Ornamental Trees are Year-Round Performers
warm weather is on the wane, that's no reason for active gardeners to hang up
the shovel. Fall is the perfect time to plant ornamental trees. Certain species
offer unique displays even in winter, according to Lindsay Bond Totten for Scripps
Howard News Service.
Hawthorn isn't called "Winter King" for nothing. Months after yielding masses
of white, springtime blossoms, the Winter King really comes into its own. Fall
brings bright red berries hanging from silvery twigs, berries that are so hardy
and unappetizing to birds that they continue to hang around well into the winter.
It's a colorful and long-lived display.
You'll also admire the silvery-gray
bark and striking outline, preferably planted a slight distance from the house
where it can be viewed from a window. In ten years, you can expect a height and
spread of 15 feet. The urban gardener will find the hardy Hawthorn is resistant
to pollution and drought, once it's established in good soil with adequate moisture.
Japanese Stewartia boasts of waxy dark leaves and distinctive white blossoms
reminiscent of camellia. Dressed out in more formal attire than the Hawthorn,
it's a better choice for a formal garden or courtyard. The Stewartia is not quite
as rugged as the Hawthorn, either--drought or stressful city conditions are hard
on this pretty tree. Nonetheless, the Stewartia does reliably well in cooler climates
from USDA Zone 5 and south. After shedding leaves in the fall, younger trees display
their smooth, grayish-green bark that acquires a mottled appearance in later years
when the bark begins to flake off naturally.
"Forest Pansy" is a popular newcomer
that hit the gardening scene a few years ago. In the spring, you'll be tantalized
by a brief burst of tiny, reddish-purple blossoms, here and gone. But the tree's
signature are the leaves--large and heart-shaped with a strikingly dark, maroon
color. This is a larger tree that needs some space around it. It's a good choice
for the walkway or patio or further away from the house.