Most gardeners are familiar with the European Smokebush with its shrubby habit and purple foliage. The native Smoketree is better.
First thing in the season is the soft, gentle, lime-green foliage. Who wants purple...?
Then there's the billowy flowers that are effective for up to six weeks. And then, best of all is the autumn color, flaming orange and red colors...
They're here...come get one!
We have a great selection of trees as we head into fall. We have still have some large trees left, especially White Pine. On medium-sized trees we have a larger selection and the small tree inventory is even better with strong numbers and new plants coming. We have the Dura-heat River Birch, Sun Valley Red Maple, Sweet Birch, Baldcypress and Dawn Redwood plus many more. We still have a very good selection of Paperbark Maples and a moderate number of Sugar Maples.
Two small trees that I'm excited about, Indian Cherry and Native Smoketree. They're native to Eastern Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and probably Nebraska. The Indian Cherry has rich foliage ornamented by red fruit in late summer/early fall. Smoketree opens the spring season with lovely lime colored foliage maturing to medium green. The smoke-like floral effect begins late spring lasting well into summer. Fall color rivals or exceeds Sugar Maple. We have limited inventory on these items so get here soon...
Trees are cool.
They are natural air conditioners.
The evaporation of a single tree can produce the cooling effect of 10 room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
In Palo Alto, CA, communities with trees averaged 6-8 degrees cooler temperatures than communities without trees.
Well-placed trees can reduce residential air conditioning costs 20-50%.
Do the math.
Planting trees is a good investment.
It's not a native. You can tell that by the name.
But it's trouble-free. No Dogwood Anthracnose. No Powdery Mildew or leaf spot. No expensive maintenance and yearly spraying. That's more than you can say about the native Dogwood, the popular Cornus florida.
And it has a jump on spring. It'll be flowering in about two weeks.
Want to liven up the winter?
Landscapes are usually designed and installed in the growing season with little thought of how they can contribute to the winter season. Here's some tips on how to remedy that oversight...
#1 Foliage. Evergreens are the backbone of a winter landscapes. Nothing more attractive in the winter than a snow covered conifer. But it's not just the conifers. There are some deciduous trees that hold the marcescent foliage through the winter. A young White Oak, for instance, makes a nice contrast to evergreens.
#2 Stems. Some trees contribute by texture. A fine textured plant has small stems closely spaced together. Plants with a bold texture have fewer larger stems. You will want a variety of texture but keep just enough distance between fine and bold to accent the character of each. If mixed too closely, you will end up with a disheveled appearance.
#3 Bark. Some trees have ornamental bark that is very attractive after a fresh snowfall. One of the best is the reddish colored bark of the Paperbark Maple.
#4 Outline. Think of the plant's overall shape and how that can contribute to the view. Remember, variety is most pleasing in the landscape. Round shapes, columnar, conical...
#5 Background. Blue sky is a perfect blend to a snow covered tree. Or falling snow... or even the grey sky of an overcast day.