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Overlooked Trees for Landscape Planting

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Published on: Jan. 2, 2001

Last revision: Nov. 10, 2010

with spreads of 40-55 feet. It grows very quickly if planted on a good site with ample water and nutrients. Overall, it grows 9-12 feet over a 10-year period.

Yellowwood flowers are white and fragrant, and they droop in bunches from the ends of the branches in mid to late spring. The bark is smooth and gray like the bark of American beech.

Yellowwood can be planted in a wide range of soils and will tolerate rocky sites. It should be pruned in the summer because it may bleed profusely if pruned during the winter or early spring. While this does not damage the tree, it can be unsightly.

Shade Trees

Turkish Filbert, or Turkish Hazel, (Corylus colurna) is not native to Missouri, but is very adaptable to our climate and our wide range of soil types.

The Turkish Filbert is related to our native American filbert (Corylus americana) which grows as a shrub throughout the state and provides us with many wonderful flavorings and treats. Turkish filbert grows into a formal-shaped, medium-size shade tree with a an average height of 40 to 50 feet and a spread of 20 to 30 feet.

When young, the bark is light and leaves a white powder on your fingers when touched. The leaves are deep, dark green and may become yellow to purple in the fall.

The tree produces small nuts that could be bothersome, but the specimens I've seen had very little litter beneath them. Squirrels probably keep the ground nut-free. Turkish filberts are drought-tolerant when established, but they require thorough watering during their first several summers. Growth reaches 35 feet over 20 years, and 50 feet in 50 years.

I have seen Turkish filberts sold by mail as seedlings and in small containers. You may have to surf the web to find a source.

Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica), also known as black tupelo, sour gum and pepperidge, is native to southern Missouri but will grow throughout the state. Select a locally grown tree because trees from the southern states will probably suffer some winter damage in northern Missouri.

Black gum has been gaining popularity because of its impressive, scarlet fall color. During the growing season, leaves are dark green and shiny. The drawback is that it grows slowly, averaging six inches to one foot per year. If the site is good, and if you water and fertilize the tree properly,

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