This week we look at what some would deem ‘Odd’ for street trees but can be good choices for harsh conditions. The key is to pick the right plant cultivar, or you may be headed for trouble.
Our first tree is Eucommia ulmoides, Hardy Rubber Tree.
This can become a larger tree so if used as a street tree, needs more space than a narrow tree lawn. This tree has glossy, leathery foliage
that resists drought and adapts to a wide range of soils.
Our next 2 trees are dioecious (produces pollen and seeds on separate plants). The most important aspect of selecting the right tree is choosing a ‘Male’ clone! Otherwise, you will be SORRY!
Ginkgo biloba, Ginkgo
was planted, but it was determined the female fruit drops, it has been referenced to smell like dog feces or vomit.
The preferred male variety as a larger street tree is Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’, Princeton Sentry Ginkgo.
This tree has an upright, uniform branching habit that lends itself to a good choice as street tree that can endure dry conditions. In addition, Ginkgo has a dependable, yellow fall color.
Just be certain you choose a male clone or else……
Maclura pomifera, Osage Orange has the reputation of just being used as a hedgerow to keep animals in a field, or people out of a field
because the tree produces thorns.
In addition, the fruit has always provided great entertainment with youth either for playing catch
or set in an array for counting by tens.
But don’t use this plant as a street tree. The male clone that is being recommended is Maclura pomifera ‘Whiteshield’, Whiteshield Osage Orange.
This plant has glossy foliage and yellow fall color.
This male clone has no thorns or fruit. This tree is very adaptable to poor soil, dry or wet, and lends itself to a street tree.
In closing, Eucommia (Hardy Rubber Tree), Ginkgo (Ginkgo), Maclura (Osage Orange) can be a durable addition to your street tree palette. Be sure to use a male clone of Ginkgo and Osage Orange.