Local Trees in Philadelphia Area
Here is a list of Trees found in the Philadelphia area and their defining characteristics. Knowing the correct type of trees on your property will help ensure you get the best service and value. Have a specific question about a certain type or the best options then contact us.
Commonly known as Alaskan Cedar, is a medium sized evergreen that has a moderate growth rate and ultimtely reaches a height of 40 to 50 feet with a 15 foot spread. The variety ‘Pendula’ or Weeping Alaskan Cedar is most commonly seen in our landscapes. This plant has exceptional cold tolerance and is reasonably adaptable to most landscape situations. The most important consideration in sighting this plant is to avoid locations that experience extended periods of drought. This tree is relatively disease and insect free, and offers probably the most handsome and graceful appearance of all the available evergreens.
Commonly known as Atlas cedar, has a rapid growth rate when young and is slow when approaching maturity and ultimately reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet with a spread of 30 to 40 feet. This evergreen has needles that range in color from light green to a silvery blue depending on the cultivar. This tree is best suited to moist well drained soils, but will tolerate dry locations in full sun to partial shade. It is best planted in an open site where it can achieve it’s full spread and splendor. This tree has very few disease or insect problems with the largest problem being damage from the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker which can occasionally girdle the top of the tree. The cultivars available offer options of yellowish needles, an upright columnar form and a low weeping form.
Commonly known as Ginkgo or Maidenhair Tree, has a slow to medium growth rate and ultimately reaches a height of 50 to 80 feet. The crown spread is highly variable with some specimens being very narrow and upright in form and others having a spread of 40 to 50 feet. This tree has the distinction of being the one of the oldest living trees with some estimates dating it back 200 million years. The fall color is an excellent gold to yellow. This tree has proven to be very hardy and adaptable, and is equally at home as a street tree or as a lawn tree as long as it receives full sun. There are little to no disease or insect problems with Ginkgo. The most widely recognized ‘problem’ with the Ginkgo is the heavy fruit production by the females. The best remedy for this is to plant male clones that do not produce fruit. There are a number of named varieties of ginkgo available, and selecting from these is the best means for attaining a male clone with the form and characteristics desired.
Commonly known as Kousa Dogwood or Korean Dogwood, is a small to medium sized tree with a slow to moderate growth rate and ultimately reaches a height of 20 to 30 feet with an equal spread. This tree flowers usually one month after the common flowering dogwood in May though June. The flowers are typically white and fade to a light pink. There is a pink flowered cultivar available called ‘Satomi’. Large red friut form in the early fall that give excellent ornamental value and are prized by wildlife. The bark on the main trunk begins to exfoliate or flake off as the plant matures, revealing a mottled color that gives an added ornamental value to the plant. The fall color can be an excellent red, but this can be variable. This tree is best planted in a sunny, well drained site and must have acidic soils. This tree is typically pest free, and is highly recommended by us.
Commonly known as Southern Magnolia, grows a moderate rate to an ultimate height of 40 to 50 feet with a 20 to 30 foot spread. There is a dwarf variety called ‘Little Gem’ which has proven itself to be hardy in our region., and attains a modest size of 15 to 20 feet in height with a 5 to 8 foot spread. The southern magnolia is a wonderful addition to any landscape with its unique appearance and attractive, fragrant flowers. The most important consideration in selecting southern magnolia is that as the name implies, this is a southern species that is in the very northern limit of hardiness in our region. Several varieties are available that have superior cold tolerance. These varieties include ‘Edith Bogue’ and ‘Brackens Brown Beauty’. It is important to plant this species in an area sheltered from winter winds that receives full sun to part shade. Soil should be well drained and acidic. These plants are essentially disease and insect free with winter injury being the primary problem. Applications of an antidessicant should be made in early winter to minimize winter damage.
Commonly known as White, Canoe, or Paper Birch, is a strikingly handsome native species that is widely used throughout our region. It grows at a medium to fast rate 50 to 70 feet in height with a 25 to 40 foot spread. The greatest threat to the success of white birch in our landscapes is the Bronze Birch Borer, an insect which is often fatal and disfiguring at best. These trees should be sited in areas with full sun and acid soils although they will tolerate higher pH. Sites that are dry on a regular basis should be avoided as drought stress is the primary factor in predisposing the tree to attack from the borer. Birch leaf miner is another common insect pest that renders the tree unsightly and should be managed. Fungal leaf spotting can pose problems in excessively wet years, however there are few serious disease threats. Preventative insecticide treatments are available for both the leaf miner and bronze birch borer insects and are highly recommended. Regular fertilization, mulching and irrigation during periods of drought are important practices to assist in preventing borer attack.
Commonly known as Japanese Zelkova, is a fast growing tree that ultimately reaches a height of 60 to 80 feet with a 40 to 50 foot spread. The fall color ranges from yellow to deep red, but may be somewhat variable. Two varities are commonly available and are known as ‘green vase’ and ‘village green’. It is our opinion that the variety ‘green vase’ is superior due to structural problems with the ‘village green’ selection. This tree is very adaptable being equally at home as a street tree or lawn tree., and is not particular about soil pH. The bark typically begins to exfoliate with age and adds significantly to the ornamental qualities. There are few disease problems with this tree and the main insect problem, Elm Leaf Beetle, is relatively easy to control. Regular pruning beginning at an early age is very important to minimize structural problems that can devastate semi-mature specimens.