Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Street Trees - Rubber Tree, Ginko, Osage Orange - Thomas deHaas

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 isEucommia 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 aredioecious (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 isGinkgo 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 isMaclura 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.

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