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Saturday, May 15
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 16
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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Tree Topics: The 2021 Plant (and Tree) Sale

Special Trees (Part 2)

This is the second installment of what FLPA will be presenting in our 2021 annual Plant Sale. We want to offer you something slightly different with regard to trees this year. We searched for unusual species that are not so easy to get (along with some popular ones as well) and you are not likely to obtain at most nurseries, mainly because they are not commercially mass produced.

So here are some selections we will offer in limited quantities:

Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata) – This is native to the mountains of the Southwest and known for being the longest living species of trees. Because it comes from dry mountainous areas, it prefers well drained, slightly acidic sites, and full sun. It will take it a long time to get 40 feet tall at maximum height so consider it a small conifer.

Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) – Yes, they can grow around here if you plant it in a sunny local that is protected from the winter winds (Hardiness zone 6 or higher). It needs cool, moist (not wet) soils and slightly acidic soils. It is native to the western Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It will grow to about 50 feet or better around these parts.

PawPaw (Asimina triloba) – This is a shade loving, Eastern US native that produces a large edible tropical looking fruit that tastes like custard. It makes for a great agroforestry addition to your woodlot and it will spread (it is not an invasive tree). Moist, organic soils (not wet) are preferred. The flowers are purple colored and the leaves turn yellow in fall. The beautiful zebra swallowtail butterfly larvae feed on the leaves.

Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) – Also known as Alternate Leaf Dogwood, this small native tree has nice fragrant white flowers and good fall color. It like part shade and well drained organic and slightly acidic soils. This is a fine complement tree to its cousins; Pink Flowering Dogwood (Coruns florida ‘rubra’) and White Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) which we will also be offering.

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) – Is a great, often overlooked native tree. It has 3 different shaped leaves, produces small yellow flowers, has excellent fall color and wildlife loves its fruit. It likes dryer, sunny sites and can get up to 40 feet. It is known to have medicinal properties as well.

Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) – This native tree is no longer found in the wild but survives within the nursery trade. It is a small stunning tree that produces creamy fragrant white flowers in summer and has deep, red/purple fall colors. It requires rich but well drained soils and full sun to some part shade. It will only get to 15 feet tall and is a great focal tree for your collection.

Saskatoon Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Saskatoon’) – This small tree native to western Canada and the northwestern US also goes by the name of shadblow or shadbush. We selected this variety because it has the best tasting berries of all the varieties. Birds love it as well so you will have a battle on your hands. The tree grows in part shade to full sun (but more sum means more berries) and likes most soils except very wet or very dry. It produces white flowers in spring and has nice fall colors. It will reach about 15 feet tall.


2021 Special Trees (Part 1)

Mooswood and Mt. Maple

If you have a woodland garden and are looking for a unique small tree that has nice fall colors and can take shade – have we got the perfect couple for you! These two gems are native to NY State and are found mostly in the cool dense forests of the higher elevations. While they thrive in the Adirondacks, they will grow in our area so long as you offer them the right conditions.

Moosewood is more commonly known as Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum) and is native from Canada, west to Ohio and south to Pennsylvania and New Jersey and in the Appalachian Mountain region. It is also called Goosefoot Maple because the leaf resembles the foot of a goose. The name moosewood is derived from the fact that moose will consume its bark in winter but the best feature of this tree is the white stripes on its green bark when young (thus the name, striped maple), which make this tree quite unique and attractive. In autumn the leaves turn a bright yellow. It is not an important economic tree and it is said that Native Americans used the wood to make arrows and the bark for medicinal purposes.

This maple must-have shade or some filtered sun, well drained soils, and located in the coolest parts of your landscape. It is an understory tree (plants growing under dominant forest trees) and it will do well under pines and hemlocks with a good mulch. It is a slow grower and will get about 15 to 20 feet tall in this region (but that will take a long time). While we don’t have to worry about moose around these parts, we do have deer and they will attack this tree. You must protect it year-round from them. Birds and small mammals will eat the seed this tree produces.

The Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum) is another small understory tree and sometimes considered a large shrub. It is also a slow grower and will mature at approximately 15 feet tall in this area. It is found in the mountain regions of NY State and also grows in well-drained soils in part shade with some sun conditions. Also, place it in the cooler parts of your woodland garden. The leaves are somewhat similar to moosewood but the bark is reddish-brown. The fall colors vary from yellow to orange to red and make this small tree quite showy in your woodland garden in autumn. This tree must also be protected from browsing deer.

You will not find these trees at your local garden centers because they are not really commercially grown and easy to find. But we will have them in limited quantity and very affordable for our plant sale this year.