Plant form, or shape, is one of the key principles of landscaping design. If you are looking to plant a tree, you must consider the shape of both the space and the tree. Different tree forms work differently depending on the shape and size of a space.


Trees with a columnar shape are very upright and thin. They work well to fill in a narrow space, add height to an area, as well as in a row acting as a sort of wall.  

Some Columnar Shaped Trees Include:

  • Italian Cypress
  • Lombardy Poplar
  • Pyramid Oak
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae


This creates space beneath the canopy of leaves. With this added height people can easily walk under which makes it ideal for lining and shading a walkway. A vase shaped tree also works well in a garden with plants that do not need much sunlight.

Some Vase Shape Trees Include:

  • Crape Myrtle
  • American Elm
  • Kwanzan Cherry


The branches of a weeping-shaped tree droop downward and are helpful in leading the eyes to the ground. Just the littlest of details beneath a weeping plant can become a focal point.

Some Weeping Plants Include:

  • Weeping Willow
  • Weeping Cherry
  • Weeping Mulberry


This is your typical Christmas tree shape. Opposite of weeping, pyramidal forms direct the eyes upwards. Since it is wide at the bottom they are particularly helpful in shielding any unappealing focal points low toward the ground. Keep in mind that these trees will need space to reach their full width.

Some Pyramidal Trees Include:

  • Blue Spruce
  • Fraser Fir
  • Pin Oak
  • Western Red Cedar


This form is usually more common in plants than trees. The roundness creates a narrow low point and leads the plants to group around it.

Some Round Trees Include:

  • Sugar Maple
  • Bradford Pear
  • White Ash
  • Sourwood

Don’t see why this is relevant? Check out: The Importance of Plant Shape and Plant Form in Landscaping

Got your tree picked out? The next step is to have it planted correctly professionals. A properly planted tree or shrub will be more tolerant of adverse conditions and require less management than one planted incorrectly. At Landscaping Unlimited we ensure each plant, shrub or tree is specifically appropriate to the site, or the site will be amended to fit the plant and ensure a healthy landscape.

Still not sure what the best tree shape is for your yard? Contact Landscaping Unlimited for a professional opinion. We are committed to bringing you the newest and latest trendsetting plants and trees and are well versed in the greenery zoned for Southern Connecticut.