Plant A Tree

By Lisa Ray, The Gardening Advisor, And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden… Gen. 2:8

Celebrate Arbor Day on April 29, 2011

Plant a tree with your family or students!

Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it’s celebrated on the last Friday in April. The benefits of trees are worth far more than what you pay to them.  Trees produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide for the atmosphere.  On a slope, trees control erosion. 

The shade is welcome in the summer; trees cool our homes and yards.  Trees provide beauty and value to our homes, adding a sense of permanence.  Trees provide food for man and animals.  The fallen leaves in autumn may be added to the compost.  The list goes on and on.

Choosing the right tree to plant in your yard is important.  You must consider the space, soil, moisture, temperature conditions, and even color and shape.  For example, if you plant an Oak in a small yard, in a few years, the tree will obstruct the view of your house.

Another example is, if you plant a tree that needs shade in full sun, the tree will likely die in the first season.

 Below is a list of shade trees and information that will help you decide what tree is best for your yard:

Maple:  

Japanese – small rounded; deciduous; leaves are finely dissected and vary in color from coral to red; 15’ tall and spreads slightly wider; partial shade in well-drained soil; zones 5-9

Sugar – oval or rounded; deciduous; leaves are 3-5 lobes and turn yellow, orange, and scarlet in fall; 100’ tall and 70’ wide; any soil in full sun; zones 3-8

Red – columnar; deciduous; leaves 3-5 lobed and yellow, orange, and scarlet in fall; 100’ tall and 70’ wide; any soil in full sun; zones 3-8 (photo)

Chestnut: 

                Horse – round; deciduous; clusters of white late spring flowers followed by spiny flowers; 80’ tall and 70’ wide; any soil in full sun; zones 3-8

Birch:

                River – pyramidal; deciduous; reddish brown exfoliating bark; small leaves; 60’ tall and 30’ wide; moist, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 4-8

Mimosa:

                Silk tree – oval; deciduous; leaves are ferny; flowers are fluffy pink in midsummer; 40’ tall and 40’ wide; poor, dry soil in full sun; zones 7-10

Redbud:

                Eastern – flat topped, spreading; deciduous; pink flowers in spring before leaves; 30’ tall and 20’ wide; any soil in full sun to light shade; zones 4-9

Cedar:

                Atlas – pyramidal with flat-topped horizontal branching; evergreen; 100’ feet and 65’ wide; moist, humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 6-9

Fringe Tree:

                White – round; deciduous; medium leaves turn yellow in fall; clusters of white flowers in late spring; 30’ tall and 30’ wide; humus, will-drained soil in full sun; zones 5-8

Dogwood:

                Florida – round; deciduous; white or pink clusters bracts in late spring; followed by red fruit in fall; 40’ tall and wide; moist cool soil in full sun to partial shade; zones 4-9

Beech:

                American – round; deciduous; gray bark and large leaves that turn yellow in fall; 100’ tall and wide; deep, loamy, moist, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 3-8

Ash:

                White – upright; deciduous; gray bark; 120’ tall and 100’ wide; deep, loamy, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 4-9

Ginkgo:

                Autumn Gold – pyramidal; deciduous; male; fan shaped leaves and golden fall color; 80’ tall and 40’ wide; deep, moist, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 4-8

Black Walnut:

                Black – round; deciduous; dark brown bark; golden fall color; 100’ tall and 75’ wide;          roots give off a toxin to other plants, so plant alone; any soil in full sun; zones 4-8

Sweet Gum:

                Pendula – pyramidal; deciduous; star-shaped leaves turn purple, crimson, and orange in fall; spiny fruit; 100’ tall and 50’ wide; moist, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 3-8

Tulip Tree:

                Arnold – pyramidal; deciduous; lobed leaves

turn yellow in fall; 100’ tall and 60’ wide; deep, moist, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 4-8

Magnolia:

                Southern – pyramidal; evergreen; oval 10” glossy leaves; large white flowers in summer, followed by conical fruit; 90’ tall and 55’ wide; moist, humus, well-drained soil in partial shade; zones 6-10 (photo)

                Star – round; deciduous; starry white spring flowers; 15’ tall and wide; same soil and sun; zones 5-9

                Saucer – round; deciduous; pink to purple flowers in spring followed by leaves; 20’ tall and wide; same soil and sun; zones 5-9

Crab Apple:

                Flowering – deciduous; pink flowers in spring followed by yellow-red fruit; 20’ tall and wide; deep, humus, moist, slightly alkaline soil in full sun; zones 4-8

Flowering Cherry:

                Japanese – round; deciduous; white-pink flowers in spring; new leaves are reddish and mature to green; 25’ tall and wide; deep, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 5-8

Pear:

                Bradford – pyramidal to round; deciduous; white flowers in spring followed by green leaves that turn red in fall; 50’ tall and 30’ wide; moist, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 5-9

Oak:

                Live – round; evergreen; produces acorns in fall; 60’ tall and 100’ wide; moist, humus, well-drained soil in full sun; zones 7-10

                Sawtooth Oak – round; deciduous; glossy toothed leaves; acorns in fall; 45’ tall and wide; same soil and sun; zones 6-8

White – round; deciduous; spreading branches; deeply cut round-lobed leaves that turn purplish red in fall; acorns in fall; 80’ tall and wide; same soil and sun; zones 6-8

Weeping Willow:

                Golden – weeping; deciduous; graceful branches that can touch the ground; 40’ tall and 50’ wide; moist, well-drained, humus soil in full sun; zones 6-10 (photo)

Elm:

                Chinese – round; deciduous-semi-evergreen; bark peels; 50’ tall and 40’ wide; moist, humus, well-drained soil; zones 5-9

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