Some spots in the home lend themselves to symmetrical design scheming. Case in point: A desk set in front of a window. By flanking the window with a pair of branch “trees,” the design team drew attention to the sparkling wreath hanging against the glass and the mini desk-top forest.
'Maypole’is a columnar apple tree with a straight, main leader and lots of narrow side branches. Hardy in zones 4 to 8, it’s ideal for small orchards or gardens. Use the apples, which are ready to pick by mid-September, for cooking into jams and jellies. T
Long, soft blue needles give this pine an attractive, unusual appearance. The form is pyramidal with strong horizontal branching. This tree grows quickly to 50-80 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Botanical name: Pinus strobus ‘MonWell’
Many trees, especially fruit trees, produces water sprouts. These stems grow from the root system and typically don’t produce fruit, which is why they’re also called suckers. Sucker stems can grow large—even to branch size. To remove suckers, you need to dig down to find the starting point and cut it there. Clip suckers at ground level, and the next year two (or more!) will sprout where one grew.
Phoradendron, the scientific name for American mistletoe, aptly translates from the Greek to mean "thief of trees," and with good reason. Although not technically a parasite -- mistletoe can live on its own -- it thrives when burying its roots into the branches of trees and leeching nutrients and moisture from its host. European mistletoe (Viscum album) is weaker than its American counterpart, but the aggressive American mistletoe will often kill its unwitting host.
For pruning branches over ¾ inches thick, you’re going to need a pair of loppers. These cutting tools come in handy for pruning shrubs, trees, roses, tall perennials with woody stems and even full-size sunflowers. If you’re investing in loppers, select bypass cutting blades (not anvil), and multiply your cutting strength up to three times with Fiskars PowerGear brand. The gears in this cutting design let you cut through branches far beyond your natural strength. Look for loppers with extendable handles to increase your reach. Loppers will handle most cutting jobs, but at some point you may need to expand your tool base to include a pruning saw and, for out-of-reach limbs, a pole saw.
Just because you have a small yard doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fall color of a sugar maple. Look for this beauty: Apollo maple (Acer saccharum ‘Barrett Cole’). Apollo grows tall but not wide, making it the perfect choice for small urban yards or a side yard garden. The tree forms a pillar covered in classic green maple leaves all season long that fade to blazing hues of orange, gold and red in fall. This maple makes a good choice for a street planting or along a driveway, where its branches won’t block the view. Trees grow at least 25 feet tall and just 10 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Trees may not be the first places homeowners think of hanging holiday wreaths, but in this natural setting they can serve triple duty as yard decorations, wind chimes and bird perches. Pick up a twig wreath and crafting bells from the craft store. Attach bells around the perimeter of the wreath with fishing wire or twine, then suspend the wreath from a branch with rope. Sprinkle some bird seed onto the wreath to attract birds throughout the season.
Native trees are often trouble-free beauties, and serviceberry is no exception. ‘Autumn Brilliance’ (Amelanchier x grandiflora) is the result of a cross between two native serviceberries. It delivers white flowers in spring that fade to form edible blue-black fruits (terrific in jams and pies). Birds also love the fruits. Fall color is outstanding with shades of orange-red. ‘Autumn Brilliance’ typically has multiple trunks and a pretty structure that’s especially visible when snow lies on branches. Size: 15 to 25 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.