Good trees for urban gardens: Winter beauty with native plants

We continue our series highlighting trees that work for gardens in Edmonds. It’s presented by Master Gardener Barbara Chase, who serves on the Edmonds Tree Board.

With snow on the ground, it’s a good time to appreciate the beauty that we see in the winter landscape.

Since all the deciduous trees are now showing their bare branches, we see things easily overlooked in other seasons. The red branches of the red twig dogwoods stand out. Rosa nutkana’s branches also have a red glow.

Evergreen natives like salal (gaultheria shallon), sword fern (polystichum munitum), evergreen huckleberry (vaccinium ovatum), and the slow-growing mountain hemlock stand out.

We also notice the grey branches of the vine maple and other native trees such as serviceberry (amelanchier). Others to note are Indian plum, almost ready to show its early blossoms and the native crab apple (malus fusca). The yellow glow from the native hazelnut’s catkins also adds beauty to the winter scene.

Snow adds to the beauty by highlighting the shapes of so many of our natives. It helps us enjoy the landscape while we wait for spring.

— By Barbara Chase

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