1. Flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida)

via- The Honey Tree Nursery

If you want something unusual, a sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum -- it's featured quite a bit on my blog) The sourwood will get tall, like 30 feet, but it stays narrow and it is such a slow grower, it would take forever to be that big.

2.  Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)


Or a redbud (Cercis). Fantastic flowering in April, nice heart shaped leaves. It will get large. I had a Cercis reniformis, but lost it. Now I have Cercis 'Forest Pansy' and it has beautiful wine colored leaves, if you think dark foliage would suit the front of your house.

3. Redbud (Cercis-Forest Pansy)


If you want a wilder, woodland shrub look, I am growing blackhaw viburnums as tree shapes (Viburnum prunifolium). They want to be multi-stemmed shrubs, so I am pruning off suckers and lower branches every year to get a nice artistic shape. They have gorgeous white flowers in spring, blue berries, and reddish fall color. I'll do a post.  But they can be tangled looking, not really refined. Branching is dense.

4. Blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)

Or maybe a corneliancherry (Cornus mas). It's a dogwood (really!) that flowers yellow in earliest spring, looking like a very refined, upright forsythia. It too wants to be multi-stemmed, but I am cutting off lower branches to get a single stem. 

5. Corneliancherry (Cornus mas)


A doublefile viburnum is spectacular. (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum). It is not a single trunk tree shape, it is actually quite large and horizontal, but would be a great anchor in a bed if you have the room. Wonderful flowers and berries.

6.   Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum)


If your front yard has any shade, a Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), would be elegant, with horizontal, delicate branching, but I found they are hard to get. I do have one, but it is still quite young.

7. Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)


By far the best choice for a front yard, though, would be an upright Japanese maple, and there are so many, your nursery could help.

8. upright Japanese maple

So in an effort to lose grass, gain a larger garden and to create privacy from the street I will be picking one of these lovely suggestions from Laurrie!  I like each one of them for different reasons.  Which one would you vote for?  I would love your feedback!

  1. Flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida)
  2. Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
  3. Redbud (Cercis-Forest Pansy)
  4. Blackhaw viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)
  5. Corneliancherry (Cornus mas)
  6. Doublefile viburnum (Viburnum plicatum tomentosum)
  7. Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
  8. upright Japanese maple