Great Trees to Add to the Your Landscape

Many of us are looking to add some new trees and shrubs to our landscape after the devastating storms of the past few years. When we bought our homes most of them already had trees and shrubs and we either were happy with them or decided to leave them until we got around to re-designing our landscape. With trees or shrubs there seems to be an added need to get it right the first time. A tree is not like a perennial that is easily dug up and moved from place to place. Trees and shrubs are expensive so we want to make sure we make good choices and place them properly. I once heard someone say we plant trees for posterity and that has some truth to it.

I plant trees and shrubs because they give me pleasure, they give privacy, they reduce sound from neighbors and traffic, they add structure to the landscape, they add color and texture and they increase the value of my home. We offer a wide selection of trees and shrubs at the Plant Sale and have expert plant people available at the Sale to help you make your choices. Until then, here is a small sampling of what we are offering.

Cercis Forest Pansy is an Eastern Redbud hardy to Zone 5 that blooms in April and May. Flowers are profuse along bare branches and are a pinkish purple. The flowers bloom for a long period and are then followed by strikingly beautiful heart shaped leaves that are deep purple. Its Autumn colors are red, orange, purple and yellow. Growing to approximately 20 feet it will work in almost any landscape. The elegant branching habit makes this a tree for all seasons. Grow this deer resistant native in sun or part shade.

Heptacodium miconoides, more poetically known as the Seven Sons Flower, is a great substitute for Lagerstroemia (Crape myrtle) in this area because it is hardy to Zone 4. It is a large fountain-shaped, multi-stemmed shrub (careful pruning early on will enhance its shape) growing 15-20 feet tall with a ten foot spread. Blooming in late Summer and early Fall, the creamy white flowers are fragrant and grow in whorls of seven tiny flowers which is where it got its name. These flowers are followed by small fruits surrounded by red calyces which give the appearance of a second bloom. The bark exfoliates, creating Winter interest. Although this Chinese native may no longer be found in the wild it is becoming an increasingly popular specimen in the landscape.

Magnolia Sweet Thing is a reliably hardy Sweetbay Magnolia for the north. It is also for those magnolia lovers who don't have the room for a 40 foot tree because it grows to only 8 feet tall and almost as wide. Like all Sweetbay Magnolias it has fragrant creamy white flowers in Summer followed by showy seedpods. It can be grown in full sun or shade, is deer resistant and evergreen. It is an ideal foundation plant. It can also be planted in large containers for the patio.

Cornus kousa Miss Satomi - I think every property should have a Chinese dogwood and one of the best is C. Miss Satomi. Pink flowers in June are followed by bright red fruits in the Fall. Named after the daughter of a Japanese nurseryman, it is very free flowering and the leaves turn red and orange in the Autumn. Growing at a moderate rate to 16 feet and sited in as much sun as you can, this will become a favorite in your garden.

Spirea Ogon tops my personal favorite list in my own garden every year. Tiny white blossoms appear in March and April engulfing the branches and are followed by narrow golden leaves giving a bamboo-like appearance without bamboo-like tendencies. These leaves become light green in Summer and are followed by orange Fall foliage. It is a deciduous shrub growing to about 3 feet but it takes well to shearing after the flowers have faded to keep it more compact. I cut mine back to about 10 inches after flowering. It is a PHS plant of merit and has excellent deer resistance. This is not your grandmother's spirea. I hope you will give it a try.

Check back to read about some more great trees and shrubs that are looking for a home.

==Sue Acheson, Plant Sale Co-Chair==