The Smallest Trees on Earth

The tree is a majestic plant that can be found in many different environments. Trees are known for their height, but not all trees are huge! There are some small tree species out there. These small tree species may be short, but they have many interesting adaptations to help them survive in the harshest of environments. In this blog post, we will explore these tiny tree species and discuss how they survive despite being so small.

The dwarf willow is one of the smallest woody plants in the world.  This tree is usually only found in cold, arctic climates. The tree itself can reach a height of about one foot tall and it has tiny leaves that are less than an inch long. It also produces small flowers which help the tree reproduce. Despite the maximum height of about a foot, it can reach full maturity at a height of a couple of inches.

dwarf willow tree

The dwarf willow's ability to survive despite its small size comes from many different adaptations. These tree adaptations include small leaves, short tree height, and low tree density. Despite the tree's small size, it has very strong roots which ensure that it can survive even in harsh conditions with lots of snow or ice through the harsh winter months.

However, the dwarf willow's status as a tree is under debate. Many arborists and botanists don't consider it to be a real tree since they establish the definition of a tree as having a trunk of at least three inches in diameter at least four and a half feet off the ground.  This would categorically disqualify the dwarf willow and would open up the podium to any number of other species.

Since there are no definitive statistics that are true across all samples of a species, it's more accurate to provide a shortlist (pun intended) of some of the shorter species around. The Crapemyrtle is a small deciduous tree that comes in a wide variety of colorful blooming flowers. It can grow up to twenty feet tall but some trees have reached full maturity as small as four to six feet. Another minuscule species is the dwarf Japanese Maple which will reach heights of about three to eight feet. The last tiny tree on this list of species is the weeping redbud. This beautiful tree has cascading branches full of pink and red flowers in the spring. It can grow up to twenty feet tall but some only grow up to six feet tall.

Japanese Maple tree

Some might consider Bonsai trees to be the smallest trees but there are several factors that would disqualify them in some of the most qualified eyes.  Bonsai trees are usually created using a part of a tree species that is already small and then kept in the shape of a tree by use of pruning. However, many Bonsai tree owners would disagree with this assessment since their prized plants have reached full maturity which makes them real trees. However, Bonsai isn't a species of tree, and additionally, they aren't grown from seed. they are cuttings taken from already grown trees and pruned into shape over a long period of time in order to resemble miniaturized versions of the larger parent tree. That is why you can often find full-sized fruit growing on tiny Bonsai trees. Despite their lack of qualifications to fit the most recognized definition of a tree, they are still universally referred to as "Bonsai trees" so it's worth including them in this list.

Bonsai tree

Whether you're looking for tree species that are small in size or tree species that grow short, this blog post provides a list of the top tiny tree species out there.

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