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.
Continuing our series on trees best suited to dealing with Oklahoma's ...interesting... climate, I bring you the Black Gum. Those of you familiar with Van Morrison will know Tupelo Honey, not only one of the greatest albums of all time but a honey made from bees that pollinate trees in the Nyssa genus.
Sedum is, by far, one of the most varied genus of the Plant Kingdom. Over 400 species grace this line of plants and within that there are numerous more varieties. I will focus on a few in the hopes that this will spark you to ask questions and do your own research on these marvelous plants. Basically, Sedum is a succulent, most are trailing but some are upright, colors ranges from gold to blue to red and all are very tough. Several are cold hardy here in Oklahoma and others are tropical and make great house plants.
PHOTO: Tri-Color Sedum, from: www.plantsafari.com
If anyone out there has "dirt" instead of "soil," then Guara is for you. Let me introduce you to this little wonder: Guara lindheimeri is a perennial that will grow in every state, hot or cold. Typically two to four feet tall and wide and never needs dividing. It can take drought or wet conditions provided it is planted in well draining soil; here in Oklahoma, we add a lot of composted pine bark mulch to achieve that. You can expect blooms all season, spring to fall. Deadheading is not necessary but will encourage faster rebloom and discourage self seeding. All varieties have flowers in the white/pinkish to red family but they will provide different effects.
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