The Q&A Archives: Which tree should I plant?

Question: I would like to plant 2 trees in my front lawn for summer shade. I would like a variety that will not harm my established sprinkler system. Please give me a suggestion for a tree that is beautiful in the fall, provides shade in the summer, disease restistant, and establishes deep roots. I was leaning towards Chinese Pistachio, Bradford Flowering Pear, or Raywood Ash. Your input would be appreciated. Thank you! Kim Enos

Answer: You've made some good choices. Originally from East Asia Chinese Pistachio is a beautiful deciduous tree with bright green alternate pinnately compound leaves that turn orange-crimson during the autumn. The foliage of Pistachia chinensis has a unique smell and can be used as means to identify this tree from others that look similar. Aromatic green-red flowers may appear in mid-late summer; if male is present spherical red fruit will follow that will mature into a blue color. Fruit look nice but it also can be messy. When the Chinese Pistachio reaches maturity it forms an umbrella like crown and grows up to 50-80 feet tall and 22-30 foot in width. The Pistachio tolerates drought, salt, and heat well. Or, you might consider Tipuana, a semi evergreen tree, 30 to 50 feet tall and wide; dark, reddish-brown, fissured bark; pinnate leaves, 4 to 8 inches long. Yellow-orange flowers with reddish center appear in clusters in summer, followed by winged seed pods. Either tree will provide nice shade for your lawn. Another suggestion is fruitless mulberry. These are fast growing deciduous trees with not flowers, fruit or seeds to drop on your lawn. Best wishes with your landscape!

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