Anytime you're setting up an outdoor space, make sure you consider natural shade sources to help keep the space cool. Taking space-planning cues from its central planting bed, the courtyard offers plenty of shade thanks to its planted tree.
A loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) sits at the center of this raised bed. The trees are quite common in Asia and are a nod to SCAD's international focus, with campuses in Lacoste, France and Hong Kong.
Discover a native tree that’s perfect for any size yard. This beauty delivers white, fringe-like flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by blue-black fruits that are favorites among birds. Fall color delivers with leaves that shift from bright green to shades of yellow-gold. This tree has no pests and stands up to pollution. It also doesn’t need pruned. The shape is rounded (like those lollipop trees you drew in elementary school). It often forms multiple trunks, which is not a problem. Size: Plants grow 12 to 20 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
Sharing plants can save them from extinction, as in the case of the beautiful native Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha), which is now widely grown by gardeners only because its seeds were collected in the 1700s by early American plant explorers – before the plant vanished forever from its native habitat.
Put a kid-friendly spin on tree decor with ornaments made from stacked buttons. Add thread to a needle and knot the end, then slide an assortment of small neutral-toned buttons onto the thread as a tree base. Gradually build a tree silhouette with an assortment of large buttons added along the bottom, medium buttons in the center and smaller buttons near the top. For a tree topper effect, add a small star decoration on the top with looped string as a hanger.
Native to the Mediterranean region, the bay tree is widely cultivated as an ornamental there and as a houseplant in colder climates – mainly because it’s an excellent candidate for growing as a topiary. Hardy only to zone 7, it’s ideal for forming low hedges. Although it can grow into a tree up to 40 to 50 feet tall, bay is often maintained as a large shrub in containers. In spring, it puts out small yellow flowers, which by fall develop into dark purple berries.
Add height and shape to the center of your holiday table scape with a conical tree centerpiece. Pick up a simple tree sculpture from the holiday aisle of a big box retailer, place it atop a cake stand and then add an extra layer of interest with garland. This can instantly bring seasonal flair to any table in the house.
A chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao) is a large plant, not starting to flower until it reaches 5 to 7 feet tall. It craves warmth (temps above 60 F) and bright light. Sit it outdoors for summer to encourage flowering. Blooms typically form spring through fall, followed by a large pod-like fruit. The fruit starts green and ripens to golden yellow. Inside the fruit are the chocolate beans, which must be fermented and dried before use.
Saturated soil from frequent rains coupled with high winds can result in windthrow, where strong winds literally push a tree over. Researchers have discovered that in most cases of windthrow, the trees had damaged root systems. Usually the downward growing roots were damaged, so the tree wasn’t anchored in the ground. Take care when digging around trees.
Magnolia grandiflora is a broadleaf evergreen tree that is noted for its attractive dark green leaves and its large, extremely fragrant flowers. It typically grows to 60 to 80 feet tall with a pyramidal to rounded crown.
Rabbits, voles and field mice nibble bark along the base of shrubs and young trees. Their handiwork is especially difficult to detect on brushy shrubs that give them cover while they chew. Protect the trunks of woody plants by encircling them with commercial tree guards or homemade versions crafted from corrugated drainage pipe (shown), hardware cloth or small mesh poultry wire.
Create tabletop trees from newspaper and cardboard boxes. To make these, you’ll need discarded cardboard, a utility knife, scissors, hot glue sticks and glue gun. Cut the cardboard boxes down into flat sheets and then roll each sheet into a conical. Next, cut the uneven cardboard along the bottom of the conical and keep both ends of the cardboard fastened together with hot glue. Next, cut newspaper into 4-inch strips and then fray the newspaper with scissors. Wrap each conical with the layers of frayed newspaper and then secure them in place with hot glue.