It's finally spring this will be our last post in a series about good tree selections for central Oklahoma. Our next post will be about the site selection and planting of these trees.
Pines have had a lot of bad press lately. After the hail storms last year many Pines turned yellow and died. This was caused by the Pine Bark Beetle introducing a fungus or blight to the trees through the wounds from being pummeled by the hail. Unfortunately the most popular Pine, Austrian Pine, P. nigra, is also horribly susceptible to blight. But there are good varieties, most are vast improvements over the Austrian Pine.
There are few trees that can be called “perfect.” Only a few of those are suited to Oklahoma. In the wind down of the Good Trees for Oklahoma Series, I bring you the Serviceberry.
Sometimes called Juneberry, the Serviceberry is a sadly underused tree. Not too large, only 25 to 30 feet, tall and half as wide, they can be planted anywhere. It has a nice open canopy that allows light to pass through. That along with a lack of surface roots make for easy plantings and lawns under the tree.
Several species and variates exist, but the most commonly available is also the most versatile. Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry (A. X grandiflora), one of the Apple Serviceberries. In spring drooping clusters of white flowers open from pink buds. Later, new foliage is purple-ish and fades to a soft blue green. In early summer red berries from that you can fight the birds for as the taste like sweet mini apples and are great in pies and jams. The meat of the fruit is clear/white so mess from birds is not a major concern, but should be considered. Leaves develop orange or red coloration and remain that way for a considerable time. In winter the silvery bark shows off the strong, storm damage resistant branches; making this a four season tree. Uncommon cases of rust and fireblight can occur but are almost always minor.
I realize late winter is not really the time to be thinking about Fall but I am. Fall in the north east, to be exact. Just about anyone should be able to conjure up an image of the New Hampshire-ish region in fall. Trees turning to oranges, reds and yellows. The tree most common there is the Maple. Dozens of species and hundreds of varieties exist all over the nation. Many do not do well with our oppressive heat and frequent mini droughts; while others suffer because of fast growth weakening them in our various storms. Other Maples will be covered later, but for the Sadly Under-used Oklahoma Series, I would like to talk about the Sugar Maple. Which brings me back to the New Hampshire/Vermont-ish area. The very tree responsible for Maple Syrup and much of the North East's Fall color.
Now, Oklahoma and New Hampshire have very similar climates, soils and growing conditions, so, the Sugar Maple is GREAT for Oklahoma. End of story,see you next week...
Ok, I am being told that was in fact wrong...Oklahoma and the North East apparently have wildly different climates. There are just some varieties that are good for Oklahoma.
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