Good trees for urban gardens: Blossoming trees add winter color

We are still in winter with its many deciduous trees and dark evergreens. So trees and shrubs with yellow blossoms and leaves are very welcome.

Cornus mas, known as Cornelian Cherry, is almost in full bloom. You can see examples of this tree at the north side of the Edmonds Center for the Arts. There is also a row of these Cornelian cherries at the north side of the Waterfront Center parking lot where there is a row of them.

You will see another example of a yellow blossomed tree at the Dayton Street Plaza at 2nd and Dayton. This tree (hamamelis, Witch hazel) has a long history. It started as a shrub and developed very slowly into a tree. We in Edmonds should be grateful for the great care this older tree has been given by city staff through the years. It lights up the east side of the mini park. Witch hazels are also lightly fragrant. I consider it a gift to all those who walk or drive by the 2nd street park in February.

The smaller witch hazel tree shown is about 15 years old. It was planted to take the place of a Japanese Maple which died of verticillium wilt. Witch hazel is strong and is not susceptible to the wilt. Since the garden spot is hot and dries out quickly, it needs attention to water and enjoys having a thick mulch.

Elaeagnus pungens ‘Silverberry’, has varieties with yellow and green variegated leaves and very small white fragrant flowers in September. It is a tough plant which can grow to 12 feet.

Gardeners can take this time of year to add color to a dark time of year.

— By Barbara Chase

Barbara Chase is a Master Gardener who serves on the City of Edmonds Citizens Tree Board.



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