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Tree Recommendations (was Re: Buy Historical)


In a message dated 11/30/99 3:11:17 PM Central Standard Time, 
itjohnsn@EXECPC.COM writes:

<< Joanne and I just sat through two days of lectures by the UW
 Madison tree specialist......and she has some very interesting 
recommendations: Crabapples 'Red Jewel' and 'Prairie Fire,' Amur Chokecherry, 
Acer Griseum, Korean Maple, Purple Beech and Weeping Beech, Kentucky Coffee 
Tree.  From my own experience, fruit trees (flowering or bearing) shelter 
hostas very, very nicely; Gingko is pretty (get a male, though); and a stand 
of tall conifers will look
 beautiful in the winter. >>

Hi Irwin,

Thanks for the list of trees.  I fell in love with the Amur Chokecherry after 
seeing a big one in Hideko Gowen's garden on a MN Hosta Soc tour the summer 
of 1996?  So I promptly went out and got my own (maybe 1-1/4" dia trunk?) and 
put it at the base of a hill in my new woodland garden.  It had gorgeous 
bark, even at it's young age.  But alas, the following summer was a wet one 
here, and it slowly drowned (according to best guesses). I even dug it up and 
moved it to a drier part of the yard, but it was too late. The fall before 
it's demise, I listened to Gary Johnson speak at our Washington County Hort 
Soc meeting about his top 10 trees for Minnesota (based on their adaptibility 
to many conditions).  Gary is, or was, an Assoc Professor at U of M, Urban 
Forest, Arborist.  He considers this tree, as well as all Prunus a "crop" 
plant (they last 10-15 years and then you have to replant).  It seems to have 
root problems; girdling roots that grow to one side instead of radiating out, 
so it's not stable.  But I sure loved that bark!!! 

Anybody know other trees that would be better suited for gardens that would 
have that almost metallic looking bark?  I know many crabapples have that 
type of bark, but are they shallow rooted?

In case you want to know Gary's top 10 trees/shrubs for MN (at least during 
that week (he has > 100 best trees and shrubs)), they are:
Oak, White 1st and Burr 2nd (Quercus sp.)
Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)
Concolor (White) Fir (Abies concolor)
Larch, European and American (Larix sp.)
Flowering Crabapples (Malus sp. David, Professor Sprenger, and M x zumi 
calocarpa, plus he'll tolerate leaf problems on : Snow Drift, Red Splendor, 
and Indian Summer)
Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata)
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Kentucky Coffeetree (Gynmnocladus dioica)
Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
European Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
He couldn't bring himself to stop with these 10 and so he listed a whole 
bunch more too.

Now for the trees on his "Don't Plant" list are:
Ash
Boxelder - this and above break up easily in ice storms
Flowering Cherry - beautiful for 2-14 days (depending on storms) and lousy 
root system and weak branches
Green Spire Little Leaf Linden - girdling roots - after about 10-20 years the 
tree falls over (snaps off) in a storm, not safe
Crab apples - most bloom is nice but bad leaves or no leaves for most of 
summer

Isn't it interesting that 2 different "experts" had opposite opinions on the 
Amur Chokecherry??  I'd love to hear others thoughts on these trees.

Cindy Johnson
White Bear Lake, MN
zone 4a

p.s.  He also asked us "On the average, what is the most cold hardy part of 
plants?" and  "What is the least cold hardy part?" (answers to follow)
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