Sunday, May 14, 2017

goodbye sumac

'Tuscarora' with  spuria iris 'Betty Cooper', rose 'Marie Pavie' and Origanum dictamnus
I don't even have a "before" photo for this one. I had planted Rhus lanceolata to replace the thirsty aspen outside of my bedroom. Unfortunately I realized this year, that I replaced a nasty suckering tree with another nasty suckering tree. At least this one was a low-water use  tree but when suckers began appearing in abundance in every crack in the concrete slab outside my bedroom, I knew it had to go. So out it came. I've planted a Lagerstroemia 'Tuscarora' instead. I'm feeling a little guilty since it is not a native tree, and I've tried to keep the trees I plant native, but nothing native seemed to fit this narrow spot. I debated the Fragrant Ash (Fraxinus cuspidata) but I'm allergic to other ash, and was worried about this being outside my bedroom window. I also thought of Desert Willow (Chilopsis) but Desert Willow tends to be a wide spreading low branching tree, and the trunks tend to descend as the plant gets larger. This would block my pathway. Similarly with Forestiera. Pinon was considered, but is a broad based pyramidal tree which wouldn't fit the spot at all. I could also have chosen a Chinese pistache, but I think it would be too large. It could have been an option though, and I do love the fall colors. Oh well, the crape myrtle will have red fall leaves also, just not the glowing color of the pistache, but it will have coral red pink flowers in the summer which will fill that part of the summer when there is very little blooming. Not that I need something blooming all the time...well, heck, yes I do.


  1. I heard that about many Rhus lanceolata, ditto Sapindus. I'm surprised you didn't do one of the evergreen neighbors' grew like I think you want and evergreen. But Tuscarora is a good crape from what our extension agent has proven, as one of the few Lagerstroemia good in dry heat.

    1. I thought of Cercocarpus, but I really needed an umbrella shape, since there isn't a lot of room next to the walkway, and I wanted some shade across the wall in the summer. The Cercocarpus seem to have very variable forms, some with almost weeping form, some more upright, and that isn't predictable from the small plants at the nursery. Good thought though.