Originating in China, the Weeping Willow is a known focal point in any yard or field. These wide, tall trees have drooping branches, like Mother Nature’s curtains sweeping down to the ground. These long, elegant branches make it easy to identify.
The Tulip Poplar, also known as the Tulip tree, is one of the largest of the native trees of the eastern United States. It is actually not a poplar at all but a member of the magnolia family. Roots are fleshy, bark is brown and furrowed while branches are smooth, lustrous and initially reddish while maturing to dark gray then brown. Typical form of its head is conical.
The White Flowering Dogwood is a small, bushy tree distributed throughout the eastern United States. The bark resembles alligator hide due to its deeply ridged and broken properties. It develops best as an understory species accompanied with other hardwoods but can be grown from seed planted half inch deep in late winter.
Dawn Redwoods were once thought to be extinct until 1941 when it was discovered in a remote valley of a Chinese province. They now thrive all around the world. These trees don’t like to be planted close to other trees and their leaves change from green to an almost apricot color in the fall!
The Silky Dogwood is a large shrub grown in an upright rounded form. When young the stems are a stunning bright red in the fall, winter and early spring turning to a reddish brown come summer. As it matures, the stems remain the reddish brown year round until eventually maintaining a gray pigment. Although sometimes mistaken for Red Osier Dogwood, the brown pith and blue toned fruits distinguishes this from its lookalike. Although highly tolerant of shade, they do not thrive well in droughty conditions.
Red-osier dogwood is a common shrub throughout Michigan. It is especially abundant in wet meadows, marshes, and swamps, but it does well if planted in an upland habitat. The stems are green in the summer and red in the winter.
Few shrubs are easier to grow than ninebark. This North American native tolerates an array of weather conditions and is largely left alone by animal pests. Newer selections bear foliage in bold shades of purple and gold. It may suffer from powdery mildew, especially during extended periods of wet weather but is otherwise virtually carefree. The common name comes from the bark, which continually molts in thin strips, exposing a new layer of bark, as if it had “nine lives”.
This member of the honeysuckle family is a shrub with smooth gray bark. Corky bumps cover the slender branches while containing spongy, white piths inside the twigs and branches. The berries often grow in quantities it weighs down the branches.
The redbud is a tree that is valued far more than its small size. Some might suggest no less than “one of our most beautiful native trees”. What makes the redbud so special is its gift of spring color and its hardy adaptability. Many landscapes are made all the more beautiful with the addition of this Redbud, which is distinguishable by divided, multiple trunks and a graceful, rounded crown. It generally has a short, often twisted trunk and spreading branches.
The Trumpet Vine is a deciduous vine found in thickets, dry woods, railroads and long fencerows. Vines should be thinned throughout the groFew shrubs are easier to grow than ninebark. This North American native tolerates an array of weather conditions and is largely left alone by animal pests. Newer selections bear foliage in bold shades of purple and gold. It may suffer from powdery mildew, especially during extended periods of wet weather but is otherwise virtually carefree. The common name comes from the bark, which continually molts in thin strips, exposing a new layer of bark, as if it had “nine lives”.
Rose of Sharon is a hardy deciduous shrub. It is upright and vase-shaped. Individual flowers are short-lived, lasting only a day. However, buds are produced abundantly on the shrub’s new growth providing prolific flowering over a long summer blooming period. The Rose of Sharon requires ample moisture and some protection from midday to afternoon sun to flower at its best.
The Common Lilac is a popular traditional plant with striking flowers. These blooms make for lovely flower arrangements. It is best planted in areas with good air circulation to reduce powdery mildew problems. They also tolerate road salt and exposed windy sites.
Buttonbush is usually found in mucky swamp areas that are usually too wet for other perennial species to establish and thrive. However, they will grow just about anywhere you plant it, including upland sites. This bush has a short lifespan and reaches maturity at 20 years.
Red Maple is one of the most common trees in our area. This tree can be found just about anywhere, including forests, stream banks and fields. It is a pioneer tree, which means it is one of the first to take over a field. It is also often an understory tree, growing beneath larger trees. Due to its adaptability has made this species a common tree in home landscape. Red Maples extend from Florida and west to Texas and Minnesota.
Sugar maples can survive in a wide variety of soil types but for maximum tree growth and sap production, soils should be moist and well drained. They can be found in canyons, ravines, valleys and streambanks, but also found on dry rocky hillsides. The common name refers to the use of species for making sugar and syrup.
The Black Walnut is a large deciduous tree providing light shade and excellent bright yellow fall foliage. Nut production begins when the tree is about 10 years old and has best production when 30 years old. The tree tends to yield heavier in alternate years.
Of all the members of the White Oak family, the contrast of the leaf color from top to bottom is the most apparent and back side bleached. Thus the specific moniker “bicolor” is very much suitable. Branches grow flares of bark but as the bark matures becomes ridged and furrowed.