Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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Street Trees 6 - Thomas deHaas

This week we look at what some very durable choices for trees but may require a larger area than some of your ‘typical’ street trees. The 2 Genus are both narrowleaf, deciduous trees. They are both adaptive and durable.

Some homeowners may confuse them with evergreens which can make them believe the died in the fall:

There are two common deciduous narrow leaf trees that lose their needles in the fall. The Bald Cypress and the Dawn Redwood are two hardy trees, which thrive in Ohio. In the fall, they lose their needles causing some alarm at the possible death of an evergreen. But both, if given enough space can thrive in an urban or street setting.

Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress is a pyramidal conifer which grows 50-70' tall. It has soft, feathery foliage that is light green in the summer but turns yellow to brown in the fall, and eventually leaves the tree looking bare or bald. Although it looks like a needled evergreen in summer, it is deciduous. Trunks are flared at the base, and when growing in water, often develop distinctive, knobby root growths, referred to as knees, which protrude above the water surface or wet area around the tree. If given adequate room, this tree can be outstanding.

Metasequoiaglyptostraboides, Dawn Redwood which is a deciduous, coniferous tree that grows in a conical shape to 100’ tall. That being said, it is a durable tree but needs lots of room to grow and no wires overhead. So, street tree in this case actually means 'can grow by a street if given room'. Maybe considered more of a 'park' tree. As the tree matures, the trunk broadens at the base and develops attractive and sometimes elaborate fluting and deeply fissured bark. Its fern-like foliage that is soft to the touch. Foliage emerges light green in spring, matures to deep green in summer and turns red-bronze in fall. The key to using Dawn Redwood is providing enough space. If the street right of way can accommodate this large tree, it is a good choice.

Dawn redwood prefers, moist well-drained soil, unlike the Bald Cypress, which can grow in wet soil to even intermittent standing water. They are related to and closely and resembles bald cypress (Taxodium) and redwood (Sequoia).

Consider using Bald Cypress or Dawn Redwood in your setting as long as you provide enough space.

For additional information see:

Bald Cypress:

Dawn Redwood:

As an afterthought, I also thought I'd mention one more narrowleaf, deciduous tree, Larix decidua, European Larch. Although maybe too large to consider a street tree for small places, it is deciduous and provides interesting texture and interest.

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