In a previous column I wrote about ornamental trees for your garden and the fact that winter is a good time to buy deciduous ornamental trees in their dormant, bare root forms-they will be about 30% cheaper than if you buy them potted up and in leaf, later in the year.
This month I want to look a bit more closely at three of the most popular forms of deciduous ornamental trees-crab apples, elms and ornamental pears.
Crab Apples (Malus)-there are at least 14 different forms of these small to medium size, spring flowering trees. Maypole Ballerina crab apple is a narrow tree growing up to 3 meters high and produces masses of dark pink flowers in spring followed by purple/bronze leaves and bright red fruit that is great for making crab apple jelly. Bechtel crab apple is a rounded tree growing up to 5 meters high-its mass of double, white flowers emerge from pink buds in late spring after its green leaves have emerged. Royal Raindrops is another crab apple growing up to 6 meters high, producing dark pink flowers in spring and attractive deep purple cutleaf foliage.
Elms (Ulmus)-These are larger deciduous trees that can be great specimen trees in the garden or an avenue in larger spaces. Golden elms (up to 10m high and wide) are eye catching with their golden leaves-there is a great avenue of these on the highway on the eastern entrance to Molong. I have a silver elm as a specimen tree with striking cream speckled leaves in a circular drive in my garden. The dark green leaf, rounded English elm grows to about 15 meters.
Ornamental Pears (Pyrus)-these have become very popular in recent years as street trees, lining driveways and as specimen garden trees. They have three great seasonal phases-dark green, glossy leaves in summer; brilliant orange/red autumn leaf colour and masses of white flowers in spring. Manchurian pear is a rounded tree growing to about 10 meters high and 7 metres wide. Capital is a much narrower grower, more suited to lining driveways.