Friday, August 12, 2011


Cupressus sempervirens April 2011

Malus (Crabapple) April 2011

Arbutus menziesii in Seward Park April 2011

Magnolia x soulangeana March 2010

 Ginkgo biloba September 2010

Here is a list of trees for gardens in Seattle, the Pacific Northwest & USDA Zone 8. Many will tolerate colder climates.  They have good form, lovely flowers, colorful fall foliage & other characteristics that endear them to many gardeners. Most of these are deciduous.  Evergreen trees are noted.  Some may be difficult to find. When local nurseries fail, try mail-order nurseries.  Forest Farm is a good source for uncommon trees.  This list is not meant to provide detailed information on trees, but to introduce you to some you may not know, or remind you of those you have forgotten.  Basic characteristics are included to help you sort through the lists.  Be sure you know how widely these trees spread before you plant them, to allow enough space.  Narrow trees are listed separately here.  An abundance of detailed information is available on the web.  Good reference books on shrubs are The Hillier Gardener's Guide to Trees & Shrubs edited by John Kelly, Sunset Western Garden Book

Small Trees
Abies koreana (Korean Fir) Abies pinsapo (Spanish Fir): evergreen
Acer buergerianum (Trident Maple) Acer campestre (Hedge Maple) Acer circinatum (Vine Maple) Acer crataegifolium (Hawthorne Maple) Acer japonicum (Fullmoon Maple) Acer maximowiczianum (Nikko Maple) Acer palmatum (Japanese Maple) Acer pennsylvanicum (Moosewood): fall color
Aesculus pavia (Red Buckeye): flowers
Amelanchier alnifolia (Western Serviceberry) Amelanchier canadensis (Eastern Serviceberry) Amelanchier x grandiflora, Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry): flowers, fruit, fall color
Arbutus unedo (Strawberry Tree): evergreen, flowers, fruit can make a mess on pavement
Azara microphylla (Boxleaf Azara): evergreen, small flowers, narrow
Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' (Eastern Redbud): purple leaves, flowers, fall color, Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree): flowers, fall color
Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Boulevard’ (Boulevard Cypress): evergreen, slow growth
Cladrastis lutea (Yellow Wood): flowers, fall color
Cornus kousa (Korean Dogwood) Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry): flowers, fruit
Crataegus laciniata, Crataegus laevigata ‘Rosea Flore Pleno’ (English Hawthorn) Crataegus phaenopyrum (Washington Hawthorn) Crataegus prunifolia: flowers, fruit, fall color
Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Blue Ice’ (Arizona Cypress): evergreen
Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree): flowers, fall color
Genista aetnensis (Mt Aetna Broom): flowers
Hamamelis x intermedia, Hamamelis mollis (Witch Hazel): fragrant flowers, fall foliage
Malus ‘Adams’, Malus ‘Dartmouth’, Malus ‘Katherine’, Malus ‘Thunderchild’ (Crabapple): & many other cultivars, flowers, fruit can make a mess on pavement
Oxydendron arboreum (Sourwood): flowers, fall color
Parrotia persica (Parrotia): fall color
Pinus cembra (Swiss Stone Pine) Pinus edulus (Pinyon Pine): evergreen
Podocarpus macrophyllus (Yew Pine): evergreen, not a pine
Prunus cerasifera ‘Thundercloud’ (Flowering Plum) Prunus mume (Japanese apricot) Prunus serrula, Prunus serrulata (Flowering Cherry): flowers
Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’ (Bradford Pear): flowers, fall color, Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' (Weeping Willow-leafed Pear): flowers, silver foliage, weeping form
Quercus gambelii (Gambel Oak): tolerates dryness
Rhus typhina (Staghorn Sumac): fall color
Sorbus cashmiriana (Kashmir Mountain Ash) Sorbus commixta (Japanese Mountain Ash) Sorbus hupehensis (Hupei Mountain Ash) Sorbus scalaris: flowers, fruit, fall foliage
Styrax japonica (Japanese Snowbell) Styrax obassia (Fragrant Snowbell): flowers
Taxus cuspidata (Japanese Yew): evergreen
Thuja standishii (Japanese Arborvitae): evergreen
Thujopsis dolabrata (False Arborvitae): evergreen
Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm): evergreen, the only reliable palm in Seattle
Ulmus japonica (Japanese Elm): fall color

Medium Trees
Abies amabilis (Cascade Fir): evergreen
Acer callipes, Acer davidii, Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple): fall color, interesting bark
Aesculus californica (California Buckeye) Aesculus x carnea (Red Horse Chestnut): flowers
Albizia julibrissin (Mimosa): flowers
Betula albo-sinensis (Chinese Red Birch) Betula jacquemontii (Himalayan Birch) Betula papyrifera (Paper Birch) Betula pendula (Silver Birch): fall color, beautiful bark, birches attract aphids which drip sticky excretions on patio furniture & cars
Carpinus caroliniana (American Hornbeam): fall color
Catalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa): flowers, pods
Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura Tree): fall color
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Pembury Blue’ (Port Orford Cedar) Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Pendula’ (Weeping Alaskan Cedar) Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Gracilis’ (Slender Hinoki Cypress): evergreen
Crataegus mollis (Downy Hawthorne): flowers, fruit, fall color
Davidia involucrata (Dove Tree): flowers, fruit
Gymnocladus dioica (Kentucky Coffee Tree)
Idesia polycarpa (Idesia): inedible berries
Magnolia macrophylla (Bigleaf Magnolia): flowers, huge leaves
Nothofagus antarctica (Southern Beech): fall color
Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum): fall color
Pawlonia tomentosa (Empress Tree): flowers, large leaves
Picea breweriana (Brewer Spruce): evergreen
Pinus contorta var. contorta (Shore Pine) Pinus leucodermis (Bosnian Pine) Pinus pinea (Italian Stone Pine) Pinus monticola (Western White Pine): evergreen
Quercus chrysolepis (Canyon Live Oak): evergreen, Quercus garryana (Garry Oak): shade tolerant
Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’ (Golden Locust): yellow foliage
Sciodopitys verticillata (Umbrella Pine): evergreen, not a pine
Sorbus alnifolia (Korean Mountain Ash) Sorbus aria (Whitebeam): flowers, fruit, fall color
Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia): flowers, fall color
Taxus brevifolia (Pacific Yew): evergreen, fruit
Tilia americana (American Linden) Tilia cordata (Littleleaf Linden): fall color

Large Trees
Abies concolor (White Fir) Abies grandis (Giant Fir) Abies procera (Noble Fir): evergreen
Acer macrophyllum (Bigleaf Maple) Acer platanoides (Norway Maple): fall color
Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut): flowers, big leaves, fall color
Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle): evergreen, unique appearance, historic in Seattle
Arbutus menziesii (Madrona): evergreen, flowers, fruit, lovely bark, native in Seattle
Calocedrus decurrens (California Incense Cedar): evergreen, narrow
Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam): fall color
Catalpa speciosa (Western Catalpa): flowers, pods
Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedar) Cedrus deodara (Deodar Cedar): both are common in Seattle, Cedrus libani (Cedar of Lebanon): evergreen
Cupressus sempervirens (Italian Cypress): evergreen, narrow
Fagus grandifolia (American Beech) Fagus sylvatica (European Beach): fall color
Fraxinus americana (White Ash) Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon Ash): fall color
Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo): fall color, unique appearance
Gleditsia triacanthos (Honey Locust): pods, fall color
Larix decidua (European Larch) Larix kaempferi (Japanese Larch) Larix occidentalis (Tamarack): deciduous conifer, fall color
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweetgum): fall color
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree): flowers, fall color, very large distiguished tree
Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia): evergreen
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood): deciduous conifer, fall color, 'living fossil'
Picea abies (Norway Spruce) Picea oromika (Serbian Spruce) Picea sitchensis (Sitka Spruce): evergreen
Pinus densiflora (Japanese Red Pine) Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine) Pinus thunbergii (Japanese Black Pine): evergreen
Platanus x acerifolia (London Plane Tree) Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore)
Platanus racemosa (California Sycamore): large leaves, beautiful bark
Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir): evergreen, native in Seattle
Quercus coccinia (Scarlet Oak) Quercus lobata (Valley Oak) Quercus robur (English Oak) Quercus rubra (Red Oak)
Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood): evergreen
Sequoiadendron giganteum (Sierra Redwood): evergreen, impressive
Stewartia monadelpha (Tall Stewartia): flowers, beautiful bark, fall color
Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar): evergreen, sacred tree, native to Seattle
Tilia tomentosa (Silver Linden): fall color
Tsuga heterophylla (Western Hemlock): evergreen, native in Seattle

Narrow Trees
Acer circinatum (Vine Maple): fall color, native in Seattle
Azara microphylla (Boxleaf Azara): evergreen, small flowers
Calocedrus decurrens (California Incense Cedar): evergreen, narrow
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’ (Port Offord Cedar): evergreen, formal
Ginkgo biloba ‘Tremonia’ (Ginkgo): fall color
Juniperus communis ‘Hibernica’ (Irish Juniper): evergreen, formal
Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine)
Prunus serrulata ‘Amanogawa’ (Flowering Cherry): flowers, fall color
Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ (Chanticleer Pear): fall color
Quercus robur 'Fastigiata' (English Oak): fall color
Thuja plicata ‘Fastigiata’ (Hogan Cedar): evergreen
Thujopsis dolabrata (False Arborvitae): evergreen
Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm): evergreen,  the only reliable palm in Seattle


Beyond My Garden said...

The Arbutus menziesii in Seward Park is truly natural art. I will have to look into it for our own zone 6b but I doubt it. I do love its form.

Heather said...

I love your lists! I will take them to work. I love seeing what other areas of the country can plant. We have a few ginkgo's here, but they are very slow growers here. We could never grow the cypress here. They might have a couple at the botanic gardens because they can fuss over them there. But in a residential yard, never. But I love the info!