Choosing Plants To Provide Dense Shade

TREES

CRAB APPLE

Malus species and hybrids

Type: Deciduous Height: 15-25 feet Zones: 3-8

Soil: Rich, well drained; tolerant Light: Full sun

Comments: Crab apples, with their profusion of fragrant spring flowers and fall fruit, are among the best of trees. Much fruit stays on the trees throughout winter, providing food for birds and a nice decoration when crowned with snow. Some is good for jams and jellies. Crab apples need regular spraying, pruning, and borer control. 'Transcendent' and 'Dolgo' are best for eating. May bear more fruit every other year.

DOGWOOD

Cornus florida

Type: Deciduous Height: 15-30 feet Zones: 5-9

Soil: Rich, slightly acid, moist Light: Prefers some shade

Comments: One of the most beautiful and useful flowering trees, the dogwood offers spring bloom, good summer foliage, dark red autumn color, berries, and, with its horizontal branches and crownlike buds, winter interest. Red and pink varieties are available. Japanese dogwood {Cornus kousa) blooms later with pointed bracts. The other dogwoods all are good ornamentals with attractive foliage and berries, but inconspicuous flowers.

MAPLE

Acer species

Type: Deciduous

Height: To 80 feet and more

Zones: 3-8

Soil: Any good; prefers moist Light: Full sun or light shade

Comments: Ninety species of maple vary in habit, rate of growth, and size and color of leaves. Spring and summer foliage can be maroon-red or many shades of green with white, yellow, or pink markings, or silver undersides. The fiery autumn color of New England is largely from maples in brilliant red, yellow, and orange. Easily grown; few serious pest or disease problems. Sugar maple and several others give syrup.

Quercus species

Type: Mostly deciduous Height: 50 feet to much higher Zones: 4-9

Soil: Acid, moist, well drained Light: Sun or light shade

Comments: Oaks make excellent shade and specimen trees, especially where they have plenty of room. The many species vary greatly in leaves, color, and acorns, which are good for wildlife. Valued for their sturdy growth and wide-spreading branches at maturity, some have brilliant autumn color and some are evergreen. Many keep their leaves long into winter. Difficult to transplant; some disease threat.

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