Other Native Trees: PawPaws

American Linden, Basswood

American Linden

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The American Linden is a fairly common forest tree in the Eastern and Mid-western portion of North America.The population consists of two very similar species, Tilia americana in the north, and Tilia heterophyla in the south. American Linden is hardy in zones 3 to 8

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall

Black Gum 2 Gallon

Black Gum

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Black Gum, Nyssa sylvatica is one of our most beautiful native trees. Glossy green leaves of spring and summer turn to a striking burgundy red with the first cool nights of late summer and early fall. This adaptable tree is found in almost all environments from very wet to very dry.

Black Gum is a cousin to the Swamp Tupelo, Nyssa aquatica, that produces the famed Tupelo Honey. It has similar flowers and is worked equally by honeybees. The reason we don’t see Black Gum honey as a distinct varietal is that these trees don’t tend to grow in solid stands like the Swamp Tupelo. Gum trees grow in mixed stands with other hardwood trees and are considered a minor species in the eastern hardwood forests.

The Tupelo name is an adaptation of the Indian name. Across the country, Black Gum is known as Black Tupelo, Tupelo, Sour Gum and Bee Gum. It is a full sized tree reaching 60 to 70 feet with age and maturity. It sometimes has a wonderful weeping form where the branches droop as they grow longer and get heavier with age.

The trees are either male or female. The males produce pollen and the females produce nectar. Honeybees are attracted to both and the trees literally hum with bees when they bloom.

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall

Photo By Jerzy Kociatkiewicz

Black Locust

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Black Locust Tree is a truly useful flowering tree. It produces a profusion of flowers for honey followed by a light foliage to provide shade. This is a tough tree that can thrive under difficult conditions. A great tree for the city or the country. Black Locust is hardy in zones 3 to 8.

The Black Locust is a pioneer tree. It is often one of the first trees to sprout on disturbed ground. This locust is well adapted to harsh environments. As a member of the legume family it takes advantage of a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria to fix nitrogen from the air the same as peas and beans.

The seeds of Black Locust have an impermeable seed coat that allows the seed to lie dormant for an extended period of time. It is this trait which causes trees to appear seemingly from nowhere when soil is disturbed.

Black Locust trees need a well drained soil. The trees will grow better with some fertility but are tenacious enough to survive the most difficult locations.

Beekeepers love Black Locust for the profusion of flowers it provides each spring. Where there are enough trees, Locust honey can be made in significant quantities. Locust honey is a distinctive and delightful honey.

Black Locust leaves are small and cast a light shade which allows grass to grow beneath the trees. This trait makes the Locust tree useful on the farm as a pasture tree that provides shade for livestock without impacting grass production. Black Locust has a few negatives. It is thorny when young, it is prone to root suckers which will require regular mowing to control, and mature trees are affected by a borer that shortens the life of the tree.

The wood of Black Locust is heavy, hard, rot, and shock resistant.

1 gallon trees are 2′ to 4′ tall Bigger Trees

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Bottlebrush Buckeye Aesculus parviflora
Bottlebrush Buckeye 2 Gallon

Bottlebrush Buckeye

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Bottlebrush Buckeye- Aesculus parviflora is a spectacular native shrub that blooms in early July. With June’s arrival the Bottlebrush Buckeye begins to show its delicate immature flower spikes which explode into a stunning display of fragrant white flowers with pink anthers at the first days of July.  This large shrub attracts a myriad of pollinators and is particularly attractive to Swallowtail Butterflies. Honeybees love the flowers as well. The Bottlebrush Buckeye is hardy in zones 4 through 8.

Bottlebrush Buckeye is a spectacular native shrub that blooms in early July. With June’s arrival the Bottlebrush Buckeye begins to show its delicate immature flower spikes which explode into a stunning display of fragrant white flowers with pink anthers at the first days of July.  This large shrub attracts a myriad of pollinators and is particularly attractive to Swallowtail Butterflies. Honeybees love the flowers as well.

This is an exceptional trouble free centerpiece for any landscape with room to show it off.

The Bottlebrush Buckeye is a large slow growing shrub native to the southern United States. It is quite shade tolerant though partial sun will bring more flower spikes.

The Bottlebrush Buckeye is hardy in zones 4 to 8 (possibly 9) and averages 8′ to 12′ in height. It can spread by root suckers but these are easy to keep in check by pruning or mowing.  Pruning is only necessary if shaping is required. Removing inconvenient crossing branches is advised. The Bottlebrush is not a messy tree. The seeds, Buckeyes, are poisonous and should be kept away from children. They can easily be removed after the bloom is over as they tend to form at the end of the flower spikes.

Fall color is a glowing golden yellow. Winter exposes the trees upright vase like structure that is neither delicate nor coarse.

2 gallon trees are 2′ to 3′ tall

Northern Catalpa

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Northern Catalpa is a broad crowned native tree that adds distinctive character to any property. This tree is covered with large clusters of large tubular flowers for several weeks each summer. Large heart shaped leaves give the Catalpa a unique look through the season. This native tree is hardy in zones 4 to 8.  Read More

The Catalpa Tree consists of many species, two are native to the US. In the mid-west we have the Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa, and in the south we have The Southern Catalpa, Catalpa bignoides.

Both Catalpas are known by various local names such as, Catawba, Indian Cigar Tree, Cigar Tree, Caterpillar Tree, Fishbait Tree, and Fishermans Tree. Catalpa is the Native American name for the trees.

The two trees are very similar in appearance. The flowers are the distinguishing difference. Both trees produce large clusters of flowers in early summer. The interior of the flowers tell the tale. The Northern Catalpa flowers are decorated with lines of lavender dots surrounding bright yellow streaks leading into the throat of the flower.

 

Both catalpas are large trees, 30′ to 70’tall with some reaching 100′ . The trees are rather coarse in structure with thick twigs and a distinctive, sometimes contorted shape. The large frame is clothed with equally large leaves, some a foot long and broad. The large leaves cast a deep shade.

As summer progresses, the flowers give way to long bean like pods which turn from green to a rich dark brown in fall somewhat resembling a long cigar.

The most significant pest of the catalpa is considered by some to be its greatest asset. The caterpillar of the catalpa Sphinx moth, Ceratoia catalpae.

This caterpillar can in sufficient numbers defoliate the tree. Catalpa trees quickly replace their leaves with little distress.

1 gallon trees are 2′ to 4′ tall Bigger Trees

The Catalpa Worm

Southern Catalpa

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Southern Catalpa, catalpa bignonioides is a powerful bloomer with a unique contorted form. It is smaller than its northern cousin with the same large heart shaped leaves. Winter reveals its arching, twisted branches. A tree of great character. Southern Catalpas are hardy in zones 5 to 9.  Read More

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall Bigger Trees

The Catalpa Worm

 

Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow

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Buy Now: 2 Gallon

Pussy Willow, Salix discolor, is our native North American Pussy Willow. A variety of species are spread all across the northern hemisphere. These willows are a large shrub adapted to open areas with adequate moisture.

This native is a spreading open shrub that is hardy in zones 4 to 8. Pussy Willows will grow to 6′ to 15′ tall and 4′ to 12′ wide as a large shrub or to 30′ when trained as a small tree. They thrive in medium to wet soils but, will do poorly in dry soils.

They are cherished for their early spring blooms which begin to appear in March and April. Their odd name comes from the furry soft male flowers or catkins that form in early spring. These flowers resemble the fur of a young kitten.

As these flowers open, the yellow stamens appear. These are the pollen producing structures of the male flowers. This pollen is very important to bees of all kinds. For honeybees in particular, this pollen along with lengthening days signal the queen to begin laying eggs and building brood numbers for the spring.

Pussy Willows are a trouble free plant. They are tolerant of deer and can live with Black Walnut trees. To maintain them as a shrub, they can be cut back to the ground every 3 to 5 years. This may seem drastic but, it is good for the willows and removes any dead wood and dense growth that shades the lower branches. To train as a small tree, select a single or multiple trunks and remove all others. Then remove lower limbs to train it to be more tree like.

Pussy Willows are cherished in all northern areas as a reminder that spring is returning and winter will soon pass. Stems are often cut in late winter and brought inside and forced to bloom in a vase while the snow is still flying outside.

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall

Sourwood

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A fountain of flowers cascading from the treetops is the best description of the native Sourwood tree,Oxydendrum arboreum.

There is a second act to the Sourwood season, when, with the onset of cooler weather and shortening days it bursts forth into a breathtaking display of burgundy and red. One of the first trees to color in the fall it becomes a real standout among the fading greens of late summer.

Sourwood Trees bloom in July with the flowers open the entire month. Sourwood is hardy in zones 5 through 9

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall

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Tulip Poplar

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Tulip Poplar is a giant in the forest and for the Bees. This large, fast growing tree is covered with large, nectar filled flowers each May. Tulip Poplar is a hearty, healthy tree, beautiful tree, perfect for a large yard or farm. Tulip Poplar is hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Tulip Poplar- Lirodendron tulipfera is a giant of the eastern forest and the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. This member of the Magnolia family is known by many local names such as, Yellow Poplar, Poplar, Tulip Tree, Tulip Wood, Tulip magnolia, and Whitewood. Yellow Poplar is an important timber tree soaring easily to 100 feet or more under prime conditions. The Yellow Poplar grows quickly and sheds lower limbs at a young age leaving a smooth trunk, often for the lower third or even half its height.

The overall shape of the tree is an even pyramidal when young, very like a deciduous Christmas tree. As the tree matures it develops a round topped columnar shape which transforms to a broad open topped gently weeping shape in old age.

A young tree will begin to bloom at 10 to 12 years of age. The flowers are large tulip like flowers with large greenish yellow petals surrounding a golden yellow center. Beekeepers know these large flowers contain a tablespoon of nectar each. Bees love Tulip Poplar flowers for this nectar and the abundance of pollen in each of the thousands of flowers. Enough honey can be produced during the bloom to make “Poplar Honey”, a rich, strong, dark colored honey favored by many. Bakers particularly like Poplar honey for its ability to hold up to cooking.

Tulip Poplar is an important timber tree in the Eastern US. Its rapid growth and tendency to produce a clean straight limb free trunk make it a premium tree, Managed forests can be profitably harvested every 20 to 30 years.

2 gallon trees are 3′ to 4′ tall Bigger Trees

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The Yellowood Tree

Yellowood

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The Yellowood Tree- Cladrastis kentuckea is an uncommon but spectacular tree. The bark resembles our native American Beech, smooth and grey with lichens growing on it. The leaves are similar to our native Ash trees but more delicate and more rounded. The flowers, WOW,  the flowers are spectacular. The Yellowood Tree is in the pea family so, it’s great panicles of flowers are small, white and like pea flowers. The wonderfully fragrant flowers hang in great clusters and  turn the tree nearly white in good years.

The Yellowood TreeYellowood flowers

The Yellowood TreeThe Yellowood Tree

The Yellowood Tree lives in harsh places in the Eastern United States. It is most at home on bony, dry, limestone ridges in Middle Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas. There are a few in other states as well but it is scarce even where it is most common. Since it is at home in such difficult places, it adapts well to city conditions. It thrives as a street tree and on traffic islands in parking lots. Places where many trees struggle to exist.

Yellowood is named for its stunningly bright yellow heartwood. The tree is uncommon in the lumber trade because the tree tend to grow in a low branching form more like an apple tree. Few trees grow with a straight trunk or to a diameter that would tempt a timber harvester. The wood is very hard and like most leguminous trees has an unpleasant smell when freshly cut. The wood was used as a dye stock in the early days of the country. This is not the tree that inspired the Yellowood brand seen advertised.

These trees will grow to 40 feet in height and have an irregularly rounded form. The fragrant flowers appear in late April or Early may in the south and a little later farther north. The flowers are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

The tree is hardy in zones 4 to 8, Minnesota to Alabama.

Yellowood TreeYellowood Bark

The Yellowood Tree should be planted in more yards and city plantings for its beauty and its preservation as a native resource.

2 gallon trees are 2′ to 4′ tall

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