Friday, December 30, 2011

Slow Growing Native Trees of Georgia

There are many landscapers who plant native trees so their yards will mature into an array of color and shade. However, some trees are typically slow growers and will take much longer to get to mature size than others. These four trees are all good native trees for any landscape, although they will grow slowly.

Carya ovata (P. Mill.) K. Koch (Shagbark Hickory)

This particular hickory has richly aromatic leaves and the wood is good for meat smoking in barbeques. It will get up to 70 to 90 feet tall with a spread of 30 to 40 feet. It is a slow grower. Known as the best tasting of the hickory nuts; one mature tree will ripen two to three bushels a year. It is shade tolerant and can tolerate normal drought. Plant this in sun or partial shade for maximum growth. This is bold and ornamental in the landscape.

Diospyros virginiana L. (Common persimmon)

Persimmon is a slow-growing deciduous tree that can grow up to 70 feet tall but will usually stop at around 40 feet. Flowers will appear from March to June, giving way to fruits mid-September to November. Commercially its wood is used for golf club heads and low-grade lumber. Unripe fruits have been used as a fever reducer, while ripened fruit is used as ink.

Fagus grandifolia Ehrh. (American Beech, Fagus grandifolia var. caroliniana)

A slow growing tree, the American beech prefers partial shade and well-drained soil. It will get 50 to 80 feet tall and have a spread of 40 to 60 feet. It has golden brown fall color and its fruits (nuts) will attract birds and squirrels. It has flowers that will appear just after the leaves. Beech has sensitivity to heat and drought.

Juglans cinerea L. (Butternut, White Walnut)

This slow growing walnut reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet tall and a spread of 30 to 50 feet. It is soil adaptable but prefers full sun. In summer it will have green foliage changing to yellow leaves in the fall. It has edible fruits that are oblong and covered with hair. It makes a good lawn tree. Folklore has this in use for eczema and headaches.


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