Best Trees for Growing in LawnsWritten by Thomas Ogren
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5.Crabapple ‘Dolgo, Malus ‘dolgo,’ Zones 3-9, Pink buds open to fragrant, white flowers in late spring. Glossy, dark green foliage turns yellow in fall and has good disease resistance. Large, almost florescent, bright red fruit ripening in early summer is excellent for crabapple jelly. A hardy tree with a spreading, upright and open habit. Does well in bluegrass lawns. 6.Crabapple ‘Red Splendour.’ Malus species, Zones 3-8. Greenish-red leaves with rose-pink flowers. Small red fruit stays on tree well in to winter. Good resistance to disease. An upright growing smaller crabapple tree, good in lawns. 7.Crabapple ‘Snowcloud,’ Zones 4-8, profuse double white flowers, mostly pollen-free and fruitless, bright green leaves, smaller tree, to 20 feet tall. Good in lawns. 8.Crabapple ‘Sugar Tyme,’ Pale pink buds open to fragrant, showy white blossoms that cover tree in spring. A bounty of small, persistent, bright red fruit are produced in fall and attract birds. This vigorous tree has crisp, dark green leaves and an upright, oval habit. One of most disease resistant flowering crabapples. Good in lawns. To 20 feet tall. 9.Flowering plum: Prunus species, zones 4-10, a pretty, easy to grow tree, loses its leaves in fall, flowers in spring, grows fast and likes frequent irrigations, as in a lawn. Shade is not dense. 10.Apricot trees, Prunus species, Zones 4-10: attractive, loses its leaves in fall, easy to grow in western areas, blossoms smell great, and fruit is good. Should be pruned so that it is not difficult to mow under. Does not cast a dense shade. Good fall color too. 11.Fuyu persimmon trees, Diospyros kaki, Zones 4-10: slow growing, very attractive bark and leaves, shade not dense, fruit is beautiful, sweet and excellent, tree is female and pollen-free. Incredible fall color. 12.Pineapple Guava tree, Feijoa sellowiana, Zones 8-10, small evergreen tree. Best grown as a multi-trunked tree, to 18’ tall, gray-green attractive leaves, white-red flowers, sweet green fruit. With age tree becomes more and more attractive, bark ever more interesting. 13.Honeylocust trees, Gleditsia triacanthos, all Zones, a nice, medium-sized shade tree. Loses its leaves in fall, grows well in lawns, and does not cast a deep grass killing type of shade. 14.Variegated Box Elder, Acer negundo ‘Variegata’, an attractive, smaller three-leafed maple tree, with beautiful variegated green and white leaves. Deciduous, female and pollen-free, easy to grow, and does well in lawns. Shade not dense. 15.Fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicus, Zones 5-10. If you can find one that has small black fruits on it, then it is a pollen-free female tree, a much desired lawn tree. Roots go down and stay down, foliage is very attractive, leaves lost in winter, attractive, lightly fragrant bright white flowers, grows well in lawns. Shade not dense. 16.Sourwood tree, Nyssa sylvatica, Zones 4-9. A small to medium-sized lawn tree, deciduous, excellent fall color. Female sourwood trees are pollen free; look for exceptional cultivar called ‘Miss Scarlet,’ which has no pollen, terrific red fall color, and has attractive small ornamental blue fruit. These trees thrive in acid soils and will not do well with alkaline soil. 17.Japanese Raisin Tree, Hovenia dulcis, Zones 8`-10. The female trees have small, sweet, raisin-like fruit and are pollen-free. Raisin trees have beautiful leaves, are deciduous, grow well in lawns, and do not cast a deep shade. 18.Hardy Rubber Tree, Eucommia ulmoides, best in zones 5-7, is a large shade tree that does not cast deep shade. If you can find a fruiting tree, it will be female and pollen-free too. Roots stay down and tree grows well in bluegrass lawns. 19.Pomegranate tree, Punica granatum, Zones 7-10, makes a beautiful, small lawn tree if grown as either a single-trunked tree, or as a three-trunked tree. Pomegranate thrives where summer heat is high. Loses its leaves in fall, bright yellow fall color, shade not dense, attractive orange flowers and red fruit. Will grow well in a fescue, Bermudagrass, or St Augustine lawn. 20.Bougainvillea, Zones 9-10. Not normally thought of as a tree at all, a bougainvillea can easily be trained into an unusual and quite beautiful small lawn tree. The best way to do this is to pound a strong 8’ metal stake, several feet deep into ground, and then plant three one-gallon bougainvillea plants around stake. Trim plants back to one or two of longest, most vigorous branches, and weave these up stake. It takes about a year to develop this into a tree form. Keep trunk leaf-free and shear top several times a year for a lollypop shape. Best cultivars for this are ‘San Diego Red’ or variegated ‘Raspberry Ice’ bougainvillea. There are some fantastic bougainvillea trees at Disneyland. 21.Quaking Aspen, ‘Pendula,’ Populus tremuloides ‘Pendula’ grows in all Zones. This is a medium-sized, pollen-free, female, weeping aspen tree, very attractive, good fall color, easy to grow, and is fast growing. Doesn’t cast a deep shade and grows well in most lawns. 22. Black Poplar, ‘Theves’ Poplar, Populus nigra ‘Afghanica’ or P. n. ‘thevestina’ is an attractive, medium-sized, tall, narrowly upright shade tree, winter hardy in all zones. ‘Theves’ Poplar is female, pollen-free, and has bright yellow fall color. Good in lawns where a narrow tree is needed. 23.‘Noreaster’ Poplar, Populus ‘Noreaster’ is a good, larger shade tree for lawns. ‘Noreaster’ is a sterile female tree, so no seeds and no pollen. Does well in most bluegrass lawns and is winter hardy in even coldest zones. 24.Japanese Paper Mulberry trees, Broussonetia kazinoki, are separate sexed and if you can find a fruiting tree, it will be pollen-free. These do not cast deep shade like most of other mulberry species and will thrive in lawns in most cool areas. Winter hardy zones in 5-9. Paperbark maple, Acer griseum, Zones 4-8. This small to medium-sized maple tree has exceptionally beautiful bark and is totally handsome at all times of year. Paperbark maple doesn’t cast a deep shade and lawn will grow quite well underneath it. Best in soils that are well drained and slightly acidic.
Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the American Lung Associations. He has appeared on CBS, HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com
Composting and Soil ImprovementsWritten by David Selman, Tracker-Outdoors.com
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Compost is a dark-colored, loose mixture of well-rotted organic matter that can be used by gardener to improve garden or potting soil. Any organic matter such as garden waste is a good ingredient for compost. If soil is hard and crusty when dry or sticky when wet, vegetables do not grow properly. Good garden soil is loose, has high water-holding capacity and proper drainage. Put your compost pile in a well-drained area. A shady spot or a place behind bushes will shield heap from view.
It is possible to accumulate materials in a loose pile but it is better to have an enclosure for compost. This could be a pit dug 18 inches into ground of any length and width or an above-ground structure. Either type of structure should be divided with a partition. One side can be used for composting material and other for usable compost.
A rectangular pile 2 to 5 feet wide, 5 to 10 feet long and 2 to 4 feet high is adequate for most households. If space is not available, a single, tall pile can be used. Fresh material is added at top and finished compost dug out at bottom.
Build your compost pile in layers. First add 6 to 8 inches of garden refuse. Each layer of this organic material should be moistened. A little lime also may added to help process and keep new soil from packing. Add 1 to 2 inches of soil. Repeat this process as composting material is available.
The top layer should be lower in center to help collect moisture. Water may have to be added during dry weather to keep pile going. Compost materials should be moist but not saturated.
Turn pile with a garden fork a couple of times a month to hasten composting. In about a month pile should be hot in center indicating it is decomposing properly. If this doesn't happen, pile may be too wet or too small. Fertilizer or more frequent turnings could be needed. A well-maintained, active pile will not attract rodents. When adding food scraps, bury them in center of pile.
Soil that is ready for use from a compost is dark, loose and has an "earthy" smell. Most organic materials should compost in 4-8 months.
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