Need a tree recommendation - Knowledgebase Question

naugatuck, Co
Question by blueladyrain
March 11, 2010
We have a bay window that faces the street, and we are looking for a tree that we can grow in front of it as a bit of a shield without being too shady. Criteria would be not more than 20' tall or so, single trunk, deciduous, slightly more verical than round, flowering ok. The area receives sun mid-day on, with good drainage. I'm limited on space, so, thanks in advance!

Answer from NGA
March 11, 2010


Some to consider include:

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is available in either single or multi-stem form. In Colorado, it flowers early, but by June its breathtaking pink mantle is transformed into waxy heart-shaped leaves -- sure to evoke romantic evenings. In our climate, this tree probably won't grow taller than 25 feet, but its spread can be as broad as it is tall?perfect.

Another intriguing feature is the random branching of its rounded umbrella-shaped canopy. If you choose the multi-stem form, select one with no more that three leads (stems). Or select one with four and cut the weakest out.

The Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata): Of all the lilacs, this one possibly is the most trouble-free. Its creamy white June flowers sit like old-fashioned candles on a Christmas tree. Its globe-shaped branching pattern is quite formal. It's not a tree with a broad canopy, but it certainly will be a focal point of any landscape setting.

Washington Hawthorne (Crataegus phaenopyrum) has a sterling reputation, spring, summer and fall. In anticipation of an occasional dilatory spring storm, it doesn't leaf out until later in the season, a "smart" tree. By June, delicious pink-centered white flowers appear, and in the fall the glistening red fruit hangs on long after the brightly colorful leaves have dropped.

The Washington Hawthorne also can be purchased in either single or multi-stem form. Again the random branching pattern makes it easy to encourage directional growth. It does have one prickly problem. Pruning, without a hefty pair of thorn-proof gloves, can be disquieting.
There are lots more from which to choose. Here are some other varieties you might want to consider:

Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa), a wonderful zone 5 tree but a little touchy in our climate, so it needs a protected location;
Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata). You'll find lots of examples in Denver parks.

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