Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vic's Picks: Trees From Small to Tall

As many of you know we have been publishing a monthly newsletter as an insert into the Blue Stone Press, New Paltz Times, and Kingston Times at the beginning of each month.

If you missed it, here's a feature we did highlighting Victoria’s top tree choices from the smallest to the tallest:

Cutleaf Japanese Maple - 6' to 10' tall and wide - Zone 5 -A dwarf, mounded, small tree with a cascading and weeping habit. Also called a Threadleaf maple, the leaves are finely dissected (ribbon-like), and comes in many different varieties – too many to name! Visit the nursery in Rosendale, and fall in love with one! Full sun to part shade

Hydrangea Paniculata Standard - Grows 6' to 8' tall and 6' wide – Zone 5 – Victoria loves ‘limelight’ and ‘Quickfire’ - these varieties can take full sun to part shade, and they put on a spectacular showing of big soft, conical flowers that gradually gradate in color from June until the end of summer.

Magnolia x Jane - Height: 8–10' Spread: 10' - Zone 5–8. Lovely small Magnolia tree – Fragrant flower is reddish-purple outside and white inside.

Ninebark Standard Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo' - Height: 10' to 12' Spread: 6' to 8' – Zone 5 –8 -White summer flowers contrast beautifully with the dark purple foliage. Full sun to part shade

Magnolia x Riki - Height: 10’ to 12’ Spread: 10’ to 12’ – Zone 5 – 8 - Fragrant purple cupped flowers with pink gradations. The large, dark green, pointy leaves turn coppery bronze in fall. Full sun partial shade

Dappled Willow Standard Salix integra 'Hakuro Nishiki' - Grows 10' to 15' tall and 15' to 20' wide – Zone 3 – A must see! These amazing trees look like they are in bloom all summer long, but it is really their intricately variegated leaves. Full sun.

Aesculus pavia (Red Buck-eye)- Height 6 to 15 feet - Zone 5-9 – This native tree is a showstopper with bright red, upright conical flowers. Attract bees and hummingbirds! Full sun to partial shade, but needs moist soil.

Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringe Tree) Height: 12 ft to 20 ft Spread: 12 ft to 20 ft - Zones: 3 to 9 - Turns heads with a profusion of long, feathery, white blooms in May. Prefers full sun to partial shade. Soil should be moist, well-drained and ideally acidic. Dark-blue, grape-like clusters of fruits are produced from female blossoms.

Acer palmatum 'Harriet Waldman' – 15'to 15' tall and wide - Zone 5 - Variegated Japanese maple with pink new growth. A rare and hard to find variety, we are lucky enough to have a grower who propagates this beautiful tree. Even the color of the bark is a stunning, saturated pink-red.

Side Note: The 3 different Bloom Times of Dogwood Varieties:

In our little corner of the world - Ulster County, NY - bloom time for Dogwoods
of all varieties carries us from April through May. But there are three
different Dogwood types, which bloom in succession during the spring season:

First to bloom: Native Dogwoods (Cornus florida): Cornus florida, native to the
Northeast stand out against the still brown forests in early to mid-April.
Native Dogwoods are multi-stemmed with low branching, which gives them their
elegant form. Cornus florida bears red fruit in the fall its foliage turns a
striking red. Even in the winter, the branching structure is graceful making it
a wonderful all season tree.

Second to bloom: Dogwood Hybrids: Hybrids are crosses between the Flowering
Dogwood and the Kousa Dogwood,native to Japan. These hybrids have been developed

by Dr. Orton at Rutgers University to create trees that look like the native
variety, but with resistance to diseases that affect Cornus florida. Our favorite variety is the white blooming 'Aurora'.

Last to bloom: Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) and Cornus alternifolia: The Kousa Dogwood, or Japanese Kousa, blooms later than the other Dogwoods and it also gets quite a bit taller. The kousa produces large raspberry-like berries in the fall. It is usually a
multi-stemmed tree with excellent disease resistance. The Cornus alternifolia branches
grow in tiers on the main trunk, hence its name the "pagoda" dogwood.

Cornus florida 'Appalachain Spring'- 15' – 20' tall and wide - Zone 5 - A strong grower with light green foliage, forming a bushy small tree. Produces large white flowers in spring. This variety can tolerate shade, but can also thrive in full sun, provided it gets enough moisture.

Cornus florida 'Cherokee Brave'- 18' - 20' tall and wide - Zone 5 - One of the most spectacular spring flowering, small trees. The entire plant is covered with bracts that open dark pink, before fading to light pink.

Cornus x 'Aurora' - A small tree, growing to approx 18' by 15'. In spring the
plant is covered by masses of velvety white bracts developing pinkish overtones
as the flowers age.

Cornus kousa -20' tall and wide - Zone 5- Produces masses of creamy-white flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by strawberry-like fruit in autumn. The variety 'Wolf Eyes' with creamy-edged leaves and long-lasting white bracts is Victoria's favorite variety.

Cornus alternifolia - Zone 3 -A deciduous large shrub with distinctive green and white
leaves. Grows 15-25' tall with spreading, horizontal, low branching.

Forest Pansy Redbud - 25' tall and 25' wide – Zone 4 –8 – Covered in tiny flower buds in the spring, sometimes they look as though they are covered in a thick velvet. The buds open into small delicate fairy flowers and then the delicate heart shaped foliage emerges. It’s hard to say which phase is more beautiful. Great tree! One of Victoria’s favorites! Full sun to part shade.

Magnolia × loebneri 'Leonard Messel’ (Saucer Magnolia) -25 ft. to 30 ft. high and wide – Zone 4 –8 – Fragrant, star-shaped flowers with white on the inside and purplish-pink on the outside; the transition of color from bud to bloom is a joy to watch. Needs Full sun for best blooming.

Styrax japonicus fargesii (Japanese Snowbell) - 20 ft to 30 ft - Zones: 5 to 8 - "A delicate beauty...dark leaves perched like butterflies above the white, bell-shaped flowers." - Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs. This tree grows in sun or light shade, and will not tolerate hot dry soil. Prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Smooth gray bark is very attractive, and Dirr says plant this tree on a hillside so its downward facing flowers can be viewed from below.

Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese Umbrella Pine) -Height: 20 ft to 30 ft Spread: 15 ft to 20 ft - Zones: 4 to 8 - Long glossy needles and slow to grow, this elegant tree is like no other evergreen.

Oxydendrum arboreum (Sourwood)- Height: 25 ft to 30 ft Spread: 20 ft to 25 ft - Zones: 5 to 9 - This native tree blooms when no other tree is blooming in summer, and with the panicles still on the tree, the fall foliage will knock your socks off. Fragrant white blossoms and a spectacular fall show. The persistent fruit remains on the tree through winter.

Stewatia pseudocamllia (Japanese Stewartia) - Height: 20 ft to 40 ft Spread: 20 ft to 40 ft - Zones: 4 to 7 - The gray, gold, and brown pealing bark is a real stand-out as a winter interest and it has great fall foliage, plus lovely white flowers in July!

Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) - Height: 40-50 ft. Spread: 20-30 ft. - Zones: 4-8 - Bright green, fern-like deciduous foliage – stunning! Can tolerate flooding and pond side.

Betula Nigra: Heritage River Birch - Height: 40’ to 50’ Spread: 20’ to 35’ - Zones 5 to 9 - One of our best-selling trees! This native tree is elegant and performs better in our area than its European cousin. Its bark is not quite as showy, but its form is lovely.

Weeping Willow. Salix babylonica- Height: 40’ to 50’ Spread: 35’ to 40’ – Zone 4 – 8 – Dreamy, romantic form, plant where you can view it from afar.

Fagus sylvatica riversii Dwarf Beech - Height: 40’ to 60’ Spread: 25’ to 35’ – Zone 4 to 8 – Big and beautiful! Stately form and shimmering, dark purple foliage with metallic copper tones in autumn.

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