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PLANT PROFILES: ORNAMENTAL TREE

Tight urban landscapes are sometimes tougher…

…than sprawling suburban mansions as individual plants must bear more of an aesthetic burden. Too much of one plant and you risk monotony. Too many varieties and it’s chaos with no underlying pattern.

ORNAMENTAL TREES are a great way to add height and vibrancy to a small space when a LARGE TREE might not fit. They’re usually showier in displays and are commonly chosen for their flowers, leaf colors and textures, or multi-stem nature. As many are native to understory habitats, quite a few varieties can also take shade for those tricky spots under mature trees.

Similar to LARGE TREES, the ORNAMENTAL TREE acts as a landscape anchoring element. Use these specimens to frame or block views or to delineate space. Many bloom in early spring when perennials are still growing, so are important for early flowering interest.

 

LARGE TREE ORNAMENTAL TREE LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB MID-FLOWERING SHRUB LOW-SPREADING SHRUB UPRIGHT EVERGREEN LOW-SPREADING EVERGREEN
FLOWERING PERENNIAL FOLIAGE PERENNIAL UPRIGHT ORNAMENTAL GRASS SHRUB-LIKE ORNAMENTAL GRASS FLOWERING GROUNDCOVER EVERGREEN GROUNDCOVER VINE

 

KEMORA PICKS Cherry Tree, Crabapple, Dogwood, Eastern Redbud, Japanese Maple, Lilac Tree, Magnolia, Serviceberry

SUN Full Sun to Partial Shade
ORNAMENTAL INTERESTS
ORNAMENTAL TREES provide architectural structure in the landscape with ornamental value in leaf color, texture, bark aesthetic, or bloom as well as compact habits for the urban environment. A few are also well known for their berry displays in winter.
DESIGN USE
As one of the tallest elements in a landscape
design, ORNAMENTAL TREES anchor layers of plantings and help frame views. They’re great choices for a minimalist or modern landscape.
ALTERNATIVES
Not enough space for an ORNAMENTAL TREE? A pruned LARGE FLOWERING SHRUB might be a better alternative for creating architecture in tight spaces.
Crabapple Photo Credit: Ryan Somma via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]; Maple Photo Credit: Derek Winterburn via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0];
Serviceberry Photo Credit: Joy Weese Moll via Flickr [CC
BY-NC 2.0].

Plant info found on Google is not always precise as it is an aggregate of information from around the world—so we want to share our observations from years of getting our hands dirty in the Second City. This post is the latest in one of our newest series, PLANT PROFILES, where we explore each plant category as well as the preferred species of Kemora. We love plants which in turn gives us a trained eye for trouble-shooting them. And it is our hope you will come to love them too!

Kemora Landscapes is a full-service design, build, and maintenance company based in Chicago.

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