Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation
In the front of my house, right where the walkway to the door meets the driveway, I have a Weeping Siberian Pea Shrub. Anyone approaching the house is taken by its uniqueness and I usually get comments. It was here when we moved in 4 years ago and while I was never a huge fan of this shrub (it's prickly and it suckers), I did like that it was a conversation piece.
Well, in the course of the thaws in the last few days, the snow piled on it from the snowblower has really dragged down the branches and it has split in 3 places. I do not think it's worth saving at this point. So, I'm considering what to replace it with and starting my research now, so I'm ready for spring planting.
It's pretty much a full sun spot on the east side of the house. It's probably not in shade in the summer till at least 4pm. It's a fairly smallish spot. Total diameter, maybe 5-6 feet. We have a maple in the middle of the front yard, so I don't want anything to compete with that (in the 2nd pic, the pea shrub is directly behind the maple).
In my research, I've come across a few that I find interesting, but am very open to suggestions on what to replace this shrub with. I'm pretty certain I want a tree-form and am not glued to the idea of deciduous. Evergreen would be fine too. I like the idea of a hydrangea tree form, but my next door neighbor has this and I do not wanna look copy-catish
My list, so far:
Weeping Pussy Willow (standard)
Japanese Will (standard)
Weeping Caragan (this is the same species as I have now, but I'd opt for the finer textured 'Walker' variety)
Burning Bush (tree form)
Dwarf Korean Lilac
high graft "lollipop" globe blue spruce
Please offer your opinions on these trees as well as suggest others. I'm particularly interested in how hardy they are and if they'd take the abuse of being piled with snow from the driveway/walkway.
Please excuse the ugly bed right out front. It has since been re-planted and looks great.