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Tough Trees

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Underutilized Trees You Should Consider Planting

Life in the landscape is tough for a tree.

A tree is faced with competition from other plants, sometimes plants foreign to its indigenous environment. It is forced to coexist with buildings that may project reflective rays and wide temperature fluctuations. Worst of all, the vital soil in which it lives has often been disturbed and deprived of helpful organisms. In many cases, the soil is heavily compacted.

Successful landscaping involves not only taking steps to improve the environment, but also utilizing plants with tough constitutions, plants that have proven their worth in difficult growing conditions. Most of these plants have been tested in their native environments and have grown where most other plants would have simply curled up their root tips and died. Foresters refer to these plants as 'poor site indicators.' Most of these plants have limited commercial value but are excellent choices for the less-than-ideal situations found in disrupted environments.

So here are some choices that will stand a much better chance of not only surviving but also thriving in those almost impossible growing environments...

Woodlawn trees are available in various root size containers, 10 gal. – 280 gal. Not all trees are available in each size. Please contact us for specific information on a tree of interest.

Magnolia, Sweetbay 'Moonglow'
Scientific Name
Magnolia virginiana ‘Moonglow’
The lemon scent of the Sweetbay blossoms on an early summer evening are like nothing else. The cream-colored flowers, while very attractive individually, would be visually overwhelming if th...
Maple (Manchurian)
Scientific Name
Acer mandshuricum
A small tree that's little known and rarely used. Manchurian Maple is a trifoliate maple, closely related to the Paperbark Maple. Manchurian Maple has, perhaps, slightly less pleasing bark t...
Maple (Paperbark)
Scientific Name
Acer griseum
- Medium-green to blue-green foliage
- Burgundy-red exfoliating bark
- Pest-resistant
- Disease-resistant
- Tolerant of tough soils and urban conditions
- Slow...
Maple (Purpleblow)
Scientific Name
Acer truncatum
A tough, medium-sized beauty that tolerates urban conditions quite well, Shantung (or Purpleblow) Maple can exhibit a burst of reddish new growth accented by the green, older growth. This tr...
Maple (Red 'Sun Valley')
Scientific Name
Acer rubrum 'Sun Valley'
Red spring flowers. Wonderful shade. Exceptional fall color. All this describes the Red Maple, a great tree that tolerates urban conditions better than the Sugar Maple. 'Sun Valley' has smal...
Maple (Trident)
Scientific Name
Acer buergerianum
Small to medium size Tolerant of difficult growing sites Glossy, dark-green foliage and pleasant shade Attractive branching structure and exfoliating bark Red and orange fall color
Oak (Black)
Scientific Name
Quercus velutina
A common tree in the Appalachian forests, Black Oak is rarely found in nurseries and, unfortunately, is seldom planted. With its rich, glossy foliage, Black Oak is possibly the best shade tr...
Oak (Chestnut)
Scientific Name
Quercus montana
The Chestnut Oak is native to difficult growing sites in the Appalachian Mountains. Due to this, it thrives capably in contemporary landscapes, even in those with less-than-ideal growing con...
Oak (Scarlet)
Scientific Name
Quercus coccinea
High in the mountains on dry, rocky ridges in obviously inhospitable growing conditions, the Scarlet Oak flourishes. Because of its lower lumber value, foresters consider it a second-rate sp...
Oak (Shumard)
Scientific Name
Quercus shumardi
The Shumard Oak is an endangered species in the forests of Pennsylvania, as only a few groves exist in Adams and Fulton counties. As an urban or suburban tree, the Shumard Oak is much super...