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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trees to Stew on

Trees to Stew On
If you missed yesterday’s post, Frosty Wishes, it was a friendly reminder not to procrastinate in the months ahead, at least as it pertains to your landscape design and plans. And when it comes to your planting plan, here are a few specimen trees to stew on and consider for that special place in your landscape. Top on our list is the Stewartia. It’s one we recently added to our own landscape. It’s been on my wish list for years. 

One of the best features of the Stewartia - its stunning exfoliating bark, which offers four-season interest.
Stewartia: The Stewartia is an ideal small to medium-sized flowering ornamental tree. One of its best features is its stunning exfoliating bark, which offers four-season interest. Searching for summertime flowers and fall color to boot? Try the Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia). This sought after specimen is the caviar of the ornamentals. If you have moist, acidic soil with full sun conditions, give this one a go.

Zelkova serrata (Japanese Zelkova): Wondering what might be a good replacement for the diseased-ridden Elm tree? Take a look at the Japanese Zelkova. Related to the Elm, this deciduous shade tree has a similar structure. The Japanese Zelkova can handle some pretty tough conditions and provides fall color without too much leaf clean-up. It makes for a great street tree.

Ginkgo – Ginkgo biloba, another deciduous favorite, is a unique pest-free tree dating back to pre-historic times. Not particularly fussy, this tree can handle extreme conditions (Zone 3 to 9) as well as drought, wind and various soil types. A word of caution with this unique slow grower - don’t get stuck with a female, which you may not know until it is too late! It seldom occurs in the industry but the wretched smelling fruit can be a real show-stopper and not in a good way. A tree of sacred symbolism to the East, this may be one for the meditative spot within your garden.

Fagus sylvatica (European Beech): Majestic in its own right but a bit slow to mature, this long-lived tree requires plenty of elbow room. It can grow as wide as it can grow tall. These big boys may get the standard, run-of-the mill diseases but if you are looking for massive with long-term impact, this is a primo choice. You can also consider the Fagus grandifolia (American Beech), which is equally bold and beautiful. It’s a tough, native nut trees.

So as we think about making a soup or stew on these cold November days, there’s plenty to stew on when it comes to trees for your planting plan. Send your thoughts, questions, comments as we dive into the dormant months. 

 © Images of our recent addition - Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia) by Ann Bilowz

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)