Some dwarf trees and shrubs include the Chinese fringe tree, dwarf globe blue spruce, purple prince butterfly bush and dwarf Arctic blue leaf willow. Other options include boxwood, California lilac and cotoneaster.
Chinese fringe tree is a naturally small tree that only grows up to 15 feet. With white frothy flowers, this ornamental tree can survive in areas with frosts. It needs access to full or partial sun and supplemental water during dry, hot weather.
Both the globe blue spruce and Norway spruce are available in dwarf sizes. The latter only reaches 4 feet in height and can survive in temperatures below zero, although it needs protection from winter winds. The former boasts bright blue needles and can grow up to 5 feet tall in a globe shape. It is cold-tolerant as well but can suffer in areas with hot summers.
The California lilac bush grows up to 5 feet in height and width but responds well to frequent pruning. It's characterized by fragrant pale purple-blue flowers. Roughly the same shape as the lilac bush, the boxwood shrub has dense green foliage that makes it a good hedge or privacy screen. When it blooms, it produces small star-shaped flowers. It requires well-drained soil and can survive in full or partial sun.