Cambridge Tree Project
Cambridge Tree Project

Ornamental Trees

Available at our spring 2020 Saturday Tree Sales


Buckeye, Red (Aesculus pavia) 

A great ornamental: beautiful red flowers (pictured above) in spring...palmately compound leaves that aren't bothered by Japanese beetles and provide an interesting textural effect...easy to grow in sun or complete shade...a red buckeye planted in heavy shade in Cambridge has averaged 18 inches of annual growth with regular watering...great patio or accent tree that stays small, reaching only 15 to 20 ft. high.



Cherry, Pink (Prunus sargentii 'Spring Wonder') 

Most pink flowering cherries are better suited for The DC than here in the northern reaches of zone 5...however, we now offer a fully hardy pink cherry that also features a more compact size, maturing to only 25 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide...also, the habit is vase shaped which is easier to integrate into more planting scenarios...polished mahogany bark and shiny dark green foliage that turns bronze to red in fall.



Crabtree: Red Flowering

(Malus x 'Prairiefire')

'Prairiefire' is a great choice for several reasons: long lasting, vibrant purplish red flowers that put other flowering trees on notice each spring...smaller, glossy dark red persistent fruits...good resistance to all of the leaf maladies that impact crabs locally during wet, cloudy weather...dark green leaves look better than the muted purple leaves of other red flowering crabs...upright to rounded shape that matures to 20 ft. high and wide...growth is slower than most crabs, expect ten inches annually.



Crabtree: White Flowering

(Malus x 'Spring Snow')

'Spring Snow' is one the few crabs that is entirely fruitless; so, no little apples to clean up!...also, easy to grow in any soil including compacted clays found in newer subdivisions...reliable white flowers each spring and nice medium green leaves...reaches 20-25 ft. high at a rate of 20 inches annually.





Dogwood, Pagoda (Cornus alternifolia) Native

This native dogwood (see pics above) boasts attractively tiered, horizontal branching and fragrant white flowers that bloom from late May to early June…another interesting feature is their dark blue fruits positioned at the top of a reddish purple stalk….a small rounded tree that reaches only 15 ft. high and 10 ft. wide at a rate of about 12 inches annually…like most understory plants, pagodas prefer life in the shade: best landscape conditions include a few hours of morning sun followed by afternoon shade. 



Dovetree (Davidia involucrata v. vilmoriniana)

After years of searching we're happy to offer a dovetree cultivar that will withstand our cold winters...variety 'vilmoriniana' has the incredible flowers of the species (see pics above) with cold hardiness to -22...dovetrees also have beautiful orange/brown scaly bark...slow growing to 20 ft. high and wide. 




Hawthorn, Scarlet (Crataegus laevigata x 'Crimson Cloud')

Unique red flowers with a splash of white in the middle (pictured immediately above) are considered the showiest of all hawthorns ...persistent bright red berries add color during winter months (top photo above) and provide food for birds...dark green leaves in summer that have no fall color to note...unlike most hawthorns, 'Crimson Cloud' has no thorns!...growth is slow to 20 ft. high and 15 ft. wide.



Hawthorn, White (Crataegus viridis x 'Winter King')

Winter King has four season appeal: tan and silver exfoliating bark (pictured immediately above)...attractive and persistent red berries and white flowers in spring...this tree has small thorns which are said to help protect bird populations against predation...grows to 20 ft. high and wide.



Locust, Purple

(Robinia pseudocacia 'Purple Robe')

An extremely fast growing large purple flowering tree with small thorns that grows virtually anywhere...attractive dark rose pink flowers arrive in late spring with the leaves but are still quite noticeable...this tree will grow in the worst conditions and is suited well for new subdivisions but not areas that stay wet for long periods...growth in Cambridge is over four feet annually though we've seen examples of broken branches...produces 2-4 inch long flat seed pods and will send out new trees from advenurous roots (please note that the new trees will have white flowers)'s best to only plant this tree in cultivated areas given black locust's widespread naturalization in our area...reaches 30 ft. high and wide.



Horsechestnut, Red Flowering

(Aesculus x carnea 'Ft McNair')

One of our most-requested trees...reddish-pink flowers in May/June that everybody will notice and ask you fall color to speak of but the leaves look great throughout the summer...a tree planted on the 300 block of North St is averaging over 15 inches of growth annually with regular watering...without regular watering Ft. McNair red horsechstnuts average eight inches of annual growth...this tree will eventually reach 30-40 ft. high.




Pink and Purple Flowering Magnolias     

(Magnolia x)

Choose among numerous colorful magnolia varieties that mature to sizes between ten and 25 ft. tall:

'Ann' is compact, reaching no more than 10 ft. tall and wide...purple-red flowers and silvery bark.

'Betty' features reddish purple rippled flowers with white interiors...reaches just over ten ft. tall and wide.

'Galaxy' is the largest of them all, it can top out up to 25 ft. with an upright, narrow form to only 15 ft. wide...leaves hold up well in late summer even during wet weather.

'Genie' reaches 15-20 ft. high with dark maroon flowers that re-bloom during summer months...leaves hold up well all summer unlike other purple/red flowering magnolias.

'Jane' reddish purple flowers with a white interior...reaching just over ten ft. tall and wide.

'Leonard Messell' has lighter pink flowers with white interiors...will reach 15 ft. tall and wide.



White Flowering Magnolias                               

(Magnolia stellata x)

Compact Size: 'Royal Star' matures to only 15 ft. high by 12 ft. wide...features a reliable burst of white each spring: pink buds open to pleasantly-fragrant dense white flowers in late April (see picture above)...clean dark green foliage looks great all when only several feet tall, so no waiting around!

Medium Size: ’Merrill' is fast-growing (18 inches annually here in Cambridge), quickly reaching 25 ft. tall and wide...incredibly fragrant large white flowers create a white cloud in early spring...also, it tolerates extreme cold, being fully hardy even in the northern reaches of our state.





Yellow Flowering Magnolias (Magnolia acuminata x)

We carry three hard-to-find yellow-flowering magnolias, all which flower prior to leaf emergence for optimal impact:

'Butterflies' grows ten inches annually here in Cambridge...reaches 20 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide in a pyramidal tree form.

'Elizabeth' offers clear primrose yellow flowers that can be effective for up to four weeks during cooler springs...said to grow somewhat faster than other yellows...mature height can approach 35 ft. under ideal conditions.

'Judy Zuk' flowers are a more golden yellow and offer a wonderful fruity fragrance...can reach 25 ft. tall in the home landscape and has a narrow tree form.



Maple, Japanese (Acer palmatum 'Emperor I')

'Emperor I' is the best red-leaved Japanese maple because its rich crimson leaf color holds up through the summer (see picture above) instead of turning dark purple...fall color is an exceptionally vibrant red...leaves appear two weeks later than other varieties making it hardier than seedling grown stock...finally, it's faster growing than others, reaching 15 ft. high and wide at a rate of 18 inches annually with regular watering...tolerates shade but the leaves are usually a less vivid red in that setting...exceptional architectural shape and graceful branching.




Maple, Paperbark (Acer griseum)

The most impressive exfoliating bark of any tree in our area, plus fall color locally that is unrivaled for its red intensity...grows slowly, only six inches annually locally to around 25 ft. high and 15 ft. wide, making it a perfect patio tree...can be planted in full sun or a semi-shady location.




Musclewood (Carpinus vinginiana) Native

A fine-textured understory tree with smooth silver bark similar to American beech...vibrant red fall color locally (see above)...excellent choice for patios and in front of larger trees as it reaches only 20 ft. high and wide under landscape conditions…happily grows in sun or complete shade...we've recorded reasonably fast initial growth of the eight younger hornbeams planted throughout Cambridge: 16 inches annually...native along rivers and streams...also known as hornbeam.


Paw Paw (Asimina triloba)

An interesting smaller tree for a couple of reasons: exceptional buttery yellow fall color (see picture above, taken at the UW Arboretum) on larger, droopy, tropical-looking leaves...edible, flavorful and highly nutritious fruit arrive in the fall (at least two trees are required to assure cross pollination)...will reach 15-20 ft. high and wide...locally, a paw paw planted near Nikolay School on South Street is growing 13 inches annually...nearly native, it grows across the lake in lower Michigan in the forest understory.



Redbud, Eastern (Cercis canadensis 'Minnesota Strain')

Our best-selling tree has one of the best spring flower shows around: a purple/pink spectacle that appears on all branches, not just the prior year’s growth as with most flowering trees…also has attractive slate grey and reddish mottled bark (see photo immediately above) and heart-shaped leaves which emerge a reddish purple and turn to a warm yellow in the fall…redbuds grow to about 20 ft. high at 12 inches annually locally...initial growth of younger trees is closer to 18 inches annually…we offer the most cold-hardy cultivar available to assure hardiness in our area.




Amelanchier canadensis Native

Amelanchier alnifolia 'Regent' 

Both of these shrubs offer four season appeal: white flowers in spring; exceptional red fall leaf color (see above); edible fruit that looks and tastes like blueberries; ornamental smooth silvery bark.

Native Serviceberry: Shadblow serviceberry grows throughout CamRock Park near Koshkonong Creek and reaches up to 20 ft. tall and with multiple erect stems...excellent fruit in June.

Compact Serviceberry: 'Regent' is a smaller cultivar reaching only five feet tall by six feet has sweeter fruit and is adapted to more challenging conditions (compacted soil, wind) than our native serviceberries.




Stewartia, Japanese (Stewartia pseudocamellia)

Stewartias are specimens of the finest order: camellia-like flowers in early July (see above) when little else is flowering...exceptional exfoliating bark that includes colors of orange, red and purple-gray...sinuous trunk...brilliant red fall color locally and beautiful green leaves that hold up all season...only drawback is slow growth...eventual height to 20 ft. tall and 15. ft. wide...the ultimate patio tree!


Profits from our tree sales have gifted and established 1000 additional living trees in Cambridge since 2006


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