Wednesday, March 18, 2009

so many trees, so little space

We’re getting some work done on our back yard in early April, which will result in room to plant a new tree!

We had to cut down a large mulberry tree last year because it was beginning to crack our concrete patio and damage our retaining wall. That tree created a green, shady, private area in our back. Now that it’s gone, it’s open, exposed, and not pretty. We need another tree!

The landscaper will be removing part of our concrete patio to give us space to plant a new tree and other plants. Only now we have to pick one—and only one, because there won’t be room for two. I’m looking for smaller trees that grow to 25 to 30 feet and have interest all year long—spring flowers, uniquely shaped leaves, pretty fall colors, and winter berries for the birds. A co-worker is a tree geek and was happy to recommend some. His philosophy is “anyone can get a Maple,” so he chooses rare and interesting trees.

I was leaning toward a Dogwood (mainly because you can get an eight-footer at Home Depot for $60), but now I’m realizing there are so many other good ones. There’s the Franklinia, named after Benjamin Franklin and now extinct in the wild. There’s the Golden Chain Tree, which has beautiful yellow weeping flowers. The Smoke Tree has smoky pink flowers from June to August. The Star Magnolia, the smallest magnolia, has beautiful white flowers. The Sourwood Tree has leaves and seedpods that hang in weeping style from the limbs and has early and brilliant fall foliage.

I never knew there were so many kinds of wonderful trees! The hard part will be picking one out--other suggestions?