Monday, September 29, 2008

Diary - My 10 Favourite Deciduous Trees

My 10 Favourite………………………….TREES – Deciduous

1. Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
Zone: Height: Spread:
A very showy tree when in flower in the spring but one day or two of wind and rain and all the flowers end up on the ground. And that’s about it for this tree – it’s pretty boring the rest of the year. (But on a calm sunny spring day, you can’t beat those huge, pink blooms!)

2. Autumn Delight Crab Apple (Malus ‘Autumn Delight’)
Zone 3 Height: 14’ Spread: 9’
A delightful, disease resistant smaller, pendulous crabapple. Highlights include a white spring flower with pink buds, bronze fall colour with fruit that changes colour from yellow-orange to brilliant scarlet.

3. River Birch (Betula nigra)
Zone 4 Height: 42’ Spread: 32’
Great birch tree that is not susceptible to borer. Has the same beautiful ‘peeling” bark but it’s brown not white. Never needs painting or spraying of insecticides. Appreciates a wet spring but survives in a dry summer and autumn. Fall colour: Yellow.

4. Legacy Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum ‘Legacy’)
Zone 4 Height: 55’ Spread: 39’
A rapid growing maple with a symmetrical oval crown. It’s resistant to summer heat and leaf tatter and has a lovely reddish-orange fall colour.

5. Devil’s Walking Stick/Japanese Angelica Tree (Aralia elata)
Zone 5 Height: 14’ Spread: 11’
Great tree for smaller yards. Has clusters of long-lasting white flowers in August. Does well in dry soil and city conditions.

6. European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)
Zone 4 Height: 50’ Spread: 39’
Most beech trees are excellent and hardy. Many have finely cut foliage. The most interesting are Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Pendula’ – Weeping Purple Beech, a small pendulous tree with dark purple leaves and Fagus sylvatica ‘Rosea-marginata’ the Tricolour Beech, with pink and white edged leaves.

7. Marshall’s Seedless Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica ‘Marshall’s Seedless’)
Zone 3 Height: 55’ Spread: 45’
Dark glossy green leaves, a bright yellow fall colour, its pyramidal shape and disease resistance make Marshall’s Seedless one of my favourites!

8. Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
Zone 6 Height: 30’ Spread: 8’
A lovely, smaller tree that grows copious spikes of bright yellow flowers in midsummer. Its green fernlike foliage and yellow fall colour make it an outstanding choice.

9. White Oak (Quercus alba)
Zone 3 Height: 50’ Spread: 50’
This majestic tree is a strong but slow grower, disease resistant and drought tolerant. Other favourite oaks include: Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) which is best for fall colour, Pin Oak (Quercus palustris), a lovely pyramidal oak that I’ve had in my backyard for 18 years and English Oak (Quercus rubur), another strong, large tree with glossy leaves and a wide rounded head.

10. Regent Japanese Pagoda Tree (Sophora japonica ‘Regent’)
Zone 3 Height: 65’ Spread: 49’
This large spreading tree has small leaflets, spectacular creamy white flowers in August and it withstands pollution well.

Honourable Mentions

I love these trees, despite their problems.

Canoe or Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Zone 2 Height: 42’ Spread: 32’
I love the white, peeling bark of these graceful trees but constant spring vigilance with CYGON is necessary to keep borer away. My favourite is the clump version.

Maples (Acer saccharinum, rubrum, platenoides)
Zone 3-5 Height: 40-60’ Spread: 40’
What’s more spectacular than blazing scarlet maple leaves in autumn? As beautiful as they look, these trees often cast dense, dense shade, their branches and trunks are susceptible to splitting and shedding as well inviting a host of rot and fungi.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Zone 6 Height: 25’ Spread: 20-30’
This lovely graceful tree has pea-shaped pink flowers in May and gorgeous dark brown bark but it can’t be part of a flower bed garden. It hates having the soil disturbed around the roots with bulbs and annuals. I found that out the hard way, when I planted it in a section of my flower border to serve as “the focal point” and it died after several short years. It’s also susceptible to canker.

Greenspire Linden (Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’)
Zone 3 Height: 52’ Spread: 39’
Lindens are graceful, hardy, beautiful trees and ‘Greenspire’ is one of the best. Its glossy dark green leaves are small and heartshaped. The fragrant flower is creamy yellow as is its autumn colour. Branches are brittle, though, and older trees produce a lot of twig litter.

No comments: