Popular and Unpopular Trees needed

zgardennut(zone5b)March 3, 2013

I am writing a paper for my college horticulture class. I was hopping that someone could help me think of any trees that are gaining and losing popularity, especially in the North.
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

I could only think of the Bradford Pear and Crepe Myrtle.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

personally.. i am loathe to do the homework of others ...


    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:43PM
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It is a survey of opinion. I guess that is a little too much for you?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:44PM
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Not sure what all you consider 'north,' how prominent the trend in popularity change has to be, or to what extent if any you need to cite a reference to support your contention that a given species of cultivar qualifies. For a scientific paper, research methodology is a big deal. For example, even if we give you some examples, you may need to contact some city tree planner types (not sure what that's called) & get some collective opinions.

If the info. doesn't have to be too recent, then American Elm (Dutch Elm Disease) & Ash Trees (Emerald Ash Borer) may be mentioned, especially the later.

If you plan to point out possible future emerging trends, take a look at whether oak wilt & sudden oak death are present in your area, and point out the growing awareness of the need for diversity in urban & suburban tree plantings to prevent large-scale deforestation from diseases & pests.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:48PM
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This is just a paper on people's opinions of what they like and why. What they don't like and why.
Nothing cited or scientific, just pure user opinion.

Things such as suckering, messiness, large fruits, and such can be a drawback.

Just trying to ask the people who would are in the know.
Thank you drrich2. I appreciate the response :0)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Not someone in the north, but I was hoping that Norway Maple ('Crimson King'?) was on the way out up there ....

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 5:42PM
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esh_ga Thanks, That is true! I agree!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 6:30PM
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1.American Chestnut Hybrids (Amongsts Hunters and Naturalists)
2. Mass Production Oaks (Amongst Hunters)
3. DED Resistant Elms
4. Pawpaws (popular with permaculturists; often sold out)
5. Pretty Much all native species

1. Tree of Heaven
2. Norway Maple
3. Mimosa
4. Ash ( due to EAB)
5. Almost all invasive species

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 6:53PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Dawn Redwood is readily available now to folks willing to look any further than a big box store.

I think the spread of semi exotics and cultivars thanks to the internet would be an interesting point.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:23PM
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If by popular you mean overplanted, then Forsythia, Calery Pear cultivars and Euonymous shrubs are still the rage around here. Every spring the Lowe's and HomeDepot lots are filled with these weeds. By the end of the season only a few remain, so I assume the rest got sold. Ditto with 'Autumn Glory' red maples. Many of the natives that are not deer proof are hard to find. You can find 100 kinds of Hellebores and Hollies, but Euonymous americana, the native Alnus (Alders) and Tupelo (Nyssa) are hardly ever seen.

The only Oak widely seen is Q. bicolor or Q. palustris (Pin Oak). Some of that can be related to the ease of transplantation, but some is due to the fact that they grow fast, and people want instant forest.

For the ubiquitous suburban hedge, it's either 'Emerald Giant' Aborvitae or Leyland Cypress. Blue Spruce puts in a minor appearance. White Pine hedges that were more popular 10 years ago are being butchered into trunks of bleeding, sappy poles with multiple tops that come from the endemic White Pine weevil. Its an ugly world out there.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 7:46PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I'm still a little confused as to the object of the poll. Gaining or loosing popularity seems completely different than what people like or don't like.

Personally, I really like crApe myrtles, and don't think their popularity is waning (well, maybe somewhat in more southern areas where they tend to reseed worse than they do in my part of the country). Of course they also aren't what I would consider a plant for more northerly areas, so am not sure they even matter in this case.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

'Emerald Giant' is an apparent transposition of Emerald arborvitae and 'Green Giant'. Emerald is a translation of 'Smaragd', and is often incorrectly presented as the cultivar name, as in 'Emerald'.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 8:36PM
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You all have such good points! This helps me out a great deal!
I wonder if some of plant fads are just like everything else. When one person gets one , others see it and want one. No one knows the bad habits or weaknesses of that plant or tree though. Then after a while they find out, it smells bad or drops messy fruit and then people tear it out and get something new.
Some of it must be too, all in who you ask and what their background and interests are. As some of you pointed out, which I really didn't consider.
Catalpas came to my mind when I typed messy trees. Anyone remember those?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 10:04PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Well, around here there are invasive trees that are on the Mass. Prohibited Plant list that are no longer distributed in the state, i.e. Acer platanoides, Acer pseudoplatanus, Ailanthus, and the Buckthorns. Another weedy awful tree that's not on the list (yet) is the Siberian Elm - Ulmus pumila. Also, Morus alba - white mulberry.

Silver maples were commonly planted as shade trees in front yards decades ago, but they've fallen out of favor. They can be weak wooded and the roots are just ridiculous. Although there are several spectacular specimens in my neighborhood.

I like Catalpas! Yes the blooms and pods are messy so they probably shouldn't be planted too close to the house, patio or driveway. But they make a great deciduous shade tree for the northern climate. Drop ALL their leaves at once with the first hard frost. Instant solar gain!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 1:47AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Since it's for a paper, you may find some interesting background from Google trends as far as regional and cyclic interest. Though trend lines as far a popularity is concerned will not be very meaningful for a number of reasons, most significant being Google's apparent loss of queries to competitive and specialty search options since 2005. Multiple names are another factor: mimosa tree, silk tree, albizia,...

Two "new" trees popular (promoted?) in Texas for the past decade or two have been Chinese Pistachio and Shantung Maple, but was surprised to see exactly how concentrated queries were to the state.... along with California to a much lesser extent.

The following example for "mimosa tree" (versus mimosa drink) shows a spike in interest each July and the density of queries by state. Of course, questions about how to grow it AND how to kill it would both be counted :-)

Just changing the tree term in the URL seems a bit quicker than navigating the Google forms.

Here is a link that might be useful: U.S. google query trend for Mimosa Tree

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

One thing that happens that affects the popularity of trees (plants in general) is that new introductions come on the market, often before their attributes are fully tested or known. Designers and collectors, always seeking a new thrill, then plant them out and discover later that they either do not perform as hoped or promised or that they are not really distinct from an existing cultivar. Not your geographic area, but Pacific Horticulture did a very interesting article last year or so about the Saratoga Horticultural Fdn, a very well-respected group, and their introductions over the last 20 years or so. Many if not most did not live up to their original hopes, some after being widely planted as street trees!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:31PM
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I was assuming that "popular and unpopular" trees referred to trees that people buy for their landscape. In that case, things like Tree of Heaven are probably not included as they are not sold, they just spring up due to naturalization.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:49PM
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@ esh_ga, Tree of Heaven is still being sold.....sheffields sells the seeds.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 2:13PM
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No way! That's awful. Who wants to plant that on purpose? Other than that one guy in Iowa.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:57PM
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Many trees are larval food plants for a priceless Global resource...our
Butterflies.The Elms(just to select example)Are in trouble in America as well
As the red bays thanks to intro Ambrosia Beetle.Loss of Red Bays will be
Loss of a major food plant for Palamedes Swallowtails.They are our signature southern swamp butterfly;their name roughly translates as "winged
Indigenous".Their swamp systems include the Everglades,Great Dismal,
Okefenokee,Okeechobee and Big Cypress.
I am not suggesting just one issue...but quite a few people do consider
Planning their yard for butterfly conservation so they would try to keep
A tree that was a host plant for caterpillars if it was already there and of
A good size to host some caterpillars every summer even if they did have
Some issues with the tree.After all,trees(when bought from Market)can
Be a long term project in terms of growth but I do know some butterfly
Gardeners who are starting trees because their leaves are larval food
For some of their favourite butterflies.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 5:28PM
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actually, ailanthus makes an interesting plant if cut back severely every spring. It will produce huge tropical looking leaves. I have one about 5 feet tall and I lop it off at that point every year in the spring.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 12:54PM
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