|FALL TREE PLANTING|
PLANT TREES PLEASE
Harvest season means change. Now it’s time to change out our wardrobe, not just to warmer clothes but also to the deeper colors of the season. The fall season inspires designers to decorate jackets, sweaters, and jewelry with the jewel colors of falling leaves.
Now, while our eyes fill our minds with the reds, golds, and yellows of fall, is a good time to consider adding a tree to our landscape. Now is the best time of year to plant trees.
First, consider the spot where you will plant the tree. A line of small trees or tall dense trees can create sound barriers, helping to muffle out traffic noise from a busy street; they can also create a screen between you and the street, giving you some privacy; they can act as a windbreak, either by blocking the wind or by breaking it up into new, less intense patterns.
Tall, single trees, like oaks and maples, can help to air condition your home in summer and warm it up in the winter. Just plant them so that they are sheltering the house when they are in leaf. Then, when the leaves fall, they allow the sunlight to hit the roof.
Flowering single trees are the aesthetic additions to your garden, creating a breathtaking sight that is reason enough for their existence the rest of the year. Two very early flowering trees boost our spirits as winter ends. The Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata, covers herself in white or pink flowers so early; these buds might be hit with frost in the colder zones of her range. She is rated for USDA Zones 5-8. Position her in a sheltered spot, away from any gullies or low areas where frost might accumulate.
The next two trees illustrate the importance of botanical names when you are looking for a specific plant to fit a precise spot.
The Saucer or Tulip Magnolia Magnolia x soulangiana is a very welcome sight, covering herself with flowers before the leaves appear. Her deeply cupped flowers inspire many to call her a tulip tree. She is small, reaching 10-25 feet and can fit into a small front garden with ease.
Another tree called a Tulip Tree is a very different tree, indeed. It would be a huge surprise to the gardener who plants it in a small area, thinking it a Magnolia x soulangiana. A Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) reaches up to 120 feet. It does this very quickly. It is a handsome shade tree with its large, tulip shaped leaves and small tulip shaped yellow flowers. However, this one needs plenty of room.
I spotted a Weeping Japanese Katsura, Cercidiphyllum japonicum pendulum, while visiting the beautiful Japanese Gardens in Portland Oregon a couple of weeks ago. It was still clothed in its blue-green summer foliage. Burgundy is its color of choice for early spring. I don’t know where I will put it, but I have to find a spot for this fine-looking mounding tree. USDA Zones 5-8.
Thuja occidentalis 'Umbraculifera' or Dwarf Northern Whitecedar for short is perfect for a trough or pot, since it is slow growing. Its lacy soft needles make a mound in a rock garden setting or in the border. For something more interesting than a line of flowers, site several as an undulating "stepping stone" look along a border edge. Although this little green gem has been available to gardeners for over 115 years, it is still scarcely seen in home gardens, except as a bonsai specimen. This one flourishes in most all of the U.S., despite its name. It will even tolerate wet soil. USDA Zones 3-9.
Scent doesn’t always have to come from flowers. Foliage can also stimulate the senses. Just brush by Rosemary trimmed into a tree form, to release that overwhelmingly earthy, tingly scent. Another evergreen that won’t soon outgrow a container is the Black Dragon Japanese Cedar, Cryptomeria japonica 'Black Dragon'. It can be widely planted throughout much of the U.S. USDA Zones 5-9.
Plant Thuja 'Green Giant' and stand back. It literally shoots up, growing 3 to 5 feet a year. This very rare Western Red Cedar will give you privacy, noise abatement, and wind control, if not overnight then at least in a year or two.
Right now is the time. Check your landscape, sharpen your shovel, and get that new tree in the ground.
---Posted by Anne K Moore, October 6 2008---
NASA Seeds in Space
"Snowy, Flowy, Blowy, Showery, Flowery, Bowery, Hoppy, Croppy, Droppy, Breezy, Sneezy, Freezy."