Editors note: Get Growing, written by the La Plata County Extension Offices Master Gardener Program, appears every other week during the growing season. It features timely tips and suggestions for your garden and landscape.
By Darrin Parmenter
The recent rains have certainly been welcomed with open branches by our landscape.
Fortunately, it has also allowed for new plantings of trees and shrubs. June provided little or no moisture, dry winds and high daytime temperatures. However, now that the monsoon season has arrived, it is an opportune time to purchase a tree from your local nursery and get it in the ground.
Recommended choices of a few deciduous ornamental trees (15 to 25 feet high) that are nice for urban and rural landscapes alike:
Thornless cockspur hawthorn (Crataegus crus-galli var. inermis): showy white flowers, glossy foliage and bird-attracting berries make this relatively short (15-foot) tree a great choice for tight spaces.
Ginnala maple (Acer ginnala): typically, you can buy the shrub or tree form. Very bright scarlet color in the fall, and the seed pods (double samara) typically remain on the tree and provide some winter attraction.
Chanticleer pear (Pyrus calleryana Chanticleer): becoming much more common in the landscape (and as a smaller street tree), this pyramidal-shaped tree has very showy white flowers in the spring and maroon foliage in the fall. It is also a fruitless tree.
Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata): I have planted two of these in the yard and am very happy with their establishment. Like most lilacs it can withstand some abuse. Develops panicles of fragrant, creamy-white flowers in late spring; as it gets older, the red-brown bark may shed.
Mayday tree (Prunus padus): less common in the landscape, the mayday tree can reach 25 to 30 feet in height. It is one of the first trees to leaf out and bloom (pure white) in the spring and has low to moderate water needs once established.
By no means is this an exhaustive list. Check local nurseries for more choices, including conifers.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.