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.
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.
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.
Although often confused with the Scarlet Oak, the Pin Oak grows in nearly pure stands on shallow sites that drain poorly. Scarlet Oaks are an upland species preferring soils with good drainage. Another unique identification for this species is the mature trees branch positions. The upper branches will point upwards, middle branches perpendicular to the trunk and the lower branches slumped downward.
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”.
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.
The Hazelnut tree is a deciduous that is closely related to trees such as birches and alders. Hazelnut trees bloom and pollinate in winter. They can be very winter hardy. When planting, it is recommended to soak roots in water for up to an hour prior to planting to increase survival. Taking about 3 years to begin harvesting nuts, a mature tree can produce up to 10 to 15 pounds of cleaned seed. They can last in commercial production for up to 40 years.
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.
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 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.