The Q&A Archives: Hardy, Unusual Tree for Zone 4

Question: What kind of tree would you recommend that would be hardy, long lived (30 yrs plus), not prone to splitting or growing huge, yet a rather unique or not really common tree?

Answer: There are some really striking beech tree varieties that might fit the bill. Weeping varieties of common trees can create a dramatic, unusual effect.

For example, River's Purple Beech (Fagus sylvatica Riversii) has glossy deep purple foliage, and grows to a height of 50 to 60 feet. Beech are slow growers, reaching only about 12 feet in 10 years, so if you have the room you might consider this one. There are also some weeping beeches.

Maackia amurensis sounds like a nice tree, though I'm not personally familiar with it. It has small, dark green leaves, clusters of white flowers in the spring, and shiny, coppery-bronze bark. It is hardy and durable, with no known pests. It grows to a height of 30 feet.

There are some beautiful weeping flowering crabapples that might suit you, such as 'White Cascade', which has a graceful weeping habit. It grows to about 15 feet tall.

Finally, 'Golden Curls' willow has a weeping form, with corkscrew-like branches. It grows to 30 feet.

All these trees are available from Carroll Gardens, 800-638-6334.

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