The shape of trees differs depending on the species of the tree. A tree's shape will also be indicated if it will have enough space in the location where you planted it. Tree shapes can also be affected by its environment. They can be formed in their young days and take its form as it ages. Here are the common tree shapes that you can see in most landscapes.
Columnar Tree Shape
Trees that are columnar in shape appear like cylinders or columns. The branches have the same length from up down. They appear narrow due to the patterns of the branches. A wide variety of trees have a columnar shape.
Examples of Columnar Trees
Cherry, European hornbeam, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Lombardy Poplars
Open - Head Irregular
This tree shape is characterized by the non-uniform shape of branches forming an irregular shape of the canopy. They typically provide natural shade and forms a fantastic figure during winter. These types of trees can add an unusual dimension to your yard.
Examples of Open-Head Irregular
Buckeye, Ash, Catalpa, Pawpaw, Hickory, Silver Maple, Sycamore, Smoketree
Trees that have a weeping shape have branches that hang downward with cascading foliage. They can be aesthetically pleasing and adds beauty to your landscape.
Examples of Weeping
Cherry, Birch, Hemlock, Crabapple, Larch, Katsura, Willow, Sourwood
These trees have wide and cone-shaped canopies. The branches expand at the base and narrow to the top. Typically, coniferous and deciduous trees are in this shape. When they have enough space in a property, they can grow beautifully.
Examples of Pyramidal
American holly, American beech, Blue Spruce, Bald Cypress, Fir, Magnolia, Sweetgum, and Oak
Tees with this shape are great for landscaping. They have a uniformed round shape that looks really attractive. Whether they are in a line with other trees with the same shape, or alone in a landscape, they still look amazing.
Examples of Globe
American Yellowwood, American hornbeam, Black maple, Bur oak, Hackberry, Flowering dogwood, Redbud
They seem like columnar trees, but they have several trunks and are formed through nursery selections and not as natural mutations. This tree shape attracts the eye upward and they could look beautiful when planted in rows. Further, it can be an effective cloak against noise and unwanted sceneries.
Example of Fastigiate
Arborvitae, European beech, Ginko
Vase-shaped trees are ideal to be planted near the roads because they don't block pedestrian's view or the flow of traffic. Branches of these trees develop upward from the trunk, with the tips opening wide at the top. Their canopies are similar to upside-down triangles.
Examples of Vase
Fringe Tree, Boxelder, Hawthorn, Elm, Striped Maple, Zelkova
Trees with this shape appear wide. They are generally large and can overshadow small structures and can overwhelm bungalow-type of homes. However, they look good in a property with a narrow house because they create a contrasting effect.
Examples of Horizontal
Eastern Redcedar, Beech, Fir, Hornbeam, Honeylocust, Korean Dogwood, Oak (white and red), Larch, Witchhazel