Looking for suggestions on small trees (1 or 2) for a front yard. The customer mentioned evergreens and he would like to have something that only grows to around 7 feet tall (if that's possible). They would be going into a 25'x10' flowerbed area.
7' tall sounds like shrubs to me. The mature height of small trees such as Paper Bark Maple or Japanese Tree Lilac will far exceed 7.'
You mentioned evergreens- how about Japanese Holly 'Steeds' (upright evergreen). Lots of Chamaycyparis varieties that would work. Also dwarf conifers eg. Japanese Black Pine 'Thunderhead' or dwarf cultivars of Oriental or Serbian Spruce.
The best thing I've seen so far at a nursery is a Dwarf Alberta Spruce..which tag says will grow to 6-8 feet. Thuja Emerald Green Arborvitae is another I've seen, but am not too impressed by the look and it seems to be more of a multiple or hedge type tree.
I've planted Emerald Greens that were much taller than 7', so forget those!
Alberta Spruces (around here anyway) tend to get infested with spider mites, take that into consideration.
7' height restriction means no trees, BTW. Even Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire' (according to Dirr) gets 12' tall by 6-8' wide (I just looked it up yesterday). I'd try to convince the client to go with either a dwarf variety of a tree, or a specimen shrub. Forget the height restriction. You won't find anything that will suit both that and what the customer is looking for in aesthetics.
maybe a pyrimidal boxwood? It won't get over 7'. Blue atlas Cedar may be trimmed not to exceed 7'. There is another cedar type plant that is really impressive in the winter months, but i can't think of it's name. Maybe some of you can identify it for me. It is a brilliant golden color in the winter, mostly pyrimidal with a 5-6 ft diameter base.
Once I started looking at trees I quickly realized what you mentioned...either dwarf or some sort of bush. I actually did look at a boxwood as an option. I also saw some sort of yellow cedar, maybe what you mentioned. Nothing is set in stone, he said what he was thinking was a small evergreen, but I'm sure common sense will prevail here and we will settle on something else. I've been checking with local nursery's of course and am trying to be well informed before we make a decision. Thanks for the help!