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Tree Dictionary

Welcome to the Arbor Experts Tree Dictionary, where you'll find photos and complete descriptions of the trees we most highly recommend for the Dayton, OH area. All of these trees will do well here and would be a beautiful addition to your yard.

Trees are listed in alphabetical order by their common name. If you'd like to refine your search, please use the options below.

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Black Hills Spruce

Picea glauca 'Densata'

Photo - Tree

The state tree of South Dakota, the Black Hills Spruce is a tough tree that is an excellent choice as an accent tree or used as a windbreak. It's a dense, slow-growing tree that reaches 40' tall at maturity with a narrow 15' spread and has fine bluish-green needles. It has no severe pest issues but appreciates moist, well-drained soil and does best when given room to grow with ample air circulation.

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Common Bald Cypress

Taxodium distichum

Photo - Tree

Though you might think of the bald cypress as a tree that grows in swampy conditions, it does just as well on dry ground here in Ohio. (You might often find them planted around lakes, too).

This type of tree is one of the few deciduous conifers; it loses its needles every fall (hence the name, "bald,") and grows them back every spring. The reddish-brown fall color of the leaves is why we have it listed as one of our best trees for fall color.

Bald cypress can live a very long time (one that was recently discovered is considered to be over 2,000 years old) and grow very large. Ensure that you have enough room for a tree 50 to 80 feet tall and 23 to 30 feet wide (and keep in mind that the roots usually grow out 2-3x further than that!) It likes full or partial sun, slightly acidic and wet soil. The lacy needles will fall off each fall, so don't plant the tree near a driveway unless you want needles all over your car. Overall, it's a great tree that grows well here, is different from your usual conifer, and provides some interest in the fall.

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Crusader Cockspur Hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli 'Cruzam'

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‘Cruzam’ (often called 'Crusader') is a thornless variety of cockspur hawthorn that provides multi-season beauty, with white flowers in spring, flaming fall colors, and bright red berries that attract wildlife. A smaller tree, reaching only 25 feet at maturity, 'Crusader' is a good option for urban environments and planting under power lines. It prefers full sun but isn't fussy about soil, watering or heat.

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Dr. Merrill Magnolia

Magnolia loebneri 'Merrill'

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With its large, fragrant, star-like white flowers in spring and its pointy leaves that turn copper in the fall, 'Dr. Merrill' makes a real statement in the landscape. Growing to 25 feet tall and 30 feet wide, this pyramidal-shaped tree does best in full to partial shade. It does not do well in urban environments (due to pollution), and it prefers well-drained and acidic soil. After planting, it might take a few years for the blooms to appear.

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Green Mountain Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum 'Green Mountain'

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'Green Mountain' is a sugar maple cultivar that's been grown for almost 60 years and is well-suited to Dayton's climate. It's fast-growing up to 60 feet tall, with a strong, well-branched form and large, dark green leaves that turn a brilliant orange-red in fall. When grown in moist, well-draining soil and part- to full-sun, it's a low-maintenance tree that's resistant to most local tree pests and diseases. Be aware that this is a large tree - it will need enough space to spread out.

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Keteleeri Juniper

Juniperus chinensis 'Keteleeri'

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A tough evergreen juniper, ‘Keteleeri’ tolerates dry conditions, alkaline soils, full sun, and some pollution and salt. These characteristics make it a good choice for a range of settings, provided that its soil is well-drained. It forms a neat, pyramidal shape reaching 20 feet high and wide, with peeling brown bark, medium-green foliage and large berries that attract birds. 'Keteleeri' has no serious disease or pest problems and is a good choice for privacy screening or as a windbreak.

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Princeton American Elm

Ulmus americana 'Princeton'

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The Princeton American Elm is more resistant to Dutch Elm Disease than other elm trees (which is why, in 2005, about 90 Princeton elms were planted on Pennsylvania Avenue leading to the White House).

The 'Princeton' cultivar of the American elm grows 50 to 70 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide, so be sure it has plenty of room to grow if you plan on planting one. It's extremely fast-growing, and prefers full sun and rich, well-drained soil.

Because it grows so rapidly, proper maintenance pruning is important. It may be susceptible to Japanese beetles, so look for signs of the leaves being eaten.

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Redpointe Red Maple

Acer rubrum 'Frank Jr.'

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Red maples are prized for their fall color and the Redpointe Red Maple is no exception. This cultivar is also valued for its manageable size, tidy branching pattern, and its narrow, pyramid shape. From its early spring flowers to its autumn leaf show, this tree beautifies your garden all year.

Redpointe grows at a moderate rate to 40’ to 50’ tall with a 25’ to 35’ spread. With this narrower spread, the Redpointe maple fits in small gardens and urban spaces, where its crown of dark green leaves provides shade in summer and its brilliant red fall color makes it a focal point, particularly against a clear blue autumn sky.

Striking bark is another plus: young trees have smooth, light gray bark, while mature trees develop darker, plate-like bark.

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Scarlet Oak

Quercus coccinea

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The Scarlet Oak is a resilient tree that can handle drought and poor soils, making it a good choice as a street tree (as well as a wonderful specimen tree in your yard). But what really sets it apart is the stunning dark red foliage in fall. While the leaves on most oak trees simply turn brown or yellowish in autumn, the leaves of Scarlet Oak are one of the most colorful contributors to the fall foliage display, turning bright red before falling.

Growing to 75' high and 50' wide, this oak is best planted in large, open areas where it has a chance to show off its large size and spread.

It has no serious pest or disease problems but does prefer acidic soil (you may need to amend your soil to achieve this).

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Swamp White Oak

Quercus bicolor

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With a name like Swamp White Oak, you may think that this tree only survives in wet, swampy conditions, but that's not the case. While it does grow well in moist, poorly-drained soil, it is native to the Midwest, so it's happy in normal or dry soils as well.

Part of its scientific name, bicolor, refers to the leaves, which are shiny green on one side but a silvery-white on the other. While the wood of the swamp white oak is very similar to that of the white oak, it can be distinguished by its leaves.

A large tree, a swamp white oak grows rather quickly and can reach 70 feet tall and 60 feet wide, so make sure there is plenty of room for it to grow.

If you do plant a swamp white oak, be prepared for a bit more wildlife, as the acorns are a wonderful food source for squirrels and other animals. It likes full sun, has interesting color in the fall, and a flaky bark to bring year-round interest to your yard.

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Western Red Cedar / Arborvitae

Thuja plicata 'Green Giant'

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This native arborvitae hybrid is fast-growing, neat in appearance, and often substituted for Leyland cypress. Left alone, the tree can reach a height of 60’ but is easily kept smaller. Unlike other tree species, ‘Green Giant’ responds well to pruning. It has a naturally narrow spread, to 18’, which makes it useful for smaller gardens and as a screening hedge.

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