Small Tree For Flower Bed

Bella33067(7b SC)July 6, 2005

I currently moved to a new house and there is little landscaping done. I have a medium size bed in the front of the house with Indian Hawthorne shrubs and another type of shrub(not sure of the name). I would like to plant a small tree in the middle of the bed that would give some height and little bit of shade. I want something a bit different that will flower(either red or white blooms) or the foliage has a contrast. I have thought of a Dogwood or even Japanese Maple Tree due to the diffent color leaves, but on my street that has been done more than once. I need a tree that will grow about the same height as a Dogwood or Japanese Maple when it is matured. Open to suggestions. Thanks, Bella

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crepe myrtle: blooms in summer when everything else gives up, & you can choose red, watermelon, pink, lavender, medium purple, white...

redbud: not really red.
Orchid blooms emerge on the bare branches in spring,& heart-shaped green leaves emerge later.
If the sun isn't too intense in the area you have, you might check into Forest Pansy Redbud, which has burgundy/green leaves.

crabapple: there are a number of cultivars, & you can choose the one you like best (mine, whose name I don't know, has burgundy foliage.)
Flowers in the spring are followed by crabapples, somewhat larger than grapes.
Birds like 'em, or you can make crabapple jelly.

yaupon holly, standard not dwarf, has small gray-green foliage, interesting bark & shape, plus cheery red berries in winter.

The first 3 are deciduous, but yaupon is evergreen.
Also, they all grow well here in the DFW area, where the soil is alkaline:
If your soil is acidic, you need to check with your county agricultural extension agent to see if these trees will grow in your area.

Best luck, & have fun! (It sounds like a nice place to put a chair or bench.)

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:45PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Fagus sylvatica 'Tricolor' aka tricolor European beech would be a lovely choice. The leaves are three colors, thus the name. I purposely didn't mention a flowering plant for a simple reason: they are normally selected for the appearance of their blooms, which last about 2 weeks on average; then you have to look at them for the remaining 50 weeks in the year. Why not choose a tree with interesting foliage & one whose form will be interesting in winter? Then, you can enjoy it all year. It is a much easier tree for beginners to prune (and maintain a particular size and shape) & doesn't have near the propensity to serve up suckers & water sprouts every time it's hacked at. Fagus sylvatica 'purpurea' and 'purpurea pendula' (the weeping form) are also very interesting trees with deep purple leaves that are easy to prune to a desired size.

I guess my point is that though many continue to choose trees for their short-lived blooms, it's a sure bet that a high percentage of growers who choose 1 or 2 flowering trees as specimens would have been happier with a different tree. You said you were open to suggestions. ;o)


    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:51PM
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Bella33067(7b SC)

Thank you for all of your suggestions. The crabapple is a pretty tree. I didn't think of that one. Now I have to decide what I want to do. Still open to more suggestions from others.

AL, How high does the tricolor European beech become?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 7:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Mature ht listed at 25 - 40 feet, but don't let that put you off. The tree is one of the easier trees to prune to your preferred size. If a bonsai grower can control a 100 year old tree's ht, keeping it to under 18", it should be no problem for you to keep this tree within established size limits. As with any tree, you'll need to acquire a reasonable knowledge of pruning techniques if you wish to limit size.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:32PM
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PMC_Nebraska(z5 NE)

Don't forget that you have to deal with all those crab apples. They can be a huge mess.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 9:52AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I probably should clear something up - before I get corrected. I used the Fagus s. as an example. I'm sure there are other trees that would be suitable. The best course of action would be to determine what trees would be appropriate for the site. Considerations would include amount of sun, drainage, irrigated or not, soil type, soil pH, and even things like wind or salt water run-off or spray from driveway, sidewalks, or nearby roads, etc. After you get a list of trees that are appropriate for the site, if you choose one from the list, it's less likely that you'll have future problems relating to (lack of) vigor resulting from inappropriate siting of plant material. There - I feel better now. ;o)


    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 2:33PM
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Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it so very much.
I am going to plant something in the next week. Still not sure what I am looking for.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 2:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You do know that Indian hawthorn (Rapheolepis indica) prefers to be in full sun, don't you? They will behave differently when given shade.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 2:48PM
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