If you would like to plant trees that will help make our community forest more varied and interesting, consider the species listed below. All are deciduous (lose their leaves in the fall), hardy in our climate, and are suitable for urban conditions. Some may be planted as street trees, as they will better withstand the especially tough conditions of the tree strip, and all would benefit from being planted in your yard instead. Trees planted in your front yard, especially if they are within 20 ft of the pavement, will benefit the environment and the appearance of the streetscape.
What’s Your Favorite Tree?
How do you decide what to plant? Here’s one suggestion:
As someone that works in an organization linked to forests I am often asked, “what is your favorite tree?” And when this occurs people have a lot of assumptions about what makes a great tree. Read on.
Recommended Trees for the Arlington Area
Common Name (Latin Name)
Large Trees (40-80 ft)
- ‘October Glory’ Red Maple (Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’)
- ‘Red Sunset’ Red Maple (Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’)
- River Birch (Betula nigra)
- European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) (non-native)
- Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) (non-native)
- Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba)
- Thornless Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos var inermis) – a thornless variety; ‘Christie’ (Halka) produces few pods.
- Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
- Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) – a fast-growing, very tall tree, best grown in a lawn as it needs plenty of space
- Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor)
- Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
- Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
- Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
- American Linden/American Basswood (Tilia americana)
- Littleleaf Linden (Tilia cordata)
- ‘Princeton’ American Elm (Ulmus americana ‘Princeton’) – a fast-growing variety with good resistance to Dutch Elm Disease; develops the characteristic vase-shaped canopy with age
- Green Vase Zelkova (Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’)
Medium Trees (30-40 ft)
- Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentuckea ‘Lutea’)
- Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina)
- Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
- Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
- Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
- Japanese Stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia var. koreana)
Small Trees (less than 30 ft)
- Serviceberry (Amelanchier sp.)
- Crabapple ‘Prairifire’, (Malus sp.)
- Hawthorn ‘Winter King’ (Crataegus viridis)
- Cockspur Hawthorn ‘Cruzam’ or ‘Crusader’ (Crataegus crusgalli var. inermis) – virtually thornless variety of the native species; a lower growing tree suitable for under overhead wires.
- Japanese Tree Lilac ‘Ivory Silk’ (Syringa reticulata)
Additional information about these and many other species can be found in Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Low Maintenance Landscapes and at UConn Plant Database or NC State University Trees. For further resources, click here.