The Tree Trials
Looking for new varieties for the West Lafayette greenscape
Thanks in part to the generosity of the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette, starting in 2013, Tree Friends began planting different tree cultivars to see which might be suited to the climate and soil of this area. With the loss of many ash trees throughout the area, there is a need to have a more diverse group of trees that will do well in our part of the state. “Over the years, we have removed some trees from the approved street tree list including ornamental pears and ash,” said Beverly Shaw, former West Lafayette Greenspace Administrator. “In an effort to find new, suitable options, the Tree Friends are running this trial.”
Trees are planted along the south side of Kalberer Road from the entrance to the West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center to west of Yeager Road by the Purdue Research Park. Each tree has an information tag attached to provide people with identification.
Here is a partial list of trees that have been or will be planted with links to more information on each tree. The list runs in order along Kalberer from just west of Yeager Road towards Salisbury Street.
9. [first tree on east side of Yeager Road] Jolly™ Tupelo, Jolly Variegated Black Gum, Yiping
Nyssa sylvatica ‘Jolly’
http://www.buchholznursery.com/plant_page.html?id=26f610 (commercial site)
The glossy green leaves are variegated with white in summer, with fall colors ranging from yellow to orange to red and small fruits that are an important food source for migrating birds in the fall. This tree does well in full sun to part shade and is tolerant of heat, soil type, and moisture.
10. Rising Sun™ Eastern Redbud
Cercis canadenis ‘JN2’
http://www.hortmag.com/plants/plants-we-love/the-rising-sun-redbud (Horticulture magazine)
This compact-sized tree has lovely tiny pink flowers in early spring that attract bees and butterflies and fall foliage that is bright yellow and orange. Grows in full sun to part shade and is tolerant to various soil types and heat.
11. Rugged Ridge® Maple
Acer miyabei ‘KW-3ami’
This tough and adaptable tree, with ornamentally furrowed corky bark, grows 30-40 ft., with magnificent fall color. It is a lovely shade or street tree and grows in full sun or light shade.
12. Emerald Avenue® Hornbeam
Carpinus betulus ‘JFS-KW1CB’
This vigorous, easily grown tree has superior heat tolerance. When other trees look tired during the dog days of summer, it maintains its deep green foliage that turns yellow in the fall.
Top of page
13. New Harmony’ Elm
Ulmus americana ‘New Harmony’
This cultivar is tolerant of Dutch Elm Disease (but not completely immune), and because it is tolerant to air pollution, drought, de-icing salt, and poor soil conditions, it is an excellent tree for urban landscapes. It can grow to 68 ft. tall, with a 72-ft. crown at maturity.
14. Street Keeper® Honeylocust
Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Draves’
15. Ft. McNair’ Red Horsechestnut
Aesculus x carnea ‘Fort McNair’
This medium-sized shade tree has spikes of pink flower clusters in the spring and dark green, palmate leaves in summer that turn yellow in the fall. It is a relatively low-maintenance tree and grows best in sunny locations.
16. Native Flame® Hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana ‘JFS-KW6’
This upright, oval-shaped American hornbeam has brilliant red coloring in the fall. It grows in sun to partial shade, should be watered regularly. It needs little or no pruning.
17. Kindred Spirit® Oak
Quercus ‘Kindred Spirit’
This upright oak grows rapidly, stays narrow, and is resistant to wind, ice, and powdery mildew. Its dark green leaves have a silvery underside.
18. Celestial Shadow’ Dogwood
Cornus ‘Celestial Shadow’
Large white flowers of late spring combine with uniquely variegated foliage to create an attractive color combination. Bright yellow and green summer variegation becomes even more lovely in the fall, as the leaf margins take on a pink tint that spreads to the center and intensifies until the foliage is bright red. It is a small deciduous tree with an upright habit and should not produce fruit. It has shown a high level of disease resistance to anthracnose.
19. Wildfire’ Tupelo (Black Gum)
This native tree bursts into color with a bright red foliage flush in spring, and leaves turn green as they mature. The small white flowers are a nectar source for native insects, especially pollinators, and the dark blue fruits produced afterwards are attractive food for birds. Stunning fall foliage is scarlet, bright yellow, purple, and orange, all of which appear on the same tree. Easy to grow in full sun to part shade. The young tree will have a pyramid shape that becomes rounded as it matures. A big tree, so give it plenty of room to reach full growth. Will grow in a variety of conditions from boggy soils to dry, sandy ones, but prefers acidic soil. Plant in masses to assure berry set. The deep taproot has the advantage of making this tree an appropriate street tree as it will not push through sidewalks and lawns.
20. Emerald Sunshine® Elm
Ulmus propinqua ‘JFS-Bieberich’
Grown from seed collected in China, this sturdy, upright growing elm was selected for superior performance on the hot, arid, windswept Plaines of western Oklahoma Handsome, deeply corregated laves emerge coppery-bronze and mature to glossy green. Its adaptability and mannerly, vase-shaped growth habit result in an easily grown, premium shade tree. Highly resistant to disease and insect attack, it adapts to varied growing conditions and pH levels, and thrives in tough urban settings.
Top of page
21. Beacon® Swamp White Oak
Quercus bicolor ‘Beacon’
Tightly columnar and urban adaptable, this oak was discovered by famed plantsman Dr. Michael Dirr. The stout upright branching structure and dense green foliage makes this an ideal street tree and provide a strong visual statement. Nice yellow fall color. It grows to about 40 ft. in height with a spread of about 15 ft. after 20 years in the landscape.
22. Little Volunteer’ Tulip Tree
Liriodendron ‘Little Volunteer’
With foliage that is only 1/3 of normal size and tighter internodes, this selection makes a much smaller, tighter tree for modern gardens, less than 20′ tall. It brings all the features of a huge native American tree down to the size that will fit in the smallest of gardens. It has yellow flowers and is drought tolerant.
23. Vanessa’ Persian Parrotia
Parrotia persica ‘Vanessa’
Vanessa is a selection of Persian ironwood that develops a more upright, columnar habit than the species. This durable tree is beautiful in every season, as its foliage, branch structure and bark are all exceptional. Its leaves are oval shaped with somewhat scalloped edges. They emerge green edged with burgundy, maturing to midgreen in summer. In late August, they begin their autumn display, turning bronze, then crimson, followed by orange and finishing brilliant gold. Its tiny, spidery, red flowers are produced in late winter and early spring, before the leaves.
24. Shumard Oak
Shumard Oak is a medium sized, deciduous treat of the red oak group. Pyramidal in youth, but spears to a broad open crown with age. Typically grows at a moderately fast rate to a height of 40-60’. Shiny, dark green leaves with deep, spiny lobes. Fall color appears late, but is often a respectable brownish red. This tree can be used as a shade tree, street tree or lawn tree. It does well in a wide range of soils from dry locations to wet ground and wet spots.
25. Everclear® Elm
Ulmus parvifolia ‘VSNUPF’
Everclear Elm is set apart from other cultivars by its distinctly narrow habitat. Much taller than wide at about 40 feet tall by 15 feet wide. Leaves are green, small-typical of the species. Fall color is yellow. Highly ornamental bark that exfoliates in patches of orange, gray-green, gray and tan. A good street tree due to the narrow head with tight branch angles that keep the branches clear of traffic and buildings.
Top of page
26. Palisade® Hornbeam
Palisade is a new selection of this outstanding native tree. It has a densely branched, upright habit with ascending branches and offers uniformity unlike typical seedling hornbeams. According to Dr. Michael Dirr, “Palisade embodies the aesthetic and cultural attributes of the species, simply in a streamlined vertical form. It represents a quantum biological leap forward in the domestication of American native trees for the 21st century landscape.” Attractive green summer foliage turns yellow-orange in the fall.
27. Emerald City® Tulip Tree
Liriodendron tulipifera ‘JFS-Oz’
A refined cultivar of our familiar native tulip tree, this uniform growing selection is straighter and more upright, with a dominant central leader and deeper green, slightly glossy foliage.
28. Crimson Spire™ Oak
Quercus robur x Q. alba ‘Crimschmidt’
This columnar selection originated as a hybrid of Q. robur and Q. alba. Fastigiate growth habit and adaptability are inherited from the English Oak, while its dark green, mildew resistant foliage and red fall color are inherited from the White Oak. This tree reaches about 45 feet in height with a 15 foot spread in 20 years in a typical urban landscape setting. Dense foliage creates living screens for blocking unsightly views and muffling traffic sounds.
29. Apollo® Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum Appolo
A semi-dwarf columnar sugar maple with a narrow upright form and a strong straight trunk. It will only grow to about half the size of a typical sugar maple. It is a a dense pillar of green shifting in fall to a spire of orange and gold. This is an excellent selection for use as a street tree or in a small urban garden.
30. Appalachian’ Eastern Redbud
Cercis ‘Appalachian Red’
This is the only redbud to have flowers with true red and magenta tones. The tree is upright, with a rounded canopy, and is a small specimen or shade tree that grows in partial or full sun. It needs a fertile, well-drained, but evenly moist soil. The leaves are heart-shaped and turn shades of yellow in the fall. Before the leaves emerge in spring, the branches are covered with clusters of small magenta-red buds that open to sweet pea-like flowers of rosy pink. They may be followed by a scattering of dark brown seed pods that persist into winter.
31. Emerald Flair® Elm
Ulmus parvifolia ‘JFS-Barrett’
This tree features the best summer foliage we have seen in the species. The deep, dark green foliage is so healthy that is stands out from other selections. Broadly vase shaped with arching branches, it has better red fall color than most cultivars.
32. Green Gable™ Tupelo (Black Gum)
Nyssa ‘Green Gable’
Green Gable™ Black Gum or Tupelo is a really amazing selection of this native tree. It has the classic brilliant red fall color we know and love, but its habit is a huge departure from regular Nyssas, with an upright pyramidal shape and extremely uniform branching. It has a lustrous green foliage in summer, excellent fall color, and perfect silhouette in winter, Wet site and salt tolerant. Grows to a height of 50 ft. and has a canopy spread of 25 ft.
33. Urban Pinnacle® Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa ‘JFS-KW3’
Narrow and upright with a strong central leader, this cultivar also features attractive flossy foliage and resistance to both mildew and anthracnose. About 1/2 “in diameter the acorns are extremely small for a bur oak, making it a more suitable tree for landscape and street use.
Top of page