The Q&A Archives: shade tree

Question: We are looking for a shade tree, max height 30-40 ft. We have seen one type very commonly grown around here as street trees, grown ones are 30x30 with straight trunk, rough bark, and 1x4 in green to red leaves about 9 to a stem. There is a similar tree we saw but with smooth bark and only green leaves on a reddish stem. Do you know what these are or have any suggestion for shade trees? Thanks.

Answer: It is really difficult to identify a tree without seeing it, but the tree ma be a Honey Locust, or an Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Both have pinnately compound leaves and both show the red/green fall coloring. Either grows well in your gardening region. The Honey Locust has a broad, rounded canopy; the Ash is more broadly oval. Both reach 50' high by 30' wide at maturity.

Aside from these two suggestions, you might want to visit a local nursery at this time of year - the foliage will be changing colors now so you'll have an idea of what will provide fall color in your area.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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