July 11, 2011

Tree Hunting

Witch Hazel

Can finding more options actually make deciding easier? At least it is a fun tree hunt! I had the past week off for summer break, so I took a little road trip down to Chicagoland and into the arms of a true garden enthusiast. She whisked me off to the Plant Clinic at the Morton Arboretum and soon I had a whole new list of tree/shrub possibilities, plus an amazing catalog of plants, neatly circled with suggestions. These included:

Tecumseh Compact River Birch: small, short, compact, weeping tree with pendulous branches. While we searched for this tree, we never found one in the wilds of the arb.
Weeping Redbud: An option I was very excited about until I saw it. We both agreed to call it “swamp thing”.
Tina Crab Apple: I’m still not sure about the crabapple.
Dwarf Korean Lilac: These can be grafted to be little trees.
Lancelot Crab Apple ‘lanzam’: This may be the tree that the city planted in our devil strip aka terrace.
Magnolia x Butterflies: I still find it hard to believe that I could have a magnolia in Wisconsin.
Brevipetala Witch Hazel: This was the winning shrub of the day. Interesting, irregular shape, dramatic branches and fun flowers.

After all that, I’m leaning towards the Witch Hazel. There are a few varieties that stay under ten feet and they have a natural, tamed-wildness that I think is pleasing.

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