Trees are dangerous. They can leave you homeless or, when they are being kind, tear up your lawn (read about that here). But as much as we’d like to leave trees out of the garden, it would be negligent of us to do so.

The foundation of any good garden is trees. That’s because they bring the garden together.

Think of a Zebra without the lines, then you know what a garden without a tree looks like – still beautiful, but incredibly disturbing.

Your garden is meant to calm you, not give you daymares. To help out, we give you a recommendation of trees you can plant in your city or compact garden.

Unlike trees with invasive roots, these trees have cultured roots that stay where they are told.

Here we go:

1. Crepe Myrtle (AKA Pride of India or Lagerstroemia)

If you want to introduce a dash of elegance into your garden, this is your magic wand.

The Crepe Myrtle is a spectacular deciduous tree. Although it is often multi-stemmed, it still gives that beautiful topped-crown tree shape —- one of the qualities we love about trees.

Aside its purple flowers with their crimped petals, the Crepe Myrtle’s bark is one of its most beautiful features. It is smooth with wonderful silvery-grey color mottled with pink.

Depending on how it’s cultivated, the Crepe Myrtle could also grow as a shrub. This versatility means it could be used as a tidy garden tree or a dense barrier hedge.

2. Lavender tree

Lavender Trees take a while to grow into beautiful purple garden denizens. But when they finally do, they present you with an elegant specimen for your garden.

With their pale bark, ornamental shape, and semi-deciduous foliage, the Lavender Tree, is a prime addition to any city garden.

The Lavender Tree likes the sun and a moist well-drained soil.

3. Callistemon (AKA Bottle Brush Tree)

The beauty is all in its spiky clump of flowers which bloom at the ends of the stems.

Those spiky crimson clumps bear a strong resemblance to a bottle brush and as you’ve rightly guessed, it’s where Callistemon got the alias – Bottle Brush Tree.

You can grow the Callistemon as shrubs or small trees which are capable of growing up to 15 feet.

If you’ll like a bit of an urban jungle, you can grow a Callistemon in a pot. It loves a rich, peaty potting soil with a few handfuls of sand added for drainage.

4. Moonlight Tree (AKA Lettuce Tree)

The Moonlight Tree is a small evergreen tree with highly ornamental semi-succulent leaves. It doesn’t a have a colorful bloom like most trees on this list, but it could work beautifully in a garden when planted among darker, small-textured plants.

And some experts believe it is beautiful at night with up-lighting. Well, what tree isn’t beautiful at night with up-lighting?

5. Bottle Palm

See the trunk of the Bottle Palm shaped like a Mountain Dew neon PET bottle and you understand immediately where its name is from.

The Bottle Palm is native to the Mascarene Islands where warm, balmy temperatures and loose, sandy soil form the plant’s habitat.

And that’s why is perfect for a tropical weather like Nigeria’s. Although this stunning tree only grows to 10 feet, they often sport fronds that grow up to 14 feet.

6. Cycads

If you want a bit of ancient history in your garden, then a Cycad is the perfect introduction.


According to plant experts, Cycads have existed before the dinosaurs.  

These troopers have survived whatever wiped out the big formidable dinosaurs. And a couple millions of years on, they are still going strong.

It makes sense that they are called “living fossils.”

They are beautiful. And give a real attitude to your garden.

7. Bismarkia Palm

Some trees bring the garden together, but some uplifts the garden in a more transcendent way.

The Bismarkia Palm is one of the most elegant, massive and desirable fan palms you can plant.

Its stout trunk and symmetrical crown going up to 60 feet make it not just a centerpiece of your garden, but a force of nature.

The tree loves a moist well-drained spot.

8. Tecoma Stans (AKA, Esperanza or Yellow Bells)

The Tecoma Stans is an irregularly shaped, deciduous shrub.

But what is most-fascinating about Esperanza are the clusters of large, trumpet-shaped, yellow flowers standing out against the lance-shaped, olive-green leaves.

This plant went out of fashion in Nigerian in the 90s, but it’s making a huge comeback now  – valued as much for its drought-tolerance as for its spectacular appearance.

9. Olea Europa (AKA Olive Tree)

Other trees might blaze with more color and bombast, but the olive tree has a few extra virtues like its strong, soothing, reassuring presence. And of course, its ability to survive drought, salinity, and almost total neglect.

The Olive Tree has been around for a long time. Up to 1000 years according to some experts.  

It’s perfect for you if you don’t have any free time to nurture and care for the tree.

10. Plumeria (AKA Frangipani)

Frangipanis will cast an exotic tropical spell over any garden. What with their clusters of flowers coming at the end of their gnarled branches. These flowers – white with a yellow center – are distinctly-scented.

Like the Olive Tree, Frangipanis thrive with little maintenance. They grow to about 5 – 6 meters in height – perfect for your compact city garden.

Want to plant a tree? We’ve been helping homes and businesses do this for the last 25 years. We’ve made a science out of it and that means you can trust us.Give us a call, and let’s help you put down the roots.