May 16, 2013

Spring Tree Party

There's a party going on in my garden, and it's the spring trees that are hosting.

Cornus florida, a pink flowering dogwood, still bears the scars from a snowstorm in 2011 that broke off the center branches, leaving a gap in the middle, but it is slowly recovering. From some angles you can't tell.


The 'Forest Pansy' redbud that I wrote about recently is done flowering and is now opening its leaves in the shapes of tiny crimson hearts. This takes my breath away.

'Orange Dream' Japanese maple is turning from rich coppery orange to yellow and chartreuse, its summer colors. A lacy white Aronia 'Brilliantissima' photobombs the shot.

A longer view in cool evening light shows the pinky white aronia having fun next to the coppery 'Orange Dream' maple in the distance. A very new variegated white and green sweetgum is in the foreground, tied up because it wanted to lean over and I did not think that was acceptable.

A brand new Aesculus pavia, red buckeye, is spreading its floppy palmate leaves, and they are so crisply pleated, on such a little tree that I am amazed. The tree itself is just a stick of a sapling. But even at this young age, it has big red candle flowers opening.



A paperbark maple, Acer griseum, looks kind of stately as it leafs out in spring. I never thought it would happen -- this tree always looked like it had been assembled by a 7th grade shop class -- but this year it has outgrown that awkward stage and is truly party ready.

The red maple, Acer rubrum, that anchors the end of my "allee" (that is, a 25 foot walk along the side of the house) was deformed by storms a couple years ago, but is regaining its big rounded maple shape now.

Black gums, or tupelos (Nyssa sylvatica) are very late to leaf out in spring. After waiting forever, they slowly and tantalizingly unfurl their greenery.

And finally. . . . finally, my sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum is just beginning to open its leaves. It took its time this spring, but has finally decided to join us. A real latecomer to the tree party in my garden.

 

30 comments:

  1. To my eye, your landscape looks so finished; but - ha - I fear it is not!

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    1. Pam, finished? Never! You know me too well.

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  2. You have a fine collection of trees Laurrie. Seeing them makes me wish for more property to be able to plant up a bunch of them. I have a buckeye shrub. No room for a tree. This tree is quite a handsome specimen.

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    1. Lisa, I too wish for more acreage. There are so many trees I would still like to plant. I would be happy living in a 10 acre arboretum!

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  3. Show is right!!! I am speechless! The vantage points in your garden are just magnificent! You have an amazing eye for placement and most of all design! Your flowering trees are so pretty as are your beds!

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    1. Nicole, I get a kick out of your enthusiasm for my trees -- you make my day!

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  4. I always enjoy looking at wide shots of your place, Laurrie - the balance of trees and shrubs is so lovely. Very refreshing when winter is fast approaching here. I didn't know you could get variegated sweetgums. It should be spectacular in a few more years. But I do hope your sweetgum and sourwood get along with each other, it sounds like their personalities might clash!

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    1. Lyn, well I didn't think of sweet & sour trees clashing! That gave me a giggle.

      I'm a little iffy on the variegated sweet gum -- the leaves are crisply white edged and dark green but in the two years I have had it, the leaves seem to scorch. Either sunburn in summer and then early drop, or frost browning the edges in spring. The leaves are tiny, not like the bold stars on yours. I'm hoping it is just immaturity right now and this tree will improve with age.

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  5. Hi Laurrie....Your garden looks like a beautiful park. The trees are wonderful and that picture with the Red Buckeye looks like something out of a magazine! I really enjoy seeing your garden and look forward to seeing more!

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    1. Christy, thanks so much. I love your description of a park ... that would be my ideal, to live in a park!

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  6. I love the way you describe your trees as, one by one, showing up to your house party :)

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    1. Rosemary, I love to watch the trees show up, each ready for the party in its own time.

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  7. I gush over tulips every spring, but really it is the trees that capture my attention the most in the springtime. You have some beautiful specimens--the red buckeye is so interesting!

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    1. Rose, I agree. Spring bulbs and early flowers are nice, but it's the trees in spring that wow --- your crabapples are a gorgeous example. Wish I had some of those beauties here.

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  8. Always a joy to see old friends reemerge from their winters rest. The Buckeye is fantastic, I spotted this years first Hummingbird feeding from the flowers of mine this week. My Sourwood that I planted last year, inspired from one of your old posts, is also pushing out flower buds. My new dilemma now is should I give up with fruit trees after seeing your photo of the Paperbark Maple, but its a good dilemma to have!

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    1. Rob, I gave up on fruit trees, and have none. Cedar apple rust in my area makes many a problem, and there are so many other choices. How great that you put in a sourwood --- I hope there will be pictures. And a paperbark maple is a good choice, although I have to say it was an awkward and coarse looking tree until finally this year (6 years after planting.)

      I'll keep an eye out for the ruby throat to see if he feeds on the buckeye flowers!

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  9. Laurrie, looking at your list of trees is like going to a candy shop for me. So much I WANT. I'm going tree shopping this weekend and an Acer griseum is on my list, especially after seeing how beautiful yours is.

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    1. Marguerite, ooh, tree shopping -- can I come? I would say that Acer griseum is not a very attractive tree when young. They are stiffly branched and look awkward. They need good pruning while small. But after several years (6 years for mine) they do start to fill in and look good. This is the first year I am liking mine. I hope you find one -- the bark is awesome.

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  10. A wonderful selection of small trees. Even injured, your flowering dogwood is breathtaking. And the leaves on that redbud - wonderful.

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    1. Jason, thanks! I enjoy watching all the trees as they leaf out, recover from injuries and do their thing.

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  11. Laurie you have so many beautiful trees that I will have to make some notes...I am replacing some mature trees....your trees are gorgeous.

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    1. Donna, how exciting to be replacing some trees and having to make choices of what to plant. My favorite activity!

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  12. I love how much you love your trees. I've always loved trees, too, but have a new appreciation for them now that I can see them through your eyes. :o)

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    1. Tammy, I do love trees above all plants in my garden. I'm not sure why, but they fascinate me more than flowering perennials or designed beds and borders.

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  13. You have such a wonderful collection of trees Laurrie. There are many times when I wish I had room for a few more trees. That pink flowering dogwood is sooo pretty! A Japanese Maple in my backyard bit the biscuit last winter. I wonder if I could find a pink dogwood locally? Hmm... The redbud is another tree I would so love to add. It looks amazing in your earlier post and I like the heart shaped leaves.

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    1. Jennifer, thanks so much. You certainly can't go wrong adding either a pink flowered dogwood or a redbud (or both!) The dogwood has glorious red fall foliage color too, a real show stopper. The redbud is lovely but does not have much fall color, but it makes up for it with such pretty heart shaped leaves.

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  14. You have an amazing collection of native trees Laurie. Especially the pink dogwood. I am envious.

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    1. Patty, thank you! I have several non-natives planted too, but the native trees are my favorites.

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  15. Such beautiful choices and a beautiful time of year to showcase them! Sometimes I try to imagine what I would choose for trees if someone hadn't already chosen or I had more property. Acer griseum and Aesculus pavia would definitely be on the list and I would no doubt give Forest Pansy another try. Right now I am at my limit and probably beyond :(.

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    1. Sue, Even with all the trees I have planted, I have dreams about what else I would want if I had the room. I definitely want a Bracken's Brown Beauty magnolia in the yard, and a hickory for the back hill and an American beech --- and on and on. Ten acres would not be enough!

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