Street tree recommendations ?

Seattle, WA


We just yanked out four mangy-looking crabapples which I had spent a long time researching. The blossoms were glorious (briefly), but the suckers coming up around the trunk were numerous, and eventually defeated me. The shape of the trees was more contorted than I liked, and they were difficult to shape. All summer they looked stressed and scraggly. The fruit was quite small, so not messy, but I don't think the birds were especially drawn to them. The only candidate that I keep returning to other than some form of slow growing conifer is a "dwarf" Southern magnolia, whose name I can't recall at present. I love the shiny deciduous leaves, and would hope for some nice fragrant blooms.The growth pattern seems to be mostly vertical, not too, too wide. Any comments or suggestions are most welcome. We need to be aware of the power lines above. I would like something that would really improve the street rather than just taking up space.

Lake Stevens, WA(Zone 8a)

My next door neighbors have two small southern magnolias in the front yard. They grow slowly, and always look nice and green, but they do not bloom much. I would guess they are about 25-30 years old.
Small trees that might work, Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) or Smoketree (Cotinus), Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus. I have all three and they do fine here.

If you live in Seattle, here is a link with rules for street trees, and a list of suggested trees!

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/treeplanting.htm

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

I would add Acer palmatum, Japanese Maple. They are lovely and their small leaves and stature can really be appreciated up close.
I took a quick peek at that tree list. I noticed Acer griseum is listed as a small tree. Don't believe it!
We have a Stewartia psuedocamellia, aka Japanese Stewartia. It's a really well-behaved tree. I suspect it'll get taller than its specs say, also. It shows no signs of slowing down, and it has to be close to 20' by now.

Seattle, WA

Hi, mlm. Thanks for your comments. Mom Lady, you should be The Enforcer for all the publications that fudge on tree size! And speaking of tree size, what about root ball size? I have always admired the deep pink of the flowering quince. The plant I tried never produced flowers, but kept coming up and making me hopeful. I have two friends who tried to eradicate theirs and found that even the mightiest pick-up trucks couldn't budge the roots!

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

Yeah, I like the sound of it; very scary: The Enforcer!

We removed a flowering quince. It was difficult for us, too, and the quince wasn't very big. We had to use a tractor, a chain, and a lot of swearing to get the huge and gnarly root ball out. The roots that were left kept suckering and I had to keep on top of them for a few years. And to top it off, what they don't show you in the photos of those beautiful flowers is that the flowers are on old wood - this means, down inside the edge of the tree. They were harder to see than I wanted, and ours always looked sparse because of it. I suppose you could give it a shave every year so the new growth is out of the way. I don't know what it would look like, though, with a buzz cut. Plus, that's way too much work. No more quince for me.

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