Trees In A Planter Box

menashe79July 30, 2012

Hey folks,

On top of my stone patio, I'd like to put in a 5' x 5' planter box that's 3' tall and I'd like plant a tree in there. Something like a cherry tree or crab apple or japanese maple or pear tree, etc. Something that's bare trunk for the first 6'-8', and then branches out at the top. Hoping for something around 15'-20' tall with a 10'-15' diameter at the top.

What trees similar to what I described would grow well in a planter box in Massachusetts (bearing in mind it will be kept outside all winter)?


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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Acer ginnala (amure maple) would be my first choice if you want a deciduous tree. It's extremely cold hardy (to Z3), which means it should be fine there w/o protection, responds well to pruning, and isn't too fussy.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Looks like a really nice tree! I'm actually planting 2 trees in the same manner and think I might use that as one of them. Any others? Or of the ones I mentioned above, would they work well? Like, how about the Japanese Maple?


    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 9:42AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

I just Googled the amur maple, and it seems it's considered an invasive species in the North. Just wanted to mention it sooner rather than later, if it matters to anyone.

(Couldn't save this as a clickable link - for some reason GW doesn't recognize it.)

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 2:08PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

N - because your tree will be unprotected, to avoid cold injury to roots it should be listed as hardy to at least 1 zone colder than yours, and 2 zones colder would be better. That's why I picked A ginnala - it's very hardy and an attractive tree that's easy to care for. I don't think you'll have much luck with the Japanese maples.

Some other very hardy deciduous trees that lend themselves well to shaping:

Celtis occidentalis (hackberry)
Crataegus (hawthorn - has thorns)
Malus (apple)
Ostrya (ironwood)
Prunus (cherry/plum)
Syringa reticulata (tree form lilac)
Tilia (linden)


    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:43PM
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Awesome! Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 3:38PM
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