Acer (Maple)

Norway Maple(Acer platanoides) –

The Norway maple has been widely planted in urban areas all over the U.S. It’s a medium-sized deciduous shade tree grows 40-50 ft tall with a symmetrical, dense, rounded canopy. Leaves (7” across) have five sharply pointed lobes and bear a striking resemblance to those of sugar maple. Leaf stems will ooze a milky sap when cut. Fall color is usually yellow. Small yellow flowers in erect corymbs (clusters) will appear in the spring before the foliage buds out. After the flowers are spent, they give way to paired seeds with outward spreading wings (samaras to 2” long).

 

Red Maple (Acer rubrum) –

 The red maple is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows 40-60 ft tall with an oval to rounded crown. Red maples will grow faster than Norway and sugar maples, but much slower than a silver maple. Emerging twigs, leafstalks, new growth leaves, flowers, fruit and fall color all are red or are tinged with red. The quality of the red fall color is variable; all depending on how the weather is in the fall. Leaves (2-5" long) have 3 pronounce triangular lobes (occasionally 5 lobes with the two lower lobes being largely repressed). Medium to dark green leaves have pointed tips and toothed margins; a dull green can be seen if looking up under the canopy. Flowers can be male or female (monoecious) and will appear in late winter to early spring (March-April) before the leaves emerge. Fruits are two-winged samara.

 

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) –

The sugar maple is a deciduous tree tall with a dense, rounded crown which will usually grow 40- 80 ft. Medium green leaves (3-6" wide with 3-5 lobes) will turn brilliant yellow-orange in fall, sometimes the color can vary immensely; it all depends on the weather in Autumn. The fruit is the unmistakable maple two-winged samara. Sugar maples are slow growing, long lived trees; they will however grow moderately for the first 30-35 years.

 

 

Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) –

Sycamore maple or planetree maple is a round, spreading, deciduous tree that grows 40-60 ft tall. Leathery, 5-lobed, dark green leaves (6” across) are dull green beneath with prominent veins and coarsely toothed margins. Leaves don’t produce fall color. Yellowish green flowers appear in panicles (5” long) in the spring after the foliage emerges. Pairs of samaras (2” long) with the wings forming a 60-degree angle follow the flowers. The samaras will mature in early fall. Bark on mature trunks will peel off to expose its inner orange bark.

 

Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura)

Katsura is a deciduous understory tree that can be single or multi-trunked; they have a slow, dense, round growing habit that can reach 40-60 ft tall. It’s grown for its wonderful shape and its gorgeous round, heart shaped leaves (4” long) resembling the leaves of a small redbud. Leaves will emerge a reddish mauve in the spring; maturing to medium green tinged with a rosy red in summer and turns golden brown in fall. Although these trees are not aromatic; the fallen autumn leaves that are starting to rot have been known to smell of a sweet, spicy fragrance with hints of cinnamon or caramel. Tiny flowers (red on male trees and green on female trees) will appear in spring before the foliage emerges but are not very attractive. Pollinated flowers on female trees only are followed by clusters of green pods (3/4” long). Its lightly–peeling, brown bark give this tree it’s charm right through the winter.

Ash (Fraxinus)

American Ash (Fraxinus americana)- 

Commonly called white ash, is the largest of the native ashes that typically grows to 60-80’ tall. Young trees are pyramidal in shape, but they will gradually mature to a more rounded canopy.  Clusters of petal less purplish male and female flowers appear on separate trees in April through May before the late to emerge foliage. Fertilized female flowers give way to drooping clusters of 2” long winged samaras (they look like small flat oars) that ripen in fall and may stay on the tree during the winter. Features feather like compound leaves with 7 leaflets (less commonly 5 or 9 leaflets). Oval leaflets (3-5” long) are forest green above and sage green below. Foliage turns yellow with purple shading in fall. Gray bark develops a diamond shaped ridging on mature trees. ‘Autumn Purple’ is a common variety of the American ash.

Raywood ash (Fraxinus oxycarpa)-

This Ash is a finely textured deciduous tree that can reach up to 90 feet in height, but they will be more likely to stay at 40 to 50 ft tall with a 25 ft spread. Young trees are somewhat upright or oval eventually opening into a full, rounded canopy with age. The dazzling, dark green leaflets create a light shade underneath the tree, making it suited for a large lawn specimen or shade tree. The leaves turn various shades of red, purple and chocolate brown before falling in autumn.

Conifers

Pine (Pinus), Fir (Abies), Spruce (Picea), Cedar (Cedrus), Juniper (Juniperus), Cypress (Chamaecyparis), Thuja (Arbrovitae)

There are a few different types of ornamental pines including pompom, cloud or weeping. Pompom style is a tree shaped where the inner branching and trunk is pruned clean; the tree will have a “poodle” look to it. A cloud shape is commonly found in Asian style gardens where the bottom branches are pruned off leaving just the top of the foliage; it is then shaped into a round or “cloud” shape. Weeping varieties are usually left to do their own thing creating one of a kind trees.

Betula (Birch)

There are around 60 different species of birch. Birch are deciduous trees that require well-drained soil, adequate moisture and direct sunlight. These trees usually grow near lakes and rivers. Birch have smooth, multicolored or white bark marked with horizontal pores, that usually peel in thin horizontal strips, especially on younger trees; on more mature trunks the thick, jagged bark breaks into irregular pieces. They have slender branches that rise into a narrow pyramidal canopy when they are young; as they mature their canopy becomes horizontal, often weeping. The bright green leaves have toothed margins and are oblong to triangular; the leaves are arranged alternately on the branchlets. The foliage turns yellow in the fall. The male catkins are drooping and flower before the leaves emerge; the smaller female cone-like catkins are upright on the branches. As the female cones disintegrate, they release tiny, one-seeded, winged nutlets.

Cornus (Dogwood)

Flowering dogwoods are deciduous, multi-branched shrub or small tree; characterized by a rounded canopy and horizontal branches that spread wider than its height (15 to 30 ft tall). Leaves are oblong that comes to a point, foliage turns red orange to purple in Fall. The center of the flower is a small yellow cluster that is surrounded by 4 large white (pink or red) bracts. Each bract has a rounded notch on the outer edge. Flowers appear between March and June, with or before the leaves, and persist for 2 to 4 weeks. The fruit is yellow to red, berrylike pods that contain one to two cream-colored seeds (fruits ripen in September and October). The bark on mature trees have and alligator effect because it is broken into small square blocks.

Common Shapes of Shade Trees

Shade trees can beautify your yard, improve air quality, water quality, and energy costs! A lot of these shade trees have seasonal benefits, such as flowers or beautiful fall foliage. Shade trees are a cheap and easy way of keeping your house cool during the summer; keeping the sun off your house will help save money and energy! Nothing is better than sitting under the wide canopy of a tree to beat the heat. If your landscape doesn’t have any trees, the thought of waiting a generation to experience a tree’s shade can be frustrating. Luckily, there are quite a few “fast” growing shade trees; fast growing can mean growing up to a couple of feet in a year. From parks to a beautiful backyard shade trees are useful in every setting! Make sure to choose a shade tree that is best suited to your zone and property, always consider native species as they will grow the best and be more adapted for anything mother nature has to throw at it.

Natural Shapes of Shade Trees

Columnar – Columnar trees are shaped like cylinders or columns, with branches that are uniform in length from top to bottom. They aren't necessarily narrow, but they look to be because of the branching. There are many common trees are available in columnar shape.

 

Open Headed Irregular –The branches of these trees are irregular and randomly patterned, creating an open, asymmetrical canopy. They are wonderful for shade during the summer, and after their leaves fall, their branches create a dramatic silhouette.

 

Weeping – Weeping trees have branches that droop downward and are covered with cascading foliage.  These types of trees are typically smaller and considered ornamental trees. The most widely known shade tree that has this habit is the weeping willow; but many well-known trees are available in a weeping form.

 

Pyramidal – These trees have a broad, cone-shaped canopy - wider at the bottom and gradually gets narrower toward the top. This is a classic shape that many deciduous trees and conifers have.

 

Globe – The canopies of these trees have a regular, rounded traditional shade tree shape that are perfect for formal landscapes. Rows along a driveway provide a strong linear feature; when they stand alone on a spacious lawn, they make gorgeous specimen trees.

 

Fastigiate –These trees have a narrow, elongated, tapering canopy that has a strong vertical habit drawing the eye upward. When they are planted in rows, they make beautiful hedges to define boundaries; these trees also serve well as a windbreak or as effective screens against noise or unwanted views.

 

Vase – Trees that have a vase-shaped canopy (resembling an upside-down triangle) work well for streets and walks simply because they don't block the view of pedestrians or traffic. Branches grow up and out at a sharp upward angle from the trunk.

 

Horizontal Spreading – These trees are very wide, with strong horizontal branches, even at the top of the canopy. They can overwhelm small properties and can make single-story homes look tiny in comparison.

Fagus sylvatica (Tri-Colored Beech)

 Tri- colored beech are the ideal purple-pink Beech tree for smaller city plots. It can be used for shade, along an entryway, driveway or as a colorful street tree. This tree is very cold hardy and can be used both as an accent planted with evergreens or in a grove as its color will be distinguishable from a distance. Stunningly well-formed it is a great front yard statement tree for larger homes with classic architecture. The foliage is purple with irregular creamy pink and rose-colored margins. A striking specimen tree that will be a wonderful addition to any landscape.

Fagus (Beech)

European Beech (Fagus sylvatica)-

Fagus sylvatica, commonly called European beech, is a large deciduous tree that will grow 50-60 ft tall with a dense, upright and oval or rounded and spreading canopies. European beech is distinguished from the similar American beech (see Fagus grandifolia) by its darker gray bark, smaller size, and shorter leaves that have very little jagged (toothed) margins. It is a low branching tree, with its trunk ranging from 2-4 ft in diameter. Beech have distinctive bark that is smooth, thin and gray. Oval, dark green leaves (4” long) have wavy nearly toothless margins and prominent parallel veins. Foliage turns a golden bronze in fall. Yellowish green flowers bloom from April through May, the male flowers droop on long-stemmed, round clusters where the female flowers are on short spikes. Female flowers will give way to triangular nuts enclosed by spiny bracts. Beechnuts ripen in the fall and are edible.

Tri-Colored Beech (Fagus sylvatica) –

Tri- colored beech are the ideal purple-pink Beech tree for smaller city plots. It can be used for shade, along an entryway, driveway or as a colorful street tree. This tree is very cold hardy and can be used both as an accent planted with evergreens or in a grove as its color will be distinguishable from a distance. Stunningly well formed it is a great front yard statement tree for larger homes with classic architecture. The foliage is purple with irregular creamy pink and rose-colored margins. A striking specimen tree that will be a wonderful addition to any landscape.

Hibiscus syriacus 'Rose of Sharon Tree'

Rose of Sharon are deciduous, vigorous, multi-stemmed, upright, with a vase-shape that typically grows 8-12’ tall. It can be trained into a small tree or espalier but is usually grown as a large shrub. The dark green leaves emerge late in the spring before the flowers start to form late spring through early summer. Hibiscus shaped, 5-petaled flowers (3” diameter) can be white, red, blue or purple, and will bloom from early-summer to fall. Each flower has a prominent blob of color at the center and a showy center staminal column. Medium green leaves (4” long) are three-lobed with veins and a coarsely toothed margin. The leaves are attractive during the growing season but are unattractive in fall; rarely changing color before they drop off.

Liquidambar (Sweet Gum)

Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) –

The sweet gum tree is a low-maintenance deciduous shade tree that typically grows to 60-80’ tall with a straight trunk. It has a pyramidal habit in its youth, but gradually it develops an oval-rounded canopy with age. Each star shaped leaf has 5-7 lobes that are (4-7” across) glossy, deep green with toothed margins that form on long-stalks. Leaves are fragrant when bruised, reminiscent of apple or fruity. This tree has the best fall foliage! Its brilliant mixture of yellows, oranges, purples and reds all on the same branch make this tree really stand out from the rest. Non-showy yellowish green flowers appear in round clusters in April through May. Spent female flowers will give way to those infamous gum balls (spiky balls) which are spherical, hard and bristly fruit 1.5” diameter. The gum balls mature to a gray brown and remain on the tree through the winter. The balls can create clean-up problems during December through April as the clusters fall to the ground.

Hydrangea paniculata Tree Form

Hydrangea trees are moderate growers; will grow 6-8 ft tall 7 ft wide and can live to be 40 years old. The only hydrangea that can be trained into a tree safely is H. paniculata the other varieties of hydrangea are too heavy and will snap easily. These hydrangeas are perfect for shady gardens and can even handle some sun with the right amount of water! It is not care what kind of soil type or pH and is very tolerant of urban pollution. Flowers appear in early summer on panicles above dark green foliage. Flowers are usually white that fade out into pink or blush pink. With its upright, vase shape growth habit it makes a great patio tree!

Liriodendron(Tulip Tree)

Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)-

The tulip tree is a large, stately, deciduous tree grows 60-90' tall with a broad conical to pyramidal habit, with straight trunks that usually rise up like a column. The canopy starts up the trunk a lot higher than some shade trees. It’s named for its tulip-like flowers that bloom in spring; flowers are yellowish green with an orange band close to the base of each petal. Even though the flowers are 2” in size, they can go unnoticed on large trees (sometimes even on smaller trees) because the flowers open after the leaves are fully developed. Occasionally the flowers are noticed when the petals first begin to fall off the tree. The flowers are followed by cone-shaped brown fruits that are dry and scaly, each bearing numerous amounts of winged seeds. Characteristic are the interesting, bright green four tips with smooth leaf margins. The leaves are almost rectangular (4-6 lobes) and up to 6” long 8” across.

Lagerstroemia indica (Crape Myrtle)

Crape myrtles are a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub or can be pruned into a small tree. They usually grow 15-25ft tall. These plants have many ornamental features such as a long bloom time, peeling bark and awesome fall color. Showy flowers with frilly petals bloom in mid-late summer (sometimes even until the first frost); they come in a variety of flower color, including white, pink, red, mauve, lavender and purple. Flowers are followed by round seed capsules that can stay on the branches well into winter. Thick, leathery, oblong leaves emerge light green often with a tinge of red in late spring, eventually maturing into a dark green by summer and turn beautiful shades of reds, oranges and yellow in fall. Pale pinkish-gray bark on mature branches peels with age.

Platanus (Planetree)

American Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) –

Commonly called sycamore, Eastern sycamore or American sycamore; is a deciduous, usually single-trunk tree that grows to 75-100’ tall with horizontal branching and a rounded canopy. The trunk ranges from 3-8’ diameter. The most interesting part of this giant tree is its brown bark which peels off in pieces to reveal its cream-colored inner bark; mature trees will have marbled white bark. The large lobed dark green leaves (4-10” wide) have deep marginal teeth. In fall, foliage typically turns yellow brown. Small, non-showy (male and female) flowers appear in small round clusters in April. Female flowers are reddish that give way to fuzzy, brown, long-stalked, fruiting balls (to 1 3/8” diameter) that ripen to in October and will persist into early winter. The “fruits” will eventually disintegrate late in fall releasing numerous, densely packed, tiny seeds, often immersed in downy fluffs that float in the wind.

 London Planetree (Platanus × acerifolia) –

The London planetree is a hybrid between an American sycamore (P. occidentalis) and an Oriental planetree (P. orientalis). This hybrid can be difficult to distinguish from its American parent. Distinguishing features include: Leaves have more pronounce veins and the fruit balls appear in pairs. It typically grows as a single, straight, trunk tree 75-100 ft tall with widespread branching and a rounded habit. Trunk diameter typically ranges from 3-8 ft. The trademark feature of this huge tree is its brown bark, which breaks away in irregular pieces to reveal its creamy white inner bark. Mature trees have mottled white bark. The large 3-5 lobed, dark green leaves (4-9” wide) which resemble a maple, have coarse marginal teeth. In fall, foliage usually turns an uninspiring yellow brown. Female flowers are reddish that give way to fuzzy, brown, long-stalked, fruiting balls (to 1 3/8” diameter) that will appear in pairs and ripen to in October, the fruit can persist into early winter. The “fruits” will eventually disintegrate late in fall releasing numerous, densely packed, tiny seeds, often immersed in downy fluffs that float in the wind. 

Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora –

Magnolia grandiflora are broadleaf evergreen trees that are prized for their attractive glossy, dark green leaves (with pale green to grayish brown underneath) with extremely large fragrant flowers. The most commonly grown Magnolia grandifloras' grow in between 60-80’ tall with either a pyramidal canopy or a rounded crown. The fragrant white flowers (to 8-12” diameter) usually have six petals, they bloom in late spring and continue to sparsely flower throughout the summer. Spherical cone-like fruiting clusters (to 3-5” long) remain on the tree until they mature in late summer to early fall, releasing individual red coated seeds.

 

Magnolia (spp.) –

Deciduous Magnolias consists of many different species (trees forms and shrubs) in addition to numerous hybrids and cultivars. Most plants feature showy, sometimes fragrant flowers (most commonly white, yellow, pink or purple) which bloom in early spring, large simple leaves emerge in late spring to summer. Most deciduous Magnolias get about 25–40ft tall and about 15-20ft wide.

Quercus (Oak)

 

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea) –

Scarlet Oaks are a large deciduous tree with a rounded, open canopy of glossy foliage that can reach 75 ft tall occasionally reaching 150 ft tall; it is well known for its gorgeous fall color. Its bark is brown with fine scaly ridges, the inner bark is red to orangish-pink. New growth twigs are smooth and reddish-brown in color; oblong, reddish brown buds are clustered with 5-angled cross sections. Leaves are oval to elliptic, 3- 6” long and 3-5” wide, margins with 5 - 9 lobes; the top of the leaves are a glossy light green, with tufts of matted woolly down beneath. Leaves turn scarlet red in the fall. The catkins appear just before the new leaves emerge. The acorns of this oak are small to medium in size (½ - 1 inch long) and form in pairs or singly. Concentric rings occasionally form around the tip of the nut; they mature in two years and ripen in the fall. The scales of the bowl-shaped cap are shiny, generally rigid and covers about half of the nut.

Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii) –

The Shumard oak is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is pyramidal in youth but eventually spreads into a broad open canopied tree with age. This tree typically grows moderate to fast, and to a height of 40-60'. Shiny, dark green leaves (6-8" long) with deep, spiny lobes (7-9 lobes) turn reddish brown late in autumn. Insignificant flowers appear in early spring as the leaves emerge. Egg shaped acorns (1/4-1 inch) with a flattened, shallow cup will mature the second year. Acorns will not appear until the tree 25 years old or older.

California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) –

California Black Oaks are deciduous trees that have broad crowns with multiple stems that fork out repeatedly, mature trees will reach heights of 50 – 110’ and may live to be 500 years old. The root system is generally comprised of surface roots and several deep vertical roots, which eventually can spread laterally over bedrock. Leaves are simple (3-5” long), sharply cut into 7-11 lobes which are toothed, and each lobe comes to a point. The upper surface of the leaf is glossy green, gray below and both surfaces of young leaves are sometimes fuzzy with a dusty rose or soft pink hue. The autumn color is yellow to yellow orange. This oak start to produce seeds as early as 30 years old, but they usually don’t produce heavily before age 80. The flowers appear in spring, ranging from mid-March through mid-May; separate male and female flowers are borne on the same plant. The greenish red male flowers appear on leaf nodes of branches from the previous year, forming hairy catkins (1.5 – 3” long). Female flowers emerge from on leaf nodes of branches of the current year. Acorns are 1” long and the cup encloses about half the nut; like most oaks acorns will mature the second year.

Malus (Flowering Crab Apple)

There are approximately 1000 different flowering apple, of which only about 100 are commonly planted. These trees vary in mature size, growth habit, flower color, and the size/color of fruit. Crabapple blossoms appear in April to May, depending on variety and elevation. Some crabapple varieties bloom relatively early, others bloom mid- season and some bloom towards the end of crabapple season. The length of the blossoming period can range from 1 to 2 weeks, all of this depends on the variety and weather conditions. Crabapple flower buds are attractive even before they open, developing color even before they fully open. Some varieties of crabapple have showy fall leaf color, ranging from yellow, orange, red and/or purple. Crabapple twig and bark color ranges from green to yellow to reddish brown when young.  Many crabapples develop attractive mottled bark as they mature.

Salix (Willow)

Corkscrew Willow (Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’) –

Corkscrew Willow ‘Tortuosa’, commonly called dragon’s claw willow, is an upright female clone that usually grows 20-30’ tall and 10-15’ wide. Narrow, lanceolate (an oval shape that tapers to a point at each end of the leaf), with finely toothed leaves (6” long and 3/4” wide) that are light green above and gray green underneath. Fall color is usually greenish yellow. This tree is most recognized for its twisted branches and it is mainly grown to show off this unusual growth. Winter is the best time to see the contorted branching after the leaves have fallen off. Additional common names for ‘Tortuosa’ is corkscrew willow, rattlesnake willow and contorted willow.

Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica) –

Commonly called weeping willow or Babylon weeping willow, is a medium to large deciduous tree with a stout trunk topped by a graceful broad-rounded crown of branches that sweep downward to the ground. It grows to 30-50’ tall and wide. Many believe that this is the best form of weeping willow. They naturalize well around the edge of a pond with its branches gracefully weeping down to touch the water, however, it is often very difficult to site this tree in a residential landscape. Narrow, lanceolate (an oval shape that tapers to a point at each end of the leaf), with finely toothed leaves (6” long and 3/4” wide) that are light green above and gray green underneath. Fall color is usually uninteresting greenish yellow. Bark is gray black, branchlets are brown or green. Male and female non-showy catkins are silvery green (1” long) that appear in April through May, on separate male and female trees.

Parrotia persica

Persian Ironwood is a small, single trunk, deciduous tree that will eventually grow 20-40' tall (growing to 10 ft in just 7-8 years). Large, multi-stemmed shrubs will grow to 15 ft tall. Flowers (Apetalous- meaning a flower without any petals) are dense with red stamens surrounded by brownish bracts that will appear in late winter to early spring before the foliage. Flowers are attractive up close but are generally considered insignificant. Oval leaves (4" long) will emerge reddish-purple in spring, maturing to a shiny, medium-dark green in summer and changes to shades of red, orange and yellow in fall. Bark of mature trees peels away to show its green, white or tan patches beneath that provides winter interest.

Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple)

Maple (Acer palmatum, japonicum, shirasawanum)

There are numerous amounts of Acers but only three species are frequently referred to as Japanese maples, and only the palmatum and japonicums are super common. Japanese Maples vary in heights; from dwarf such as “Waterfall” or “Red Select”(some maples will stay very small “dwarf” but many Japanese maples grow very slowly and will stay small for a very long time) to trees that are fast growing like the “Bloodgood” or “Emperor I” that will get upwards of 25 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide. These maples are slow (1-3” a year) to moderate (up to 2’ a year) growers, and in the best of conditions these gorgeous trees can live to be over a hundred years old. There are so many varieties to choose from and each one has its own unique quality. The three main ways to differentiate between maples; there are three color variations of leaves 1. Green 2. Red 3. Variegated, two styles of leaves dissectum “lace leaf” or palmatum “standard” and two growing habits upright and weeping. All Japanese maples have inconspicuous flowers (some more than others) that give way to fruits called “samaras” or “helicopters” which are seeds enclosed in a fibrous tissue that’s in the shape of wings. In cultivation seeds can be collected from mature maples, but the seedlings aren’t guaranteed to be exact duplicated of their parent plant. Cuttings is another way of propagating these ornamental trees, but they are usually slow growing, weak and hard to winter over. 95% of Japanese maples you see on the market are grafted! Grafting is where the selected variety is joined with a strong, seed grown root stock that makes them stronger growing together; it works well because the selected variety has a vigorous root system to absorb nutrient faster than trying to get it to grow its own root stock (which might never happen).

Prunus (Flowering Cherry / Plum)

Flowering Cherry -

Flowering cherry trees are extremely versatile and will fit in with numerous garden styles including Asian gardens, Zen gardens, cottage gardens and country gardens. In late March through mid to late April these trees will produce profuse amounts of flowers. The blossoms can change color, when the buds emerge, they are a dark pink, turning a lighter pink when the blossoms open, then eventually turning a pale pink or creamy white. There are some varieties that will display wonderful fall foliage that turns purple, red, and oranges.

Flowering Plum -

Flowering plums are a small to medium-sized ornamental tree native to Asia.  Purple-leaved cultivars, such as the popular Thundercloud (Prunus cerasifera), are more common in the home landscape because of its beautiful red leaves and smaller growing habit. These trees grow in full sunlight to partial shade and will tolerate mild coastal conditions. Flowering plums do not do well in a site that gets a lot of wind, as this can be damaging to the leaves and upper branches. Flowering plums are one of the earliest blooming trees that attracts bees with its delicately fragrant pink blossoms, and birds with its small, fleshy red fruits. The fruit is edible

Betula (Birch)

There are around 60 different species of birch. Birch are deciduous trees that require well-drained soil, adequate moisture and direct sunlight. These trees usually grow near lakes and rivers. Birch have smooth, multicolored or white bark marked with horizontal pores, that usually peel in thin horizontal strips, especially on younger trees; on more mature trunks the thick, jagged bark breaks into irregular pieces. They have slender branches that rise into a narrow pyramidal canopy when they are young; as they mature their canopy becomes horizontal, often weeping. The bright green leaves have toothed margins and are oblong to triangular; the leaves are arranged alternately on the branchlets. The foliage turns yellow in the fall. The male catkins are drooping and flower before the leaves emerge; the smaller female cone-like catkins are upright on the branches. As the female cones disintegrate, they release tiny, one-seeded, winged nutlets.

Pyrus (Flowering Pear)

Callery Pear is an upright-branched ornamental tree, that grows from columnar to pyramidal in its youth, and usually becomes more oval or spreading with maturity. They are recognized for their early and abundant spring blooms, glossy green foliage and often beautiful fall color. Flowers are five-petaled and creamy white (each to 3/4” wide) that bud on dense corymbs early to mid-spring; the flowers are followed by clusters of inedible, greenish-yellow fruits (1/2” diameter) which have no ornamental significance. Glossy dark green leaves (3” long) are narrow and oval with distinctive wavy margins. Foliage turns an attractive reddish-purple to bronzy red in fall.