There are some trees worth planting for their structure alone, giving a focal point to your winter garden.
Apricot trees, for instance, develop a stunning, twisting branching structure with age. Combine that with excellent fall color, hardiness and the possibility of fruit, they are one of my very favorite trees for Santa Fe.
Golden Rain Trees can be purchased as single stem or multi stem specimens. I found the multiple trunks to be much more interesting and can be rotated when planted and will fit into a tight space more easily. Strong, balanced branching structure can be selected as the tree matures, so that the tree has a pleasing composition.
Japanese Pagoda tree develop really fascinating twisting branches with a green bark that become more convoluted over time.
The dark stems of a Multi stem Red Bud really stand out in the landscape. In Santa Fe, Red Buds need a protected location (from extremes in heat and wind) and a bit of extra watering, but they really fill a niche as a small courtyard tree.
Washington or Downey Hawthorn trees need a bit of pruning to turn them into beautiful multi stem trees with a strong horizontal branching structure, but with a bit of care while they are still developing, they can be a really stunning tree. They also have a multitude of attributes including berry forage for birds, bee nectar when in bloom and some of the best fall color of any tree.
Peggy Wright (Masters in Landscape Architecture)