Category Archives: Trees

Landscape Trends – Native Plants

Written on July 19, 2016 at 4:19 pm, by

There has been a lot of hubbub about using native plants in the landscape instead of horticulturally introduced selections (exotics). For the most part I do not subscribe to this philosophy. Because there are few native soils left I do not embrace the “natives or nothing” philosophy that some landscape architects and landscape designers espouse.  Continue Reading »

Flowering Trees—Black Alder

Written on July 24, 2015 at 4:03 am, by

Most landscape designers have favorite trees and I am no exception.     My list of favorites has varied over the years but Alnus glutinosa always has a prominent spot on the list. While black alder is widely known in the landscape industry it is still not routinely used.   Perhaps it is because although the tree is  Continue Reading »

Flowering Trees — Winter King Hawthorn

Written on July 24, 2015 at 4:00 am, by

Winter King Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’) has been described many times as “a tree for all seasons”.    And it certainly is. While many ornamental trees only offer the benefits of spring flowers, Winter King Hawthorn offers outstanding character throughout the year. In the spring it boasts abundant clusters of white flowers and summer foliage  Continue Reading »

Flowering Trees—Sweet Bay Magnolia

Written on July 24, 2015 at 3:58 am, by

Occasionally I do speaking engagements for garden clubs, college classes or groups of professionals.    One of the presentations I share is called “The Not So Ugly Ducklings” and is about under-used trees in the landscape. Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is almost always my lead or anchor tree in the presentation.   It is my absolute  Continue Reading »

Evergreen Trees – Swiss Stone Pine

Written on July 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm, by

It’s extremely hardy.  It’s pest free.  It’s more disease resistant than the genus at large.  It maintains a beautiful, dense, columnar profile for the first 25-30 years of its life.  And it rarely exceeds 40’ tall and 15’ wide. Yet it is doggone unusual to see Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra) outside of botanic gardens  Continue Reading »

Evergreen Trees – Limber Pine

Written on June 18, 2015 at 4:04 am, by

Looking for a long-lived evergreen that’s not a spruce?  You might consider trying limber pine (Pinus flexilis) as a handsome alternative.   While many pines are soft and have flexible branches, the branches of limber pine are exceptionally elastic, hence the name. Limber pine grows to about 40’-50’ at maturity although it is a relatively slow  Continue Reading »

Evergreen Trees – Lacebark Pine

Written on June 9, 2015 at 4:00 am, by

We see so many blue spruce and Austrian pine that you might think there are no real alternatives for us in the landscape.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  There are a multitude of options for those willing to look. One of my all-time favorites is lacebark pine (Pinus bungeana). The year was 1986  Continue Reading »