Good trees for urban gardens: Choosing a tree that fits your yard

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.

April and May brought dazzling beauty to the Northwest. It was a cold, blustery and sometimes miserable spring in the Northwest. So the appearance of all those blossoms made gardeners anxious to have some of the beauty to brighten the garden.
First there were the flowering plums all aglow with soft pink blossoms. Then the sturdy long lasting white blossoms of magnolia stellata appeared in April.

Soon the various flowering cherries appeared. And lastly the various dogwoods came on the scene.

What is a gardener to do? How to choose? First thing is to take a look at the tree after it has stopped blooming. Does it look good after the flowers drop? Does it fit the place where you envision planting a tree. Is it prone to disease?

Be sure you take into account the width so the tree doesn’t hit the buildings nearby. Does it have year round interest with fall color, berries or fruit, an interesting winter silhouette? A tree is with you a long time so take the time to do a little homework. Most gardeners hate to remove a tree so be sure you choose carefully.

You can plant trees in June if you are prepared to water and keep the tree from too much stress. But fall, especially October, is the ideal time to plant trees.

— By Barbara Chase

  1. The white dogwood is a hybrid and I am not sure of its origins. But you can see several blooming on Main St. near Emerald Hills. They are excellent specimens.

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