Ten Shade Trees for Great Fall Color

on Saturday, 11 September 2021. Posted in Landscape contractor

These Trees Will Brighten Up Your Yard in Fall

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." - Chinese Proverb

This is especially true if you're interested in finding a shade tree that also provides good fall color. The trees here at Shooting Star will be starting to color up soon, so you can wander the nursery to soak up the fall color and make your selections. Here are ten of our favorite "fall color" trees to get you started - arranged in size from small to mid-sized to large. 

 

 Small Trees (under 30'):

Autumn brillianceAutumn Brilliance Serviceberry (20' x 15') - Serviceberries offer three-season interest in the garden: clouds of white flowers in the spring, blue-purple berries in the summer, and bright red leaves in the fall. 

Paperbark Maple (25' x 20') - Delicate-looking compound leaves turn red in the fall, shaggy exfoliating bark provides winter interest. A great maple selection for smaller spaces!

Vanessa Parrotia (28' x 14') - A small, upright tree that turns warm shades of orange and red. Great choice for small yards or as a street tree.

 

Medium-sized Trees (30-40'):

Native Flame Hornbeam (30' x 20') -  This heat-tolerant eastern native turns orange-red to bright red in fall, and the canopy has a nice oval shape.Chinese Pistache

Chinese Pistache (30' x 30') - Chinese Pistache does beautifully in our hot, dry summers and turns a brilliant orange-red in fall. 

Red Rage Tupelo (35' x 20') - Turns a glossy, copper-red - truly stunning. Tupelos are also tolerant of poorly drained soils.

 

Large Trees (40'+):

Autumn Purple Ash (45' x 40') -  Colors can vary each year from a yellow-orange to a deep purple. While the color can be changeable, the effect is always lovely.

Sun Valley Maple (40' x 35') -  A bright red seedless variety of Maple. 

Maple fall colorOctober Glory Maple (40' x 35') - The name says it all! This is the latest variety of maple to color up in fall, and can really help stretch out the fall display in your yard. Foliage ranges from deep red to red-purple.

Autumn Blaze Maple (50' x 40') - If you're in the market for a big, colorful shade tree, this is the one for you! Turns a brilliant shade of orange-red, and the color is fairly long-lasting. As an extra bonus, Autumn Blaze tends to be more drought tolerant than other maples.

 

 

 

 

Four Great Native Shrubs for Your Garden

on Wednesday, 23 June 2021.

A recent hike along a popular local trail reminded us that these four great native shrubs – three of which can be found blooming in the woodlands around the Rogue Valley in late June and early July – are great additions to our gardens. All four are deciduous, fragrant, and wildlife friendly; and they all prefer light shade and are not at all fussy about soil type. Next time you’re looking for a new shrub for your yard, why not consider going native?

HolodiscusHolodiscus discolor (Oceanspray) – What a wonderfully descriptive common name for a truly lovely shrub! This member of the Rose family is covered with sprays of sweetly fragrant, frothy white flowers in the early summer. If you look more closely, you’ll notice that each spray is composed of dozens of exquisite little five-petaled flowers. Depending on your site conditions, Oceanspray can grow anywhere from 3-15’ tall and will get about 6’ wide. It is fast growing, deer resistant, and fairly drought tolerant once established and is a wonderful plant for hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and a variety of other beneficial insects.

 

PhiladelphusPlantPhiladelphus lewisii (Mock Orange) – This plant was named after Meriweather Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition (extra plant-nerd trivia: the genus Lewisia is also named after Lewis, and the genus Clarkia was named after William Clark). You will likely smell Mock Orange before you see it – it is abundant along Lithia Creek and in the Jacksonville Woodlands - and it really does smell like orange blossoms! Simple, snowy-white 4-petaled flowers with bright golden anthers blanket the shrub in early summer. At maturity, Mock Orange will get 5-12’ tall by about 6’ wide. The bark gets attractively shaggy as the plant ages; providing good winter interest in the garden. Butterflies and other pollinators love it, relatively deer resistant (although may be browsed when its younger). Drought tolerant when established.

 

Nootka RoseRosa nutkana (Nootka Rose) – There’s something delightful about the simplicity of our native roses – just five dusty-pink petals, surrounding a bright golden eye. But despite its relatively small individual flowers, Nootka Rose blooms abundantly and has a rich and heady fragrance. Summer flowers are followed by bright orange hips in fall – popular with birds, and a great source of Vitamin C for humans. Nootka Rose grows in full sun or part shade, and gets about 7’ tall by 3-5’ wide. Left to their own devices, the plants will spread via root suckers and form thickets – good for bird nesting habitat, and making for a good hedge if you want to keep critters/people from walking through part of your yard! Plants prefer moderate water, and Nootka Rose is a good pollinator plant and a host plant for butterfly larvae.

 

Calycanthus occidentalis cropCalycanthus occidentalis (Spice Bush) – As the common name suggests, the flowers of this plant have a wonderfully spicy fragrance that smells a bit like mulled wine – particularly on a warm summer afternoon; while the bark smells like camphor. The flowers of Spice Bush are a beautiful reddish/purplish-brown and look like miniature waterlilies. There’s only one record for Calycanthus in the wild in Jackson County, but they do occur just south of us in Shasta County. Plants grow anywhere between 3-12’ tall and wide, depending upon conditions, and they are pollinated by beetles! Prefers part shade and moderate water, and is somewhat deer resistant.

Hedges and Privacy Screens

on Monday, 30 November 2020. Posted in Landscape architect

Great options for Privacy Screens and Hedges

Privacy hedges or screens are more than just an attractive living visual barrier between you and whatever is on the other side. They also buffer noise, wind, dust, and other pollutants kicked up from nearby driveways and roads. There are many great selections of mid-size conifers and broadleaf shrubs that stay green all year round. Since we get a lot of questions about what can be used for privacy screens and landscape borders, we thought it would be great to tell you a little more about what we have.

This is just a small sample of many other options for evergreen hedges and privacy screens. We'll tell you more about other options in future posts. Make sure to sign up for the Shooting Star Nursery Newsletter for the most up to date news and new arrivals!


cedrusDeodaraDivinelyBlue2Cedrus deodara,
'Divinely Blue' Deodar Cedar

A dwarf variety of the full-sized Deodar Cedar, with the same beautiful blue-green evergreen foliage on graceful nodding branches that forms a low mounding shape. Prefers well-draining soil and full sun but will tolerate some shade. Drought tolerant once established. Slow grower of about 6" per year, reaching up to 6' tall x 3-6' wide within 10 years.

 


taxusHicksiiHicksYewTaxus hicksii, 'Hick's Yew'

The upright, columnar form of the Hicks Yew is made up of long branches with lush, glossy, evergreen foliage that makes it a great option for tall hedges and privacy screens. Does well in full sun to full shade and prefers well-draining soil. Drought tolerant once established. Grows slow at about 12" per year, reaching up to 10-12' tall x 3-4' wide at maturity.

 


thujaExcelsaThuja plicata,
'Excelsa' Western Red Cedar

A Pacific Northwest native with full-bodied, evergreen, fan-like foliage that is Aromatic with some deer resistance. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and full to part sun. Drought tolerant once established. Grows fast at 24-36" per year for an almost instant privacy screen! Reaches up to 30' tall x 20' wide at maturity.

 

 

thujaVirescensThuja plicata,
'Virescens' Western Red Cedar

A Pacific Northwest native with upward reaching branches that create a tall, tight, and narrow pyramid shape. Glossy evergreen aromatic foliage some deer resistance. Prefers moist, well-drained soil and full to part sun. Drought tolerant once established. Grows moderately at about 15" per year, and up to 25' tall x 12' wide at full maturity.


portugueseLaurelPrunus lusitanica, 
‘Portuguese Laurel’

If you don't want a conifer hedge, laurels are the way to go. Portuguese laurels have narrow, rounded, glossy, evergreen leaves and red stems. They are fast-growing, bushy, and produce fragrant white flowers that bloom in late spring. They respond well to being trimmed into a uniform shape, and if you prefer the look of natural growth, you should still trim them at least once a year. Prefers well-draining soil, and does equally well in full sun or full shade as long as its root system is established. Generally, these shrubs can reach 18-20' tall x 10-15' wide, and larger if not maintained.


buxusGrahamBlandy2Buxus sempervirens,
'Graham Blandy' English Boxwood

If you love boxwoods and need an option for a tall privacy screen that fits in a narrow space, then 'Graham Blandy' (Buxus sempervirens) boxwood, is the superstar you have been looking for. This is a relatively slow-growing boxwood, at less than 6" or less per year and that can reach up to 10’ tall and only 2’ wide. 

There are many great options available to you for a privacy screen. Take a look at some other ideas with compact and dwarf conifers, columnar plants, and even bamboo that is cold hardy enough for the Rogue Valley!