Ornamental Trees are Year-Round Performers
Although 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.
The 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.