replacement trees - Knowledgebase Question

Marietta, Ge
Question by mark333sp
June 30, 2010
I have 2 white dogwood trees in an island in my front yard. They are around 25 years old and I think they are on their last legs. Can you suggest a replacement tree that is hopefully fast growing and has nice color either in foliage or flowers. I would also like the tree to have a spreading canopy and not grow over 25 feet tall. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Mark


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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There are a lot of great small trees to consider. Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) is an excellent choice, becoming broad spreading with distinctive horizontal branching and great fall color. Another dogwood to consider is Cornus mas or cornelian cherry dogwood with its wonderful bright yellow flowers, which open on bare stems in March. Its fruit ripens in July and is eaten by the birds. "Variegata" has variegated foliage, while "Elegantissima" sports pink shading on its young leaves. There are many species of Hawthorn (Crataegus) with showy spring flowers and red berries, which are loved by robins in early spring before the worms become available. Both Washington and Winter King are popular varieties; Winter King has showy bark in winter. Many new varieties of crabapple have small fruit that are persistent on the tree through the winter and will not create the mess as some of the old fashioned crabs did. For example Malus 'Adirondack" is a narrow upright tree only 12' tall with disease resistant leaves, white flowers, and red fruit that persists into winter. Serviceberry (Amelanchior) will grow to 25 feet with white flowers early in spring and black berries that are quickly devoured by birds in summer. The fall color is outstanding. White fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) also has white flowers in spring which give this native tree its common name "Old Man's Beard." It grows to about 20'. Be sure to check their adaptability to your soil type. Happy Gardening!

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