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They really should.

On one of the last posts, I described the Snakebark Maple. There's another North American Native that has been overlooked; Indian Cherry. It has lush foliage through the dog days of summer. It is laced with ornamental fruit when most other plants are tired and uninteresting. It deserves more credit than it gets.

Korean Mountain Ash is another virtual unknown. Most species of Mountain Ash are demanding customers but the Korean is an exception. The clean flowers contrast the dark foliage beautifully.

And then there's the Turkish Fir. It's grand and stately with rich green foliage. I don't have a good photo of this one. You'll have to come out to the nursery and see for yourself.

We have a good selection of slow-growing, elegant evergreens. They are specimen plants and can live for decades if not centuries. Something you can give to the next generation.

Japanese White Pine cultivars are some of the best. They make wonderful accents to buildings and other structures. The foliage is grouped at the ends of the branches, kind of like a pipe brush. No pest or insect problems that I know of.

Remember that Dwarf Alberta Spruce that you just removed from beside the entrance to your house? You know, that half dead pyramidal tree that looked like something that came off the assembly line and was riddled with Spider Mites? Well, replace that loser with a Suncrest Spruce. Suncrest is a dwarf cultivar of the Norway Spruce and was selected by Greg Gulden of Suncrest Gardens in Mount Holly Springs. Comparing the Suncrest to a Dwarf Alberta is like comparing a 2020 BMW to a 2000 Renault.

Then there's Gowdy Spruce, Silver Fir, Bristlecone Pine...

All these specialty evergreens have three things in common: they're elegant, they're relatively trouble-free and they're very slow-growing. Which translates to a durable, beautiful evergreen that won't quickly outgrow its space and will provide many years of magnificent service. The ones we have here are good-sized and you won't need to wait for them to grow out of babyhood.

Snakebarks are in a class of their own and this is the only one native to North America. Charming, isn't it...?

This is a gardener's plant. Don't try growing it in compacted, clay soil. Give it a moist, well-drained place to put it's feet and a bit of afternoon shade to help keep the leaves from scorching and you will have an attractive and unusual conversation piece.

The bark is almost white in the growing season and green in the winter. Fall color is a good yellow.

Try it...

Fall Garden Day is Saturday September 21 from 9 am. to 12:30 at the Cumberland County Extension office 310 Allen Road, Carlisle. I am scheduled to give a presentation and a tree planting demo. We will be offering $30 gift cards to be redeemed at our retail center here at Woodlawn.

To preregister, call 717-240-6500 by Wednesday the 18th. Walk-ins are welcome if space is available.

Fall Garden Day is always a great event with lots of things to see, learn and do. Please stop by to say hello if you get the chance to attend. If you can't attend, remember that we are now open for our fall season with a big selection of fresh inventory. Feel free to call to set up a visit or just stop by during business hours.

Beginning September 1, we are offering a 20% discount on 280 gallon trees. They have a trunk diameter of about 8"and are ready to provide instant shade.

We plan to be gone for the rest of July through the third week of August and I will be off-grid. We'll be glad to help you with a big tree (or any tree for that matter) as soon as we get back...

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.

Literally.

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.

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