Gardening is a wonderful hobby that can bring beauty and tranquility to any outdoor space. One of the most popular trends in gardening today is the use of lollipop trees, which are characterized by their tall, slender trunks and compact, round canopies. From the iconic Bay tree to the stunning Olive tree, there are countless varieties of lollipop trees to choose from, each with its unique beauty and characteristics. In this blog post, we’ve covered some of the most popular lollipop trees, including their growing and pruning requirements, as well as their benefits and uses. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a newcomer to the hobby, we hope this post has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for your next gardening project.
Bay trees, also known as sweet bay or bay laurel, are evergreen trees that are popular in many gardens and landscapes. They are known for their aromatic leaves, which are commonly used in cooking and seasoning. Bay trees can grow up to 40 feet tall, but can also be pruned into a more manageable size. They prefer full sun or partial shade, and well-drained soil. Bay trees are also relatively low-maintenance, requiring occasional pruning to maintain their shape and promote new growth. Overall, bay trees are a great addition to any garden or landscape, providing both beauty and function.
Privet is a type of fast-growing shrub that is often used as a hedge or screening plant. It is native to Europe and Asia but has been widely cultivated and naturalized in many other parts of the world. Privet shrubs can grow up to 20 feet tall but can be trimmed to any size and shape desired. They have small, white flowers in the spring and summer, which are followed by black or blueberries in the fall. Privet is also relatively low-maintenance, requiring only occasional pruning to maintain its shape and promote new growth. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil types and growing conditions, making it a versatile and popular choice for many gardens and landscapes.
Variegated holly, also known as Ilex aquifolium ‘Argentea Marginata’, is a popular evergreen shrub with striking green and white variegated leaves. The glossy leaves have a spiky texture and are edged with cream-colored margins, adding interest and texture to any garden or landscape. Variegated holly shrubs can grow up to 20 feet tall, but can also be pruned into a more manageable size and shape. They produce small white flowers in the spring, which are followed by bright red berries in the fall and winter, providing year-round interest. Variegated holly is a great choice for adding color and texture to borders, hedges, and mixed shrub plantings.
Yew is a popular evergreen shrub or small tree known for its dark green needles and red berries. Yew can be found all around the world and has been used for centuries in a variety of ways, including for making bows, furniture, and medicine. In the garden, yew is a versatile plant that can be used for hedges, screens, or as a specimen plant. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Yew is also relatively low-maintenance, requiring only occasional pruning to maintain its shape and promote new growth. However, it’s important to note that all parts of the yew plant, except for the red berries, are highly toxic if ingested.
5. Portuguese laurel
Portuguese laurel, or Prunus lusitanica, is a popular evergreen shrub or small tree that is commonly used for hedging and topiary. It is native to southwestern Europe and northern Africa and has glossy, dark green leaves that are similar in appearance to bay leaves. The plant produces small white or pink flowers in the summer, which are followed by small red or black fruits. Portuguese laurel is a versatile plant that can be grown in full sun or partial shade and prefers well-draining soil. It is relatively low maintenance and can be pruned to maintain its shape and size. Portuguese Laurel is a popular choice for creating formal hedges, and topiary, and as a specimen plant.
Photinia, also known as a red tip or Christmas berry, is a popular evergreen shrub that is commonly used for hedges and screens. It is native to Asia but has been widely cultivated and naturalized in many other parts of the world. Photinia has glossy, dark green leaves that are tinged with red when they first emerge, giving the plant its distinctive red tip appearance. In the spring, photinia produces small white flowers, which are followed by bright red berries in the fall and winter. Photinia is a relatively low-maintenance plant that prefers full sun or partial shade and well-draining soil. It can be pruned to maintain its shape and size, making it a versatile and popular choice for many gardens and landscapes.
7. Viburnum tinus
Viburnum tinus, also known as laurustinus, is a popular evergreen shrub that is commonly used for hedging, screens, and as a specimen plant. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has glossy, dark green leaves and clusters of small, fragrant white or pink flowers in the winter and spring. The flowers are followed by small, dark blue-black berries. Viburnum tinus prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It is a relatively low-maintenance plant that can be pruned to maintain its size and shape. Viburnum tinus is a versatile plant that is well-suited for a variety of garden styles and is popular for its attractive flowers and foliage.
Olive trees, also known as Olea europaea, are iconic trees that are native to the Mediterranean region. They have silvery-green leaves and produce small, fragrant white flowers in the spring, followed by small, green fruit that ripens to black or purple in the fall. Olive trees can grow up to 50 feet tall but can be pruned to a more manageable size. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Olive trees are known for their longevity, with some trees living for centuries. They are also popular for their edible fruit and oil, as well as their cultural and historical significance. Olive trees are a great choice for adding both beauty and function to a garden or landscape.
9. Flamingo tree
Salix integra, commonly known as the “Flamingo Willow,” is a deciduous shrub or small tree that is popular for its striking pink and white variegated foliage. It grows up to 15 feet tall and wide, with a round or oval shape. The Flamingo Willow prefers full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. It is tolerant of wet soil conditions and can be planted near streams or ponds. Pruning can be done in late winter or early spring to maintain its shape and encourage new growth. With its colorful foliage and unique shape, the Flamingo Willow is a great addition to any garden or landscape.
Euonymus is a genus of plants that includes a wide variety of shrubs, vines, and small trees. They are native to Europe, Asia, and North America and are commonly grown for their ornamental foliage and colorful berries. Euonymus has glossy, dark green leaves that turn shades of red, purple, and gold in the fall, providing year-round interest. The plants produce small, inconspicuous flowers in the spring, which are followed by bright, showy berries in the fall and winter. Euonymus is a versatile plant that can be grown in full sun or partial shade and prefers well-drained soil. It is relatively low-maintenance and can be pruned to maintain its size and shape, making it a popular choice for hedges, screens, and mixed plantings.
How to grow lollipop trees
Lollipop trees are small, ornamental trees that are pruned to have a round, ball-shaped canopy on top of a straight trunk, resembling a lollipop. They are popular in formal gardens and landscapes and can be grown in a variety of climates and soil types. Here are some steps to follow when growing lollipop trees:
- Choose the right tree species: Not all tree species are suitable for lollipop pruning. Look for trees with a naturally upright growth habit and a small, compact canopy, such as the Japanese maple, magnolia, or dogwood.
- Plant the tree in a suitable location: Lollipop trees require full sun to partial shade and well-draining soil. Choose a location that provides at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and avoid areas with poor drainage or heavy clay soils.
- Prune the tree to create a lollipop shape: Once the tree has reached the desired height (usually 5-6 feet), prune the canopy into a round shape by removing all lateral branches below the desired height of the canopy. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle to prevent water from accumulating on the cut surface.
- Remove any suckers or water sprouts: Suckers are shoots that emerge from the base of the tree, while water sprouts are vigorous shoots that grow from the trunk or main branches. Remove these shoots as soon as you notice them to prevent them from competing with the main canopy.
- Fertilize and water regularly: Lollipop trees require regular watering and fertilization to maintain their shape and health. Water the tree deeply once a week, especially during hot and dry weather. Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Mulch the base of the tree: Mulch helps retain moisture in the soil and suppress weeds. Apply a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the base of the tree, making sure not to cover the trunk.
- Monitor for pests and diseases: Lollipop trees are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases, including aphids, scale insects, and powdery mildew. Monitor the tree regularly for signs of damage and treat any problems promptly with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide.
By following these steps, you can successfully grow and maintain lollipop trees in your garden or landscape, adding a touch of formality and elegance to your outdoor space.
How to prune a lollipop tree
Pruning is an essential part of maintaining the shape and health of lollipop trees. Here are some steps to follow when pruning your lollipop tree:
- Choose the right tools: You will need a pair of pruning shears or loppers, depending on the thickness of the branches. Make sure the blades are sharp and clean to prevent damage to the tree.
- Prune the canopy: The canopy of the lollipop tree should be pruned regularly to maintain its round shape. Remove any branches that extend beyond the desired shape, making sure to cut back to a lateral branch or the trunk. Avoid cutting into the main canopy as this can damage the tree’s health and appearance.
- Remove any dead or diseased branches: Dead or diseased branches should be removed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tree. Cut back to healthy wood, making sure to sterilize the pruning tool between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.
- Thin-out-crowded branches: If the canopy of the lollipop tree is becoming too dense, you may need to thin out some of the branches. Remove any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other, as well as any weak or spindly branches.
- Prune the tree in late winter or early spring: Lollipop trees should be pruned when they are dormant, in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Avoid pruning during the summer or fall as this can stimulate new growth that may be damaged by winter weather.
By following these steps, you can prune your lollipop tree to maintain its shape and health, ensuring that it remains a beautiful and elegant feature in your garden or landscape.
Lollipop trees are an excellent addition to any garden or landscape. They provide a striking focal point and can be used to create a sense of structure and symmetry in outdoor spaces. Whether you’re looking for a small shrub or a large tree, there are numerous options to choose from, each with its unique characteristics and benefits. From the low-maintenance Viburnum Tinus to the show-stopping Flamingo Willow, lollipop trees offer endless possibilities for gardeners of all skill levels. We hope this blog post has inspired you to explore the world of lollipop trees and to consider adding one or more to your garden or landscape. Happy gardening!