Ten Shade Trees for Great Fall Color

on Saturday, 11 September 2021. Posted in Landscape contractor

These Trees Will Brighten Up Your Yard in Fall

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now." - Chinese Proverb

This is especially true if you're interested in finding a shade tree that also provides good fall color. The trees here at Shooting Star will be starting to color up soon, so you can wander the nursery to soak up the fall color and make your selections. Here are ten of our favorite "fall color" trees to get you started - arranged in size from small to mid-sized to large. 

 

 Small Trees (under 30'):

Autumn brillianceAutumn Brilliance Serviceberry (20' x 15') - Serviceberries offer three-season interest in the garden: clouds of white flowers in the spring, blue-purple berries in the summer, and bright red leaves in the fall. 

Paperbark Maple (25' x 20') - Delicate-looking compound leaves turn red in the fall, shaggy exfoliating bark provides winter interest. A great maple selection for smaller spaces!

Vanessa Parrotia (28' x 14') - A small, upright tree that turns warm shades of orange and red. Great choice for small yards or as a street tree.

 

Medium-sized Trees (30-40'):

Native Flame Hornbeam (30' x 20') -  This heat-tolerant eastern native turns orange-red to bright red in fall, and the canopy has a nice oval shape.Chinese Pistache

Chinese Pistache (30' x 30') - Chinese Pistache does beautifully in our hot, dry summers and turns a brilliant orange-red in fall. 

Red Rage Tupelo (35' x 20') - Turns a glossy, copper-red - truly stunning. Tupelos are also tolerant of poorly drained soils.

 

Large Trees (40'+):

Autumn Purple Ash (45' x 40') -  Colors can vary each year from a yellow-orange to a deep purple. While the color can be changeable, the effect is always lovely.

Sun Valley Maple (40' x 35') -  A bright red seedless variety of Maple. 

Maple fall colorOctober Glory Maple (40' x 35') - The name says it all! This is the latest variety of maple to color up in fall, and can really help stretch out the fall display in your yard. Foliage ranges from deep red to red-purple.

Autumn Blaze Maple (50' x 40') - If you're in the market for a big, colorful shade tree, this is the one for you! Turns a brilliant shade of orange-red, and the color is fairly long-lasting. As an extra bonus, Autumn Blaze tends to be more drought tolerant than other maples.

 

 

 

 

Four Great Native Shrubs for Your Garden

on Wednesday, 23 June 2021.

A recent hike along a popular local trail reminded us that these four great native shrubs – three of which can be found blooming in the woodlands around the Rogue Valley in late June and early July – are great additions to our gardens. All four are deciduous, fragrant, and wildlife friendly; and they all prefer light shade and are not at all fussy about soil type. Next time you’re looking for a new shrub for your yard, why not consider going native?

HolodiscusHolodiscus discolor (Oceanspray) – What a wonderfully descriptive common name for a truly lovely shrub! This member of the Rose family is covered with sprays of sweetly fragrant, frothy white flowers in the early summer. If you look more closely, you’ll notice that each spray is composed of dozens of exquisite little five-petaled flowers. Depending on your site conditions, Oceanspray can grow anywhere from 3-15’ tall and will get about 6’ wide. It is fast growing, deer resistant, and fairly drought tolerant once established and is a wonderful plant for hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and a variety of other beneficial insects.

 

PhiladelphusPlantPhiladelphus lewisii (Mock Orange) – This plant was named after Meriweather Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition (extra plant-nerd trivia: the genus Lewisia is also named after Lewis, and the genus Clarkia was named after William Clark). You will likely smell Mock Orange before you see it – it is abundant along Lithia Creek and in the Jacksonville Woodlands - and it really does smell like orange blossoms! Simple, snowy-white 4-petaled flowers with bright golden anthers blanket the shrub in early summer. At maturity, Mock Orange will get 5-12’ tall by about 6’ wide. The bark gets attractively shaggy as the plant ages; providing good winter interest in the garden. Butterflies and other pollinators love it, relatively deer resistant (although may be browsed when its younger). Drought tolerant when established.

 

Nootka RoseRosa nutkana (Nootka Rose) – There’s something delightful about the simplicity of our native roses – just five dusty-pink petals, surrounding a bright golden eye. But despite its relatively small individual flowers, Nootka Rose blooms abundantly and has a rich and heady fragrance. Summer flowers are followed by bright orange hips in fall – popular with birds, and a great source of Vitamin C for humans. Nootka Rose grows in full sun or part shade, and gets about 7’ tall by 3-5’ wide. Left to their own devices, the plants will spread via root suckers and form thickets – good for bird nesting habitat, and making for a good hedge if you want to keep critters/people from walking through part of your yard! Plants prefer moderate water, and Nootka Rose is a good pollinator plant and a host plant for butterfly larvae.

 

Calycanthus occidentalis cropCalycanthus occidentalis (Spice Bush) – As the common name suggests, the flowers of this plant have a wonderfully spicy fragrance that smells a bit like mulled wine – particularly on a warm summer afternoon; while the bark smells like camphor. The flowers of Spice Bush are a beautiful reddish/purplish-brown and look like miniature waterlilies. There’s only one record for Calycanthus in the wild in Jackson County, but they do occur just south of us in Shasta County. Plants grow anywhere between 3-12’ tall and wide, depending upon conditions, and they are pollinated by beetles! Prefers part shade and moderate water, and is somewhat deer resistant.

Five Steps to a Beautiful, Drought Tolerant Garden

on Monday, 03 May 2021. Posted in Drought tolerant

Drought proof

It’s no secret that we’re in for another low-water summer here in the Rogue Valley. And while none of us are happy at the prospect of a drought, there are a lot of things you can do right now to have a yard that is both beautiful and drought resistant this summer.

Here are five simple steps to get you started: 

 

 

Plant Now: Drought doesn’t mean you can’t add new plants to your garden this year – but you do want to plant before the summer heat moves in to stay. Plan on doing most of your major planting this month, so your new plants have time to get their roots established before our prolonged hot weather arrives.

In fact, this is a great time to consider adding some drought tolerant and native plants to your garden. These plants are beautifully adapted to our hot, dry summers and are generally low-maintenance and easy to care for. Instead of growing ‘thirstier’ plants that you’ll need to continuously coddle and fuss over, you can have a garden full of plants that thrive here in the Rogue Valley – many of which are also deer resistant and pollinator friendly.

 

Water Wisely: Your plants will actually be a lot healthier if you water slowly, deeply, and infrequently; rather than sprinkling them once (or even twice) a day – and you’ll end up using a lot less water overall. Check out our Watering 101 blog post for more information. If you start implementing these waterwise guidelines now, by your new plants will only need occasional water – anywhere from twice a week to once or twice a month, depending on the plants you select.

 

Mulch: Once you get that water into your soil, you want to keep it there for your plants to use – not lose it to evaporation! Mulches like hemlock or shredded fir bark, compost, and even gravel act like an insulating blanket for your soil; keeping your plant’s roots cooler and reducing water loss due to evaporation.

 

Go Easy on the Fertilizer: Fertilizers are designed to push fast new top growth in plants – that’s why they’re popular! But growing fast isn’t always in the best interest of your plants – particularly during a dry year. Those tender new leaves require a lot of water to keep them healthy until they harden off. This spring, consider skipping the fertilizer and let your plants get themselves established at their own pace. Instead, they can focus on putting on deep roots to successfully weather the high summer temperatures.

 

Try One of our Waterwise Collections: Not sure where to start? Not to worry! Shooting Star Nursery has designed two curated ‘waterwise’ plant collections –a Waterwise Jewel Tones collection and a Waterwise Pastel Tones collection. These collections include plants for a 90-100 sq. foot garden bed, design vignettes that provide year-round interest, plant descriptions, and spacing guidelines. If you’re new to drought tolerant plants, our collections are a great place to start!