Need a Crape Myrtle substitute
I live in a high altitude, desert like climate, with alkaline heavy clay. In the south where I grew up, everyone had Crape Myrtles, which will not survive here. I love the tree-like single trunk look of them, and was wondering if there was a shrub with similar shape/form that would grow here? I want to be able to plant perennials around it, but it is a small space, so shrubs that spread out at the base would not work in this location, but I would like something that would provide a vertical accent. A Japanese Maple would be lovely in this spot, but again it would not survive the winds, and - 20 temps.
All suggestions welcome,