Our Favorite Trees: When you read my last blog about favorite evergreens, you may have wondered what other favorites our designers might have. So I posed the question –
If you could only have one single, favorite tree on your property, what would it be and why?
For myself, I am partial to Fagus sylvatica ‘Tricolor’, a Tri-color or European Beech, but if I have to pick only one I know my favorite is Acer palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’, a type of Japanese Maple. It is a beautiful small tree with great branch and fall color.
As individual as ever, no designer picked the same favorite tree:
- Lynn Duffy loves Cercis canadensis or Eastern Redbud trees for their heart shaped leaves, spring color, and overall pleasing shape.
- Bethany Borchak begs to differ – “I would have to plant a Cornus kousa or Kousa Dogwood, it has multiple seasons of interest. In spring its leaves emerge, then the flowers bloom. The green leaves offer a good backdrop for the white flowers, a nice contrast. The vase shaped tree is adaptable to full sun or some shade. In the summer the kousa berries are showy and in the fall they have a red fall color! What is not to love?!”
- The fall color of Maples, any of 100 varieties, and the long, slow process of it, makes them the favorite of Sherrie Mallon.
- Another maple, Acer griseum, commonly called Paperbark Maple, is Lynn Cavanaugh’s choice. It is a small, tree with slender upright branching making it an excellent small tree for small areas. Lynn loves its exfoliating copper orange to cinnamon reddish/brown bark and its showy orange to red fall color. Bark on the trunk and limbs is extremely ornamental because it peels into large curls which remain on the tree rather than falling to the ground, often in attractive contrast to the tan to rose-brown inner bark. The leaves are green above, but frosty blue-green to gray-green beneath.
- Is it a tree? Is it a large shrub? Samantha Conklin would select Lindera Benzoins, commonly known as a spice bush, a perfect naturalizer. It is preferred for its showy fragrant spring blossoms and fall colors, and as a native is a huge food resource for mammals, insects, and birds. Also good to know, the spice bush tolerates deer, drought, heavy shade, and clay soil.
More than just beautiful, trees are vital for us. Trees release oxygen when they use energy from sunlight to make glucose from carbon dioxide and water. They stabilize the soil. Trees give shelter to wildlife as well as materials for tools and shelter for us. Further, studies have shown we simply are better with trees around. Trees have been shown to be therapeutic. If you would like to learn how trees calm us down, read this in New Yorker magazine.
Tree City USA is greening communities across the country. This program is a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of an urban tree canopy and improve care of these vital city trees. Thousands of Tree City USA communities—large and small—have made a commitment to their urban tree canopy and their residents. 111 Michigan communities have committed. Is your community one of them?
Our Design Team will be creating landscapes this winter, for installation in the spring. What are your favorite trees and what can we design for you?