’

USDA Zones: 5-8

This narrow columnar tree grows up to 15-40 feet tall with obovate, lobed, green leaves and yellow-green blooms. It can also do well in large pots.

16. European Beech Tree

shutterstock/Peter Turner Photography

Botanical Name: Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Purple’

USDA Zones: 4-7

It can be a great vertical addition to your landscape as this columnar tree displays broad dark purple foliage. The tree attains a height of 10-50 feet.

17. Korean Fir

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Botanical Name: Abies koreana

USDA Zones: 5-7

This short-needled conifer has a pyramidal growth habit and features short dark green needle-like foliage with silver undersides.

18. False Ashoka


Botanical Name: Monoon longifolium

USDA Zones: 10-12

This tree is considered sacred in India and Sri Lanka. It grows straight and achieves an impressive height of 20-100 feet! You can easily control its height by growing it in pots.

19. Norfolk Island Pine

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Botanical Name: Araucaria heterophylla

USDA Zones: 9-11

This slender specimen also makes for a great indoor plant. It takes a pyramidal shape while growing with symmetrically arranged branches. The foliage is densely packed.

20. Cypress

shutterstock/Ng Chun Kiong

Botanical Name: Cupressus

USDA Zones: 7-11

These plants are steady growers and can achieve a height of 20-60 feet. For pots, go for Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens​).

21. Norway Spruce

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Botanical Name: Picea abies

USDA Zones: 2-7

It is one of the fastest-growing trees on this list that can reach more than 50-60 feet. For best growth, expose it to plenty of sunlight and use well-draining soil.

Find out the best Spruce Tree varieties here

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