Fall Shipping Starts Today

Today marks the start of fall shipping, which means your young trees are one step closer to arriving at your door step and starting their new life in your yard. Since we ship out by hardiness zones, it may still be a few weeks before some of them arrive. In the meantime, check out Tree Care Tips for Fall Planting to make sure you’re all set to get your seedlings in the ground as soon as they come.

In case it peaks your curiosity, here are the top 10 evergreen trees and shrubs from our nursery that are among the hundreds of trees that will be going out.

Woodward Globe ArborvitaeWoodward-Globe-Arborvitae_1-775[1]

 

 

 

 

 

American Arborvitae American-Arborvitae_1-776[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Emerald ArborvitaeEmerald-Arborvitae_1-777[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Globe Arborvitae Golden-Globe-Arborvitae_1-778[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Green Giant Arborvitae Green-Giant-Arborvitae_1-779[1]

 

 

 

 

Common Boxwood Common-Boxwood_2-797[1]

 

 

 

 

Korean boxwood Korean-Boxwood_1-798[1]

 

 

 

 

Green Velvet Boxwood Green-Velvet-Boxwood_1-799[1]

 

 

 

 

Atlas Cedar Atlas-Cedar_1-806[1]

 

 

 

 

Deodar Cedar Deodar-Cedar_1-807[1]

 

 

 

 

What trees are you planting this fall? Tag us in a picture once it’s planted.

Sugar Maple: An American Classic

(Acer saccharum)

Sugar-Maple_2-870[1]Aside from its reputation of being a major source of syrup, the sugar maple is a source of other things as well. Historically, the ashes of sugar maple was used for soap-making, and consuming the syrup was said to aid in kidney and liver problems. Additionally, the hardwood from this tree made it a top choice in furniture making.

Best known for its syrup, the sugar maple supports one of the largest industries in the United States, producing nearly two million gallons of maple syrup every year valued between $29 and $42 million. This tree is so popular that several states have even claimed it as their state tree, including New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Interested in adding a sugar maple to your yard? Here are a few things to note.

Environmental Conditions:

  • Sugar maples grow best in acidic, alkaline and well drained soils and are drought tolerant (hardiness zones 3-8).
  • Slow to medium growing, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 60-75 feet at maturity.
  • Does well in full or partial sun exposure.
  • Note: Not ideal for planter boxes, confined spaces or compact soil.

Physical Attributes:

  • No showy flowers, but displays vibrant fall foliage.
  • Produces seed pods that attract wildlife, including chipmunks and squirrels.
  • Has a wide canopy, making it an ideal shade tree in the summer.

Tag us in a picture of your sugar maple!

Katsura: The Tree on the Moon

(Cercidiphyllum japonicum)

1024px-Cercidiphyllum_japonicum_JPG01bHave you ever noticed the shadow on the moon? Ancient Chinese and Japanese folklore says that the shadow on the moon was created when a man being punished by the gods was sentenced to cut down a giant Katsura tree on the moon. The shadow is said to belong to the magic Katsura tree which can’t be cut down. As for the man, he is trapped on the moon forever.

Although the Katsura is not native to North America, it has grown in popularity for its appealing characteristics. It isn’t susceptible to many pests, and requires little care. Additionally, the tree emits a caramelized sugar scent in the fall. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

Here’s a few things to note if you’re considering adding a Katsura tree to your yard.

Environmental conditions:

  • Katsura trees grow well in acidic, loamy, clay and well-drained soil (hardiness zones 4-8). It is not drought tolerant, so water regularly.
  •  Medium growing tree, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 40-60 feet at maturity.
  • Has a shallow root system and some of the roots can grow to six inches in diameter or more above the soil. Does not do well in compact soil. Add mulch around the tree to maintain a cool root environment.
  • Tree grows in partial sun and full sun.

Physical Attributes:

  • Doesn’t have any showy flowers, but displays vibrant fall foliage with shades of crimson and yellow.
  • Relative of magnolia and tulip trees, producing heart-shaped leaves.
  • Releases sweet sugar smell in the fall, resembling brown-sugar or cotton candy.

Tag us in a picture of your Katsura tree!

Tree Care Tips for Fall Planting

sun thru fall trees

There’s something festive about the changing of leaves and cinnamon spice that loom the air. The cooler weather is perfect for fall planting because the trees are better able to retain moisture.

Despite the cold, as long as you’re able to stick a spade in the ground, it’s okay to plant your trees. They will stay dormant through the season and bud in the spring. In Fact, the roots will have more time to establish themselves, allowing them to bloom more lavishly and acclimate to the warmer weather easier. Plants with an established root system better withstand heat and wind the following summer.

Additionally, Pests and diseases are less likely to inflict trees in the cooler weather. Fall is also great for pruning older trees since most of the branches will be leaf-free.

Here’s a few helpful things to know when planting in the fall:

  • If you’re not able to plant immediately don’t worry, you can store your trees in a cool, dry place for up to five days. The garage or basement are perfect.
  • If you know you won’t be able to plant your trees within a week, then consider heeling in your trees. Better yet, be proactive and pre-dig your holes before the cooler weather sets in. Store the dirt you removed from the holes in a garage or tool shed to prevent it from hardening and becoming more difficult to work with when it comes time to planting.
  • When planting in the fall it’s important to use mulch around your trees to reduce the possibility of freezing and thawing that can lead to frost heaving. Mulch has multiple benefits including preventing evaporation, water runoff, improving water penetration to the root zones and limits weed growth that may also compete for water. A two to three inch layer is most effective.
  • Avoid planting in pots, unless it is a last resort. If you are planting in a pot for the season and intend to transplant it in the spring, be sure to keep the pot indoors or in the garage.
  • One thing to note is that when you do transplant in the spring it will be important to slowly reintroduce the plants to outdoor conditions by leaving them in the pots before transplanting into the ground.
  • Snow on the ground does not mean your soil is frozen. In order to freeze, your day time low temperature has to stay below 32°F for 4-6 weeks.

The fall is a wonderful time to plant because the weather is cool and ground isn’t wet. Fall planting might sound frightening at first because of the winter months the trees have to withstand, but they’ll be in a dormant state and shouldn’t be affected. It’s also great for pruning older trees since most of the branches will be leaf-free. Check out our Tree Planting Guide for step by step instructions on planting your tree.

What trees will you be planting this fall?

Lodi Apple: The Apple to Your Sauce

(Malus x domestica)

lodiThe lodi apple —a hybrid of the yellow transparent and montomgery apple —is a popular choice used in baking pies and making applesauce for their ability to cook down quickly. These yellowish-green apples have a soft, white flesh and sweet-tart taste.

Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your yard.

Environmental Factors

  • The Lodi grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It is not drought tolerant (hardiness zones 3-8).
  • This is a medium growing tree, growing up to two feet a year and reaching 20-25’ at maturity. Check out our fruit spacing guideto ensure it has plenty of space to flourish.
  • Prefers full sun, preferably 6-8 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms white/pink flowers early in the season, yields fruit July-August.
  • Available in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf sizes. Standard size bears fruit in 6-10 years. Will need a second tree to cross-pollinate to produce apples. Can pollinate with a variety of apples including red Jonathan or early harvest.
  • Has a short shelf life, but freezes well.

Do you have an awesome apple recipe? We’d love to hear it!

Great Trees for Fall Color

One of the most wonderful things about fall is the spectacular displays of fall leaf color. The vibrant hues of crimson, oranges and yellow foliage along the streets enliven the daily commute. Searching and finding the best fall trees is often a destination trip for many across the country. Here are some of the finest fall trees that you can see almost anywhere.

Baldcypress_1-787[1]

Baldcypress The unique combination of being a deciduous conifer creates a majestic orange-red color. This tree can be found throughout most of the United States (zones 4 to 10).

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Sugar Maple This landscape standout can be seen in all but the warmest places in the United States (zones 3 to 8). The leaves of the Sugar Maple can form a complete color wheel throughout the year, turning several shades of green, then from yellow to orange, and finally to red in the fall. The diversity of this tree makes it impressive all year round but especially in the fall.

Red-Maple_4-867[1]

Red Maple This classic fall tree can either be deep red or yellow. Throughout the year at least a part of this tree is red, making it one of the best named trees. This tree is common throughout most of the United States (zones 3 to 9) and can grow up to 60 feet in height.

Black-Tupelo_1-793[1]

Black Tupelo Known for its spectacular fall foliage, the Black Tupelo can contain many shades on the same branch. Frequent colors seen on the leaves of this autumn beauty include yellow, orange, bright red, purple and scarlet. Look for this bird-friendly tree throughout most of the United States (zones 4 to 9) with the exclusion of the extreme North and South.

Quaking-Aspen_4-780[1]

Aspen Thousands of people make the journey to watch the Aspen turn throughout the Rocky Mountains. The spectacular yellow leaves of the Aspen create a brilliant contrast with surrounding pine trees, making this a fan favorite. Residents living in the South will have to make the journey to see the Aspen change because this tree is typically in zones 1 to 7.

Sourwood_1-921[1]

  1. Sourwood The Sourwood is a great year round tree with its white fragrant flowers in early summer. But it is the fall leaves that get it on this list. Each autumn the rich green leaves of the Sourwood turn to yellow, red or even purple. Unlike the Aspen, this fall tree prefers the southern states growing in zones 5-9. Check out Sourwood: A Sweet Surprise if you’re considering planting on in your yard.

Sassafras_2-917[1]Sassafras The brilliant display of fall foliage makes the Sassafras a must have on this list. The native North American tree (zones 4 to 9) changes from bright to medium green in summer to enchanting colors of deep orange, scarlet, purple and yellow in the fall.

American-Sweetgum_1-928[1]Sweetgum Deep, glossy green, star-shaped leaves mark the Sweetgum in the spring and summer. As the days shorten the leaves turn yellow to purple tored. The leaves of the Sweetgum stay on the tree quite late in the season throughout its range (zones 5-9).

Japanese-Red-Maple_5-866[1]Japanese Maple Although it is grown in a more limited range (zone 5 to 8) this short tree or shrub is a great fall choice. The versatile species often has brilliant color throughout the year but as winter approaches, the trees’ reddish-purple leaves create dramatic fall views.

Whether you’re driving to a destination or driving aimlessly, the selection of fall colors makes the journey an exciting ride. What are some of your favorite fall trees?

Our Hardiness Zone Map Gets a Refresh

The Arbor Day Foundation distributes millions of trees every year, so it’s important that we have an accurate hardiness zone map. This map separates the country into ten different temperature zones to help people select the right trees to plant where they live. Knowing this information helps us—and you—ensure the trees you receive have the best chance of thriving. It’s one of the important tools in any tree planter’s arsenal.

Hardiness-Zone-MapBecause of this, we gave ours an update. Take a moment to check out the Arbor Day Foundation’s new 2015 Hardiness Zone Map, based upon data from 5,000 National Climatic Data Center cooperative stations across the continental United States.

We like to revise the map every 10 years or so to keep up with any temperature shifts that may have occurred. While not many areas changed with this update, people living in the  northeast or along the Ohio River Valley may be in a new zone.

Not sure what hardiness zone you’re in? We have a simple hardiness zone lookup tool to help you figure it out.

Washington Hawthorn: A Blossom Amongst Thorns

 (crataegus phaenopyrum)

Washington-Hawthorn_1-846[1]If you’re looking to fill in the open spaces in your yard, or just add a bit of color to your landscaping, the Washington hawthorn is a great option. First introduced to Pennsylvania from Washington, the tree earned its name because of its prominent thorns.

Legend has it that Paul Bunyan used the Washington hawthorn’s branches as a back scratcher. Here are a few things to note if you’re considering adding one to your landscape.

Environmental Factors

  • Grows 1-2 feet a year reaching 25-30 feet at maturity.
  • Versatile tree, growing in a wide variety of hardiness zone (4-8).
  • Prefers full sun (6 hours of direct sunlight a day).
  • Drought-tolerant, grows in acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils.

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms white flowers with reddish-purple leaves.
  • Produces bright red berries that hang until the winter. It is popular amongst birds.
  • Develops thorns on its branches, making it an effective barrier.
washington hawthorn berry

Flickr | Taryn Domingos

Do you have a Washington hawthorn in your yard? Share a picture below!

Texas Ebony: The Deciduous Evergreen

Flickr | Dick Culbert

(Pithecellobium flexicaule)

Although summer may be dwindling down, the heat of the sun and limited rainfall is not backing off. This year’s current conditions could be a hint to what next summer will be like. If you’re planning ahead for alternative ways to stay cool in the long-run, then planting a tree is the way to go.

As the name implies, the Texas ebony is native to Texas and only grows in the southwest region of the country. This tree has several unique traits, a notable one being that it doesn’t drop its leaves. If you’re searching for The Right Tree in the Right Place and are limited on space, then check out what this tree can offer to your landscape.

Environmental conditions

  • Grows in several different soils including acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay. Can survive in the driest conditions once tree is established.
  • Grows at medium growth rate of 1-2 feet a year, and can reach anywhere from 35-80 feet at maturity.
  • Prefers full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day.

Physical Attributes

  • This is an evergreen tree and keeps its dense foliage year-round.
  • Blooms fragrant, creamy white and yellow flowers and has 4-6 inch brown seed pods. Fun fact: the seeds have been dried and made into jewelry and shells have been used as an alternative to coffee.
  • Can grow in compact spaces, making it a practical choice if you don’t have a lot of yard space. (Has a spread of 20-30 feet).The Texas ebony is a wonderful tree if you’re looking for shade but don’t have the space. You get the benefit of a larger shade tree with its dense foliage and colorful flowers, and the advantage of an evergreen with year-round foliage

    TX ebony leaves

    Flickr | Wendy Cutler

Do you have a Texas ebony? Share a picture below!

 

 

 

 

Desert-Willow: The Tree That Blooms in Drought

(Chilopsis linearis)

desert willow flower

Flickr | Gailhampshire

Mother Nature doesn’t always work in our favor when it comes to nurturing our garden. Although many plants adapt to unpredictable environmental conditions, there are still a number of trees and shrubs that are too stubborn to conform. It can be especially challenging to landscape your yard if you live in an arid climate where water is scarce. The selections are limited, and planting a tree outside of your hardiness zone isn’t wise.

The Desert-Willow is quite deceiving; despite the name this tree has no relation to the willow other than its resembling appearance.  In fact, unlike willows, this tree cannot grow in wet or heavy soils. As the name implies, desert-willows prefer dry conditions and full sun. They are an extremely drought-tolerant species once established. If you’ve been struggling to find a flowering tree resilient enough to put up with the heat, then check out a few of the qualities this tree can bring to your yard.

Environmental Conditions

  • Desert-willow is a medium growing tree, growing 1-2 feet a year and reaching 15-25 feet in height.
  • This tree loves full sun, at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day.
  • It is a versatile tree and will grow in most soils as long as it is well drained. This includes acidic, alkaline, loamy, sandy and clay. Grows in hardiness zones 7-9. 

Physical Attributes

  • Blooms fragrant, pink flowers midsummer and has 10” papery pods that hang in the winter. Note that these pods will drop seeds and attract wildlife.
  • Usually develops multiple trunks and many branches, making it useful as a wide screen or tall hedge.  Added bonus: the tree can be pruned into a bush. The more it is pruned, the more it flowers.
  • Have willow-like leaves that are long and slender.
desert willow pods

Flickr | Jason Hollinger

If you’re in the Western United States then you may not be a stranger to the desert-willow. It’s a versatile tree that can add color to your landscape. Do you have one in your yard? Share a picture below!