The Beautiful Weeping Willow
The beautiful weeping willow is one of our favorites. Those who are privileged to have a weeping willow on their property can enjoy its abundant shade and calming appearance. Its green, swaying leaves can grow to 3-6 inches long and give off yellow flowers in early spring. At full maturity, it reaches approximately 30-40 feet in height. This species is considered one of the fastest, growing more than 2 feet each year!
The Salix babylonica loves to be in the sun. Here is where it can best grow! However, it also requires partial shade throughout the day. It also favors being near the water. Weeping willows’ roots can spread very far out, looking to absorb as much moisture as possible. So, this species does best near lakes and streams.
Wanna Plant It?
If you’re looking to plant new trees around your property, the weeping willow is definitely a solid contender as it will add a beautiful, graceful touch to your yard. However, there are a few things to consider before you get the shovels and tools out.
How Much Yard Space Do You Have?
This species grows to about 35 feet wide and has roots that can spread farther than the top of the foliage itself. Therefore, it requires plenty of space from other trees and plants to sprawl out.
Beware: This Tree Sheds!
Everything has drawbacks. In the weeping willow’s case, the drawback is that it sheds…a lot. So, consider planting it away from your home or property to avoid damage from falling twigs or branches and to prevent your gutters from getting clogged from shedding leaves.
Where is the Sun?
It’s vital that this species has plenty of direct access to the sun for at least a few hours each day. This ensures it grows to full maturity and receives proper nutrients to support its fast growth. If your property is shaded by many trees already, this species might not be the best option for you.
The hybrid poplar is an extremely fast-growing species, averaging between 5-8 feet in growth per year! This species provides a lot of shade and can extend to around 30 feet in spread at full maturity. Its triangular leaves can extend up to 6 inches in length and turn a beautiful, vibrant yellow in the fall! The Populus deltoides x Populus nigra easily reaches anywhere from 40-50 feet in height. To help sustain its rapid growth, it needs a lot of direct sunlight with as minimal shade as possible.
To Plant Or Not To Plant…
Not to plant. While the hybrid poplar has many benefits including ease of planting and abundant shade, it’s not the best option for homeowners. The main reason: DISEASE.
Yes, this species is susceptible to fungal leaf spots, which can leave you with a dying, rotting tree in a few short years! The hybrid poplar is better for commercial use such as for lumber and toxic waste management. This species also serves as an excellent windbreaker for farmland, protecting the ground from wind damage.
The Vibrant Red Maple
The October Glory is truly a gem as it brings beautiful, deep colors to your yard throughout the year. In the spring and summer, enjoy its rich, deep green hues, and come fall, take in its breathtaking red tones!
This species grows quickly, anywhere from a foot to over 2 feet annually. It can reach 40-50 feet in height at full maturity. The Acer rubrum loves the sun and thrives in at least a few hours in direct sunlight every day to sustain its growth! This species has a nice rounded shape once full grown and provides plenty of shade.
Some Planting Considerations…
The red maple is a nice addition to your landscape – you can enjoy its changing colors all year long and bask in its abundant shade once it’s full grown. However, if you’re considering planting it, we suggest you consider a few things first.
Be Careful of the Roots!
The root system of this species tends to grow close to the soil’s surface. This can create some problems for you as the homeowner when you go to mow the lawn. Because the roots can sometimes protrude above ground, they can damage your lawnmower and hurt the tree itself if they’re run over.
Another thing to consider when planting a red maple is its fragile bark. Because it’s more susceptible to wounding from events like pruning, it can contract diseases more easily!
Red Maple Planting Tips
After you’ve considered the downsides of planting this species on your property and decided that the red maple is, in fact, perfect for your landscape, make sure you plant it in an area where there is plenty of direct sunlight to keep the tree happy! Also, try to plant it in soil that has some moisture. When you’re done planting, you might want to do some deep watering to prevent the soil from drying out. This encourages healthy growth and helps establish and strengthen the roots.
The Thuya Giant
The Green Giant is known for its beautiful dark green leaves and durability against extreme weather. This evergreen provides a protective hedge with its thick foliage; is low maintenance, hardly ever needing pruning; and it’s not as susceptible to diseases compared to other species.
This tree is among the fastest growing – it can grow anywhere from 2 to 3 feet each year! At full maturity, it towers 50-60 feet in height, thus making it a solid windbreaker.
The Thuya Giant is a nice selection for homeowners wanting sturdy, durable trees to provide wind protection or simply add to the aesthetic appeal of their landscape. If you’re considering planting this species, make sure you do so in an area where the tree has access to full sun and partial shade and where the soil can properly drain water.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Leyland Cypress. This species has many popular uses, from windbreakers to Christmas trees. They grow in a narrow shape and can thrive in several different weather patterns and soil types.
The x Cupressocyparis leylandii does the best in full sun to better support its fast growth. It can grow more than 2 feet each year and reaches 60-70 feet in height! This species is relatively low-maintenance and does not need regular watering. However, pruning is necessary in order to maintain its appearance and keep it looking well kept.
Let’s Get Planting!
This species is a beautiful addition to any landscape as it provides a nice hedge and privacy for homeowners if planted in groups, which it often is. When planting, make sure you do so in an area that gets plenty of sun. Some shade is okay. Because this tree is rather wide at the bottom, it needs sufficient room away from other trees. If you’re planting several Leyland Cypresses, you’ll want to be careful not to plant them too close or too far from each other as that can hinder their growth. Staggering the trees might be your best bet to avoid any spacing issues.
We recommend planting during the dormant season when the weather is cooler and before new growth begins. For the first several months after planting, we recommend watering it once a week so the roots have time to grow big enough to sustain the tree themselves. This impressive evergreen will have your property looking good in no time!
But will you know if your tree is sick? Find out in this next post.
Click here for a complete guide to tree care.