Philadelphia is an economic, cultural and historical city that boasts of both exotic and indigenous trees. The diverse nature of trees in this city is not surprising because the city lies at the center of the Delaware Valley. It is also worth noting that the people of Philadelphia love growing trees and this is why trees dot the suburbs, streets and neighborhoods of Philly. However, people in the City of Brotherly Love do not grow the same type of trees. Instead, they grow a number of different trees with some trees being more popular than others are. Here is a comprehensive list of popular Philadelphia trees.
– The Leyland Cypress
Many people recognize this tree in Philly and across America because it is a Christmas tree. In addition, people plant it in rows to form hedges that improve the landscape and security of local neighborhoods. The Leyland Cypress Tree is an evergreen three that has little aroma. It grows into a conical shape that is symmetrical. It grows at a steady pace of one meter each year reaching a height of more than 15 meters in 16 years or less. Their height means that you need to trim them regularly so that you do not block sunlight from reaching part of your property. This conifer tree has dense greenery that appears feathery and is soft when touched.
– The Arborvitae
These trees belong to the cypress family and they grow slowly unlike the Leyland Cypress. More specifically, these trees can live for more than three hundred years and attain a height of only 40 feet. They have a pyramidal shape and they produce small cones. These trees have thick foliage that comprises of scale-like leaves. Varieties of arborvitae include the Rheingold, Western Red Cedar, Emerald Green, Globe arborvitae and the North American arborvitae. These coniferous trees can brave cold temperatures making them ideal for places like Philadelphia that often experience freezing temperatures during the year.
Maintaining these trees is easy because they grow so slowly. Only a bit of light top pruning is necessary as maintenance work. Arborvitae trees are drought resistant but growing them in moist soil with good drainage can help them grow better than when grown in ordinary soil. In addition, watering arborvitae regularly during its first year is advisable but you do not have to water it after it has established itself. Watch out for spider mites that attack these trees frequently. Preventative spraying can keep these mites away. Wood from arborvitae is aromatic, soft and light. It can also split easily and it can resist decay quite effectively.
– Dogwood Trees
Different theories explain the origin of the name dogwood trees but the most plausible theory is the one that suggests the name came from the fruit borne by the tree. Dog-berries are the name of these fruits and hence the name dogwood tree. Thirty to sixty species of these popular Philadelphia trees exist. They exist as deciduous trees, evergreen trees or herbaceous perennial sub-shrubs. Common species of dogwood trees include the Cornus sanguinea, Cornus florida, Cornus nuttalii, Cornus Canadensis, Cornus kousa and the Cornus suecica. Dogwood trees are popular in Philadelphia because they produce attractive flowers.
Dogwood trees grow best under the canopy of already mature trees and in moist soil full of nutrients. Acidic soils or urban soils that are low in nutrients cause these trees to deteriorate and wilt. Fortunately, you can add bio-stimulants, fertilizers and mycorrhizal to improve the conditions of the soil so that your dogwood trees can grow better when grown in acidic or urban soils. Flowers from these trees bloom in spring and in fall. They can grow to a height of more than 40 feet but they usually grow to 20 feet under domesticated conditions. The branches of the dogwood tree spread horizontally making the tree as tall as it is wide.
– The Japanese maple Tree
This tree is not native to Philadelphia as the name suggests, the tree is native to Japan and it belongs to the Aceraceae family of trees that are ideal for residential and commercial landscaping. The tree decorates many decks and patios in homes across Philadelphia. You can grow this tree as a large shrub or a small tree depending on the size of your landscape area. Fortunately, these trees do well in planters and containers. This means that you have greater choice when it comes to deciding where to place them. Several species of the Japanese maple tree exist including Burgundy Lace, Ornatum, Elegans, Dissectim, Bloodground and Atropurpureum.
These popular Philadelphia trees can grow up to 15 – 25 feet when they reach maturity and they have a horizontal spread that is similar to the length of their height. In addition, Japanese maple trees have a rounded shape leading to a symmetrical canopy. They have multiple trunks, thin barks and twigs that do not break easily. Moreover, Japanese maple trees have star shaped leaves that are green throughout summer. They transition to yellow, orange, red and copper in fall. Annual pruning is necessary if you want to promote strong growth among these trees. Sandy, loamy or clay soils are suitable for these trees but a partial shade is necessary.
– The Crape Myrtle
The crape myrtle is a deciduous tree that flowers in the summer. It has fragrant blooms and it grows to a height of 10-30 feet with a spread of 15-25 feet. The blooms in summer have showy clusters of lavender, red, pink or white flowers that continue until fall when small capsule shaped fruits remain on the tree as winter approaches. The most common species of the crape myrtle are the Lagerstroemia indica and the Lagerstroemia faurei. This tree tolerates drought well but it requires constant watering until it reaches maturity. It thrives in well-draining soils that are slightly alkaline or acidic. It is also important for you to note that this tree requires a lot of sunlight and air circulation, which means that putting it in shaded areas with poor circulation makes it susceptible to diseases.
These popular Philadelphia trees can grow better with a bit of nitrogen-based fertilizer to encourage flowering. This fertilizer is especially important because powdery mildew, a fungal disease, can keep the flowers from opening. Aphids can also present a problem but you can eliminate this problem easily with insecticides.
Now you know popular Philadelphia trees. You grow trees on your property to enhance the beauty of your surroundings. Use this list to jump-start your tree-planting project.