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Selecting Landscape Trees with Special Comments on Invasive and Native Plants

Publication Number: P2679
View as PDF: P2679.pdf
Color drawing of a house with extensive landscaping, including shrubs, flowers, and trees.
Figure 1. Trees have many roles in this home’s landscape. They are used extensively for accenting and shading the home. They help create a background for other plantings and help provide a screen or barrier along the property lines. Low-growing trees can be used as foundation plants near the home, and unusual trees are often used as specimen plants like those on each side of the front steps. Trees also are used to provide a haven to attract wildlife.

Trees are among the most beautiful, useful, and permanent products of nature. Selecting the right tree or trees for the home landscape is an important decision. Your choice will impact not only you, but also those who inherit or buy your property in the years to come. Because trees are considered to be a more permanent part of the landscape and can take years to achieve the needed effect, planting trees is one of the first priorities when installing a new landscape or renovating an old one.

Trees come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Many provide special features during the year like flowers, fruits, or leaf colors. Selecting the right tree for you and your landscape situation will involve many factors. For some, a tree that brings back childhood memories will go to the top of the list. For others, choosing a tree that will grow quickly and provide shade will be the top choice. Some may want an evergreen that acts as a windbreak against cold winter winds. Others may need a small or narrow tree to fit into a confined space. Whatever your reasons for choosing a tree, these pillars of the landscape will play a major role in the long-term beauty and success of your landscape, so choose wisely.

This publication will provide information to help you make the right tree choices. Whether you are planning a new landscape or renovating an established landscape, this publication contains plant characteristics and cultural information on many kinds of trees that grow well in Mississippi.

What Is a Tree?

For the purposes of this publication, a tree is a small to large, woody plant that commonly has a single trunk. However despite this definition, trees can be grown as multi-trunk shrubs, or multi-trunk shrubs can be grown as single-trunk trees through pruning. Crape myrtle is a good example of a plant used as a tree or shrub, depending upon the pruning technique. Some may start as shrubs when young but grow to trees with age. In addition, some trees are small.

The authors’ choice to exclude some species or include others by this definition was somewhat arbitrary as the distinction between trees and large shrubs based solely on size is not absolute. For this reason, there may be plants included or excluded from this publication that other authors consider trees.

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Figure 2. This backyard landscape illustrates many of the uses of trees, including background, screen, wildlife habitat, shade, and accent plantings. The large hedge along the left side of the driveway could be small trees that serve as a sound barrier or a screen.
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Figure 3. The aerial view of the landscape depicted in Figures 1 and 2 shows how trees can be placed around the property to conserve energy by buffering the effects of winter wind and summer sun. Trees also can be used to direct summer breezes and allow winter sun to reach the home.

Tree Selection Checklist

When choosing a tree for your landscape, there are many things to consider. It is always better to evaluate your landscape situation before you go shopping, so you can fit the tree to the site rather than trying to change the site to fit the tree.

Use the checklist below to help you assess the landscape location where the tree will be planted. Then select a tree or trees from the table that fit your particular landscape situation. Explanations of the topics follow the checklist.

  • Function or role
  • Height and width
  • Amount of light
  • Climatic zone
  • Soil conditions
    • Fertility needs
    • Soil pH
    • Light (sandy), medium, heavy (clay)
    • Available water (quality of drainage)
  • Form
  • Texture
  • Seasonal interest or color
  • Risk analysis

Function or Role

Determine what function or role the tree will play in your landscape. For example, do you need a small, flowering tree to accent the front door? Or do you need an evergreen tree that could screen an unsightly view? Common examples of functions or roles that trees play in our landscapes include:

  • Foundation plants (Figure 1)
  • Hedge, screen, and background plants (Figures 1 and 2)
  • Energy conservation, which includes managing wind, heat, and cold (Figure 3)
  • Erosion control
  • Container plants (Figure 4)
  • Border and edging plants (Figures 1 and 2)
  • Specimen plants
  • Accent plants (Figure 1)
  • Sound barriers (Figure 2)
  • Wildlife habitats (Figures 1 and 2)
Line drawing of three identical potted small trees.
Figure 4. Container plants.

Height and Width

Knowing the mature size of a tree is very important. Size includes not just height, but also the mature spread or width of the tree. Both these should be considered before choosing a tree for a particular location in the landscape. Be aware that some trees’ canopy can be quite narrow in spread when young, but become more open and spreading as they mature. Choosing a plant that will become too large for the space available is a common mistake.

Always make sure you select a tree that will not grow into utility lines or other overhead obstructions. Also, avoid planting trees in areas where there are underground utility lines or septic field lines. Planting a tree that will ultimately outgrow its space will eventually lead to problems when it blocks walkways or driveways, encroaches on other property, or becomes a hazard because of close proximity to homes or other structures.

Light

It is important that you know the light conditions of the different areas where you will be placing trees. Choose plants that grow well in those light conditions.

Full sun is at least 6–8 hours of direct sunlight. For sunny areas, choose plants that require full sunlight to grow.

Full shade areas receive no direct sunlight. In these areas, the shade could be the result of trees, buildings, or other structures. Filtered shade refers to the shade provided by a thin canopy of trees, which results in filtered or spotted areas of light on the forest floor. Choose plants that grow in shade for these areas.

Part sun areas receive direct sunlight for at least half of the day. Fitting plants to this type of light situation can be challenging. Some shade plants will tolerate full sun in the morning if given afternoon shade. Some sun plants will grow fine in situations of some early morning or late afternoon shade. Refer to the comments section of Table 1 for further information on specific light requirements for plants in this light category.

Climatic Zone

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has categorized the climates of the United States, Canada, and Mexico into numbered zones based on average low winter temperatures. The zone numbers range from 1 to 11. Each decrease in a zone number means the average low winter temperature is 10 degrees colder. The map of Mississippi in Figure 5 shows the USDA zones for Mississippi. All of Mississippi is within Plant Hardiness Zones 7 and 8. These are the average low winter temperature ranges for each zone and sub-zone:

Zone

°F Range

7

10–0

7a

5–0

7b

10–5

8

20–10

8a

15–10

8b

20–15

Remember that a plant hardiness rating does not guarantee a plant’s ability to grow well in an area. For example, plants suited for drier areas of the southwest in Zone 7 may withstand the winter temperatures here but not grow well because of diseases associated with our higher humidity. A plant’s hardiness zone rating ONLY indicates its ability to withstand a certain winter low temperature.

See plantmaps.com for an interactive plant cold-hardiness map and a list of Mississippi cities/towns and their zones (direct URL in caption).
Figure 5. Zones of plant cold-hardiness for Mississippi.

Soil Conditions

Determine the fertility needs of the planting site before selecting plants or planting. Take a representative soil sample of the area being planted and submit it to the MSU Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis. Remember: it is much easier to choose a plant to fit your soil conditions than to change the soil conditions to fit the plant.

The soil analysis will also include a pH level, or measure of the alkalinity or acidity of the soil. Plants will grow best within certain pH ranges, so selection of plant material depends on pH (unless you can amend the planting site). Soil pH affects the availability of plant nutrients. Hollies, purple leaf plums, and Southern red oaks are examples of trees that will grow in acid soils. Examples of trees that will grow in alkaline soils are Southern catalpa and Eastern red cedar. Table 1 lists the pH range of specific plants.

Soils can be described as light (sandy), medium, or heavy (clay). Medium soils are best for proper growth of most landscape plants. Sandy or clay soils can be amended with organic matter to improve the water-retaining qualities of sandy soils and the drainage of clay soils, making these soils more conducive to plant growth. Adequate soil drainage is important for the growth of most plants. However, some plants like drier conditions and some plants like wetter conditions (bottomland or wetland plants). Comments on soil requirements or tolerances have been made for many of the plants in Table 1.

Form

Form is the shape of the plant. Make sure the plant will fit into the required space and that its form complements the surrounding plantings and the area. See Figure 6 for examples of plant forms. Certain small trees can have a shrubby form. Some trees may have different forms depending upon age. This is true of some shade trees that may have a pyramidal form when young, but develop a broad, rounded canopy when mature.

Spirea: large horizontal oval; barberry: small horizontal oval; rose of sharon: vertical oval that is smaller at the bottom; mockorange: vertical oval; savin juniper: rectangle that is smaller at the bottom; creeping juniper: long, short rectangle; andorra juniper: rectangle; dwarf winged euonymus: horizontal oval; globe arborvitae: round; oregongrape: vertical oval; japanese yew: triangle.
Figure 6. Examples of plant form.

Texture

Texture refers to the fineness or coarseness of plants. For example, large-leaved trees, as a rule, are considered coarse-textured. Examples include loquat, Southern magnolia, and sycamore. Fine-textured plants include pine, Leyland cypress, and Arizona cypress. In most cases, plants with fine textures should be used in greater numbers in the landscape than plants with coarse textures.

Seasonal Interest or Color

These are the characteristics of the plant that contribute to its overall appeal. Special physical features that make the plant attractive through the seasons could include fruit, flowers, foliage, bark, or branching structure. The comments section of the table includes information on seasonal interest or color.

Risk Analysis

When choosing plants, it pays to determine the risks the plant may or may not bring to your landscape. Take the following into consideration when choosing plants:

  • Does it attract stinging insects like bees or wasps?
  • Does it produce messy fruit or other plant parts in the landscape?
  • Does it produce fruit that may cause slipping, particularly on walkways?
  • Does it produce thorns, spines, or prickles that can cause harm?
  • Are leaves sharply pointed, which may cause harm?
  • Is it poisonous to children or pets?
  • Does it cause allergies?
  • Does it have aggressive growth characteristics that crowd out its neighbors?
  • Is it invasive?

Eradication of invasive plants costs millions of dollars every year in the United States. A number of plants can be invasive in landscapes. An invasive plant species, by federal definition, must be exotic and have a negative economic or health impact. Invasive plant species can increase maintenance costs and cause problems in surrounding landscapes. Some invasive plants and potential alternatives are listed in Table 2.

Avoid invasive species whenever possible. Keep in mind that some invasive plants are regulated and illegal to move into the landscape. Remember that invasive plants in one area may not be invasive in another. The comments column in Table 1 provides cautionary statements about potentially invasive plants not discussed in Table 2. Before purchasing plants, be informed about which species are invasive in your area. In addition, new species can escape cultivation.

Some gardeners may prefer native plants, instead of exotic or invasive species. Native species are noted in Table 1 of this publication. However, remember that some native species can also be aggressive in the landscape. Despite occasional problems, choosing a native plant could amount to savings in plant purchases and preservation of natural resources, as well. The comments section also offers other information concerning the risk factors for plants.

Shopping Tips

Local vs. Online

Plant shopping at your local nursery, garden center, or online can be an exciting but sometimes confusing experience. Always check your favorite nursery or garden center first to see if you can buy the plants locally. You will usually be able to buy a larger plant for your money than you could if purchasing the same plant online. Also, you have the benefit of talking to a real person and seeing and inspecting the real plant. The only downside of shopping locally is that the number of different plants offered may be less than what you could order online. If you have found a plant online that is not found locally, request that your nursery or garden center order the plant for you.

Container vs. No Container

Plants come in various packages (Figure 7). Trees are typically sold in containers or pots of various sizes. These can range from 1 gallon up to many gallons. Trees also can be sold ball and burlapped, more commonly referred to as B and B. These plants have their roots with attached soil wrapped in burlap or a burlap-type material. Trees also can come with soil and roots contained in a wire basket. Whether B and B or wire basket, as much of the packaging as possible should be removed after the tree is in the planting hole and before backfilling with soil. Plants also can be bare-root and packaged in boxes, paper, or plastic wrapping. Obviously, those plants with roots surrounded by soil have a higher survival rate than those offered bare-root. Bare-root plants can, however, be cheaper, and if you handle them properly, can be a very good choice.

Three plants in different packaging: container, balled and burlapped, and bare root wrapped in foil.
Figure 7. Plants are sold in various packages.

Small Plants vs. Large Plants

Remember that small container plants will grow and are cheaper than large container plants of the same type. So if cost is a consideration and you have the patience, purchasing smaller trees is more economical. If you want the space filled sooner and a more established look to your landscape, and you can afford the extra cost, by all means purchase a more mature plant in a larger container.

Low Maintenance vs. High Maintenance

We all want more leisure time, so it is important to select a plant that doesn’t require too much maintenance in terms of pruning, spraying, watering, and disease and insect management. It is worth the extra effort to learn about the requirements of your selection before you make your purchase. Talk with nursery workers and gardening neighbors, or consult other resources.

Shop for Quality!

Always inspect your plant selection for signs of insect or disease damage. Make sure the plant shows no signs of mechanical damage to the bark or branches. Mechanical damage is caused by machinery or rough handling of the plant.

Select trees that have a good framework of strong branches. Look for plants with healthy green foliage and a full canopy. If it is a deciduous tree purchased while dormant, look for an overall good branching structure. Avoid plants that have exposed roots circling the top of the pot or protruding from the pot’s drainage holes. These plants are root-bound, which indicates they have been held too long in the same pot (Figure 8).

Two small trees in containers. One has roots protruding from the bottom of the container and one has roots encircling the soil.
Figure 8. Avoid root-bound, overgrown plants.

Protecting Plants until Planting Time

It is always better to have your planting area prepared before bringing home your plants so you can get them into the ground immediately. If this is not the case, a temporary holding area (Figure 9) should be provided for the plant until planting can occur. Do not allow plants to dry out; maintaining adequate moisture is very important. The holding area should be in an accessible area for easy watering. Also make sure the area is partially shaded and protected from drying winds. Check the plants daily to make sure the roots are kept moist.

If it will be more than 3 or 4 days before you can plant, provide additional protection. Group the plants close together and mulch around the packaging (container, B and B, wire basket, bare-root) with compost, pine needles, or shredded pine bark to keep the roots moist until planting. If the plant is bare-root, open the packaging to make sure the roots are moist before you cover them with mulch.

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Figure 9. Protect plants before planting by shading them and mulching the roots in sawdust or another suitable material.

The following tables list ornamental landscape trees by height group and scientific name with information on foliage type, hardiness zone, plant height and width, plant spacing, pH range, and nativity for each, along with special comments.

Table 1. Ornamental landscape trees by height group.

Small Trees — Less than 20 feet

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height3

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native4

Comments

Amur Maple

Acer ginnala

D

3–8

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

12'–15'

6.0–7.5

 

Can be invasive by reseeding. A few cultivars sold, including dwarf and red-leaved and -fruited forms. Growth rate is medium.

Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum

D

5–8

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

Has the effect of a miniature tree. Poor drainage reduces growth. Shade reduces intensity of leaf color. Many cultivars available. Growth rate is slow.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’

D

5–8

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

See Japanese Maple. A small tree. New foliage is brilliant red. This deepens to dark red in sun. Most brilliant of red cultivars. Growth rate is slow.

Burgundy Lace Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Burgundy Lace’

D

5–8

F–P

10'–12'

12'–15'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

See Japanese Maple. Very slender branches with deeply lobed leaves that appear palmately (like the hand) compound. Red leaves appear lacy. Growth rate is slow.

Dissectum Atropurpureum

Acer palmatum

D

5–8

F–P

6'–10'

8'–14'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

See Japanese Maple. Like ‘Dissectum’ but leaves bright red in shade.

Dissectum Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’

D

5–8

F–P

6'–10'

8'–14'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

See Japanese Maple. This plant sometimes referred to as Threadleaf. Many cultivars in this group. Branching habit is more weeping. Leaves almost fern-like in texture. Growth rate is slow.

Oshio-Beni Japanese Maple

Acer palmatum ‘Oshio-Beni’

D

5–8

F–P

15'–20'

15'–20'

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

See Japanese Maple. Leaves slightly redder than ‘Bloodgood.’ Growth rate is slow.

Bush's Buckeye

Aesculus x bushii

D

6–9

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25'

8'–10'

6.0–8.0

X

Natural hybrid between A. glabra and A. pavia, occurring where both species exist in proximity. Flowers pink. Growth rate is fast.

Flame Buckeye

Aesculus pavia

D

6–9

F–P

10'–20'

10'–20'

5’–8’

6.0–7.0

X

Fruit is poisonous to livestock and humans. New growth is coppery in color. Not easily transplanted. Flowers red. Grows to be a small tree. Growth rate is fast.

Painted Buckeye

Aesculus sylvatica

D

6–9

F–P

6'–15'

4'–10'

5'–12'

6.0–7.0

X

Native to east-central United States as far west as Alabama, but not Mississippi. Flowers yellow-green with red. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Tag Alder

Alnus serrulata

D

5–9

F–P

6'–20'

6'–20'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Shrub to small tree. Has catkins in spring followed by dark green foliage through summer. Tolerant of very wet soils. Growth rate is medium.

Downy Serviceberry

Amelanchier arborea

D

4–9

F–S

15'–25'

15'–25'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

X

Variable tree with many cultivars. Flowers white in spring. Fruit edible. Growth rate is medium.

Devils-walkingstick

Aralia spinosa

D

4–9

F–S

10'–20'

5'–10'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Colonial tree and difficult to contain in landscape. Leaves very large. Fruit dark purple in top of stems. Stems very spiny. Growth rate is slow (old wood) to fast (suckers).

Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo

BE

7–8

F–P

10'–15'

8'–12'

6'–10'

5.0–6.0

 

Sometimes grown as a shrub. A few cultivars. Bark similar to Mountain Laurel, with which it is related. Growth rate is slow.

Common Pawpaw

Asimina triloba

D

5–8

F–S

15'–20'

15'–20'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

X

Can get much larger in good conditions. Ripe fruit edible; related to tropical soursop. Typically occurs wild in rich, damp woods. Often colonial from suckers. Growth rate is medium.

Eastern Baccharis

Baccharis halimifolia

SE

5–9

F

5'–12'

5'–12'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Shrub and later a small tree. Dioecious with female silvery pappus the somewhat attractive feature. Very common and aggressive by reseeding, a problem in landscapes. Growth rate is fast.

Japanese Camellia

Camellia japonica

BE

7–9

F–S

10'–15'

6'–10'

4’–6’

4.5–5.5

 

Commonly grown as shrub. Provide protection from sun in middle of day. Compact in full sun; more open with more shade. Many selections available. Growth rate is medium-slow.

Buckwheat-tree

Cliftonia monophylla

B

7–9

F–P

6'–12'

4'–10'

3'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

White or pink flowers in racemes. Have seen pink flowered forms in MS coast wetlands. Shrub eventually grows to a tree with age. Tends to grow in high organic wetland soils. Growth rate is medium.

Pagoda Dogwood

Cornus alternifolia

D

3–7

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25'

10'–20'

5.5–6.5

 

Native to eastern North America, but rare in Mississippi. Similar to Silky Dogwood, except leaves alternate. Prefers well-drained soils. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Silky Dogwood

Cornus amomum

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

4'–8'

5.5–7.0

X

Small white flowers in clusters followed by dark bluish fruit. Wetland shrub or small tree in the wild. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Bentham's Cornel

Cornus capitata

BE

8–9

F–P

10'–20'

8'–15'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

Shrubby at first followed by a small tree. Flowers cream followed by red fruit. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Gray Dogwood

Cornus racemosa

D

3–8

F–S

10'–15'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

In poor soils may not reach 6 feet. Sprouts and suckers freely. More tolerant of adverse conditions than Flowering Dogwood. Growth rate is medium to slow.

Fragrant Winterhazel

Corylopsis glabrescens

D

5–8

F–P

8'–15'

8'–15'

6'–10'

5.5–7.0

 

Flowers fragrant. Related to Witchhazel. Shrubby at first, but can be grown as a small tree. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Common Smoketree

Cotinus coggygria

D

5–8

F

10'–15'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Typical forms grown are purple. Several cultivars available. Growth rate is medium.

Parsley Hawthorn

Crataegus marshallii

D

7–11

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.5

X

Attractive (foliage, flowers, fruit, bark) small tree, often found under larger trees in low woods. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Riverflat Hawthorn

Crataegus opaca

D

7–11

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.5

X

Attractive (foliage, flowers, fruit, bark) small tree, often found under larger trees in low woods. Often grown for (haw) fruit. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Littlehip Hawthorn

Crataegus spathulata

D

6–9

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.5

X

Attractive (foliage, flowers, fruit, bark) small tree, often found under larger trees in woods. Fine-textured foliage. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Common Quince

Cydonia oblonga

D

5–8

F

15'–20'

8'–15'

10’–12’

6.0–6.5

 

Shrub to small tree primarily grown for fruit. Several cultivars. Flowers white to pink in spring; generally smooth. Growth rate is medium.

Blue-bean

Decaisnea fargesii

D

6–7

P–S

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

6.0–7.0

 

Related to Akebia, so not a true bean (Fabaceae). Leaves large with a tropical effect. Fruit blue, bean-like; an interesting feature for the landscape, but may not be easily established. Growth rate is medium.

Eastern Leatherwood

Dirca palustris

D

4–9

P–S

3'–6'

3'–6'

3'–6'

6.0–7.5

X

Rarely seen in Mississippi, wild or in landscapes. Very small tree with leathery branches. Flowers and fruit not showy and prefers damp, rich years. Growth rate is slow.

Paperbush

Edgeworthia papyrifera

D

7–9

P–S

3'–4'

3'–4'

3'–4'

6.0–7.0

 

Unusual, coarse, small tree when grown on single trunk. Flowers very early before leaves develop. Prefers rich, moist soils. Another one for the collector. Growth is slow.

Loquat

Eriobotrya japonica

BE

7–10

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25'

8’–12’

6.0–8.0

 

Hardiest of tropical fruits. Fruits are tasty, but only south since plants usually don't bear in Zone 7b. Drought resistant. Excellent for city tree plantings. Growth rate is medium.

Eastern Wahoo

Euonymus atropurpureus

D

4–9

F–S

15'–25'

12'–20'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

X

Rare in Mississippi, wild or in landscapes. Typically a wooded, floodplain species in the wild. Small tree at maturity. Fruit similar to Strawberry Bush. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Winterberry Euonymus

Euonymus bungeanus

D

4–7

F–S

18'–24'

18'–24'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Small tree when mature. More open canopy when grown in shade. Fruit similar to other Euonymus. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Spreading Euonymus

Euonymus kiautschovicus 'Sieboldiana'

D

5–8

F–S

18'–24'

18'–24'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Aside from minor features, very similar to Winterberry Euonymus. This form is a small tree, unlike many cultivars of Spreading Euonymus. Growth rate is medium.

Pineapple Guava

Feijoa sellowiana

BE

8–10

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.5

 

Typically grown for fruit with several cultivars, but a fair, small landscape tree with silver-underside foliage. Fruit usually do not reach maturity in Zone 7. Growth is slow to medium.

Common Fig

Ficus carica

D

7–11

F–P

10'–20'

10'–15'

10’–15’

5.5–7.5

 

Another plant typically grown for fruit, but interesting in the landscape. Bark smooth, grayish; branches often curled. Selective pruning keeps plant in bounds. Several cultivars; refer to Extension publication IS1457. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Carolina Buckthorn

Frangula caroliniana

D

5–9

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–8.0

X

Formerly Rhamnus caroliniana. Small tree generally of alkaline soils. Dark green foliage. Bark smooth with white patches. Growth rate is medium.

Franklin Tree

Franklinia alatamaha

D

5–9

F–P

10'–20'

6'–15'

6'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

Originally found in Georgia, but now apparently extinct in the wild. Related to Camellia. Not easy to cultivate. Could be a shrub, but treated here as a small tree. Growth rate is medium.

Vernal Witchhazel

Hamamelis vernalis

D

4–8

F–P

6'–10'

10'–15'

7’–10’

6.0–7.0

X

Shrubby when small. Difficult to move as a large plant. Trunk and bark are landscape features. Does not flower well in deep shade. A few cultivars. Growth rate is medium.

Seven-son Flower

Heptacodium miconioides

D

5–8

F–P

15'–20'

8'–18'

5'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Interesting leaves with bark similar to Bush Honeysuckle, with which it is related, but flowers much later. Shrubby when young. Not common in landscapes. Growth rate is medium.

Rose-of-Sharon or Shrub Althea

Hibiscus syriacus

D

5–8

F–P

8'–12'

6'–10'

5'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

Long cultivated with many cultivars. Shrubby tree that may reseed in landscape. Growth rate is medium.

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

BE

6–9

F–P

15'–25'

15'–20'

10'–15'

6.0–6.0

 

Hybrid between English and Chinese holly. Female clone. Large leaves. Can plant closer for screening. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria

BE

7–10

F–S

15'–20'

10'–15'

5’–8’

5.0–6.0

X

Highly desirable native shrub or tree. Dioecious. May be “poodled” or espaliered. Yellow fruit form available. Fruits on 2-year-old wood. Several dwarf shrubby forms available. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Weeping Yaupon Holly

Ilex vomitoria ‘Pendula’

BE

7–10

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–8.0

X

Accent plant usually grown alone. Shrubby young, but a small tree form with age. Fruits on 2-year-old wood. Will tolerate dry conditions. Growth rate is medium.

Florida Anise-tree

Illicium floridanum

BE

6–9

P–S

6'–10'

5'–8'

5'–8'

5.5–6.5

X

Shrub to small tree generally of low ground, particularly along creeks. Flowers showy red. Several cultivars, including dwarf forms. Growth rate is medium.

Blue Point Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’

NE

4–9

F

8'–12'

5'–8'

5'–8'

6.0–8.0

 

Relatively popular juniper. Upright pyramidal form with blue foliage. Junipers have some deer resistance, but have seen small native junipers browsed (not consumed) by deer. Growth rate is medium.

Blue Column Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Columnaris’

NE

4–9

F

20'–24'

5'–10'

5'–10'

6.0–8.0

 

All leaves are juvenile; that is, they are sharp-pointed. Growth rate is medium.

Hetz Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzii’

NE

5–9

F

10'–15'

10'–15'

10’–15’

6.0–8.0

 

Typically grown as a shrub, but like many other larger shrub junipers, can become a small spreading tree. Similar to Pfitzer juniper except branches at 45-degree angle and not horizontal. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Keteleer Chinese Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Keteleeri’

NE

4–9

F

15'–20'

6'–15'

7’–10’

6.0–8.0

 

Free fruiting. Dioecious. Larger fruit than most junipers. Growth rate is medium.

Irish Common Juniper

Juniperus communis 'Hibernica'

NE

4–9

F

5'–15'

2'–4'

3'–5'

6.0–8.0

 

Dense upright, spiny juniper with formal columnar shape. Have seen a low- growing variety, depressa, which is native to much of North America, in the northwestern United States. Growth rate is medium.

Hillspire Juniper

Juniperus virginiana ‘Hillspire’

NE

3–9

F

15'–30'

5'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–8.0

X

Takes pruning well. Upright compact form of the native. Often used for nursery spirals and other clipped forms. Growth rate is medium.

Mountain Laurel

Kalmia latifolia

BE

4–9

P–S

15'–20'

10'–15'

8’–12'

4.5–6.0

X

Numerous cultivars, but not easily found in Southern nurseries. Usually grows on rocky sites in wild. Magnificent display of color in spring. Interesting bark feature when mature. Growth rate is slow.

Common Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica

D

7–9

F–P

15'–25'

10'–20'

10’–15’

5.0–6.0

 

Easily propagated. Easily transplanted in very large sizes. Often grown as shrubs, but some cultivars can be grown as small trees with proper pruning. Many cultivars. Growth rate is fast.

Hybrid Crapemyrtle

Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei

D

7–9

F–P

5'–35'

5'–35'

10’–25’

5.0–6.0

 

Many cultivars (refer to Crapemyrtle Extension publication P2007 for more information), often with Native American tribal names. Larger cultivars can easily be grown as small trees for bark and flower features. Growth rate is fast.

Spicebush

Lindera benzoin

D

4–9

P–S

6'–12'

6'–12'

6'–12'

5.5–7.0

X

Native understory shrub, or tree with age, usually in rich, wet woods. Fruit red, spicy. Related to sassafras. Several species, one endangered in Mississippi. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Lily Magnolia

Magnolia liliflora

D

5–8

F–P

8'–12'

8'–12'

8'–12'

5.5–6.5

 

Also known as Magnolia quinquepeta. Flowers generally purple and relatively closed, upright. A few cultivars. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Star Magnolia

Magnolia stellata

D

4–9

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

 

Popular white-flowered magnolia. Flowers early, showy. Several cultivars, some pink-flowered. Growth rate is slow.

Sargent Crabapple

Malus sargentii

D

4–8

F–P

8'–12'

10'–15'

15'–20'

5 .0–6.5

 

Slightly susceptible to scab and fire blight. Dense branching crab that may grow twice as wide as tall. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Banana Shrub

Michelia figo

BE

7–10

F–P

6'–10'

6'–10'

7’–10’

5 .0–6.5

 

A small tree with age. Variety skinneriana very similar and increasingly common. Chlorosis of foliage a problem where soil pH is not at proper levels. Flowers very fragrant. Petals have maroon border. Fragrance that of very ripe bananas. Very sensitive to poorly drained soils. Often referred to as Michelia fuscata or Magnolia fuscata. Growth rate is slow.

Southern Waxmyrtle

Myrica cerifera

BE

7–11

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

10’–15’

4.0–6.0

X

Now Morella cerifera. Typically a plant of wet, acidic soils, but very tolerant of most growing conditions. Early settlers boiled leaves and fruit to get wax that they used to make bayberry candles. Not particularly long- lived. Greatest success comes in transplanting smaller plants. Easily transplanted in the 3- to 4-foot height range. Natural form will become a small tree, but some cultivars are smaller forms. Growth rate is fast.

Parrotiopsis

Parrotiopsis jacquemontiana

D

5–7

F–P

8'–12'

5'–10'

8'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Another Witchhazel relative. Shrub, eventually to a small tree. Not common in landscapes. Growth rate is slow.

Fraser Photinia

Photina x fraseri

BE

7–9

F–P

10'–20'

5'–10'

5'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Hybrid photinia. Susceptible to leaf spot. Commonly sold for screening and new red growth. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Feverbark

Pinckneya pubens

D

7–9

P–S

10'–20'

5'–15'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

Native to low woods from Florida to South Carolina. A few cultivars. Not easily cultivated, especially in Zone 7. Grown for pink sepals. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Oriental Arborvitae

Platycladus orientalis

NE

6–11

F

18'–25'

10'–15'

5'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Formerly Thuja orientalis. Many cultivars, including the commonly sold golden forms. Some relatively formal and generally smaller than the standard form. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Purpleleaf Plum

Prunus cerasifera

D

4–8

F–P

15'–30'

15'–25'

10’–15'

5.5–6.5

 

Best leaf color in full sun. Prune to reduce crossing branching. Tree is short- lived. Growth rate is medium.

Flowering Peach

Prunus persica

D

5–9

F

15'–30'

15'–25'

7’–10’

6.0–7.5

 

Usually grown for fruit (refer to Extension publication IS1434 for more information). However, some cultivars are grown as ornamentals, which are generally dwarf and/or double flowering. Well-drained soils are essential to reduce root rot problems. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Chinese Flowering Quince

Pseudocydonia sinensis

D

5–8

F

10'–20'

5'–10'

5’–8’

5.5–6.5

 

Grown for its fruit, but the bark alone is worth planting. Early spring color. Susceptible to fireblight. Growth rate is medium.

Wafer-ash

Ptelea trifoliata

D

3–9

F–P

15'–20'

5'–15'

5'–10'

5.5–6.5

X

Shrub to small tree more for the collector. Related to Citrus. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Bristly Locust

Robinia hispida

D

5–8

F

6'–10'

5'–8'

4'–6'

6.0–7.0

X

Unusual native of the east-central United States. Colonial shrub to small tree with hanging 2- to 4-inch clusters of pink, pea-like flowers. Branches covered with red bristles. Growth rate medium to fast, particularly for suckers.

Smooth Sumac

Rhus glabra

D

3–9

F–P

10'–20'

10'–20'

4'–6’

5.0–6.0

X

Suckers freely forming large clumps. Leave texture fine on coarse stems. Withstands wide range of growing conditions. Tolerant of city conditions. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Pussy Willow

Salix caprea

D

4–8

F–P

15'–25'

12'–15'

8’–10’

6.5–8.0

 

Female catkins are the familiar pussy willows. Can be used as a cut flower. May have problems with high humidity of the Deep South. Growth rate is fast.

American Elder

Sambucus canadensis

D

4–9

F–P

5'–12'

5'–12'

5'–12'

5.5–7.0

X

Now considered a variety of Common Elder (Sambucus nigra). Sometimes grown for fruit, but seldom grown as an ornamental. Purple- and lace- leaved forms of Common Elder more popular. Grows on wet sites in the wild. Shrub to small tree. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Common Elder

Sambucus nigra

D

5–7

F–P

5'–12'

5'–12'

5'–12'

5.5–7.0

 

Purple- and lace-leaved forms more popular, but unfortunately not well- adapted for Mississippi. Species a shrub to small tree, but some cultivars only shrubs and much shorter. Growth rate slow to fast depending upon cultivar and conditions.

Silky Stewartia

Stewartia malacodendron

D

7–9

F–S

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

4.5–6.5

X

Native shrub to small understory tree with showy flowers. Bark not as showy as other Stewartia species. Growth rate is slow.

Mountain Stewartia

Stewartia ovata

D

5–8

F–S

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

4.5–6.5

X

Native to the eastern United States. Shrub to small understory tree with showy flowers. Bark not as showy as other Stewartia species. Growth rate is slow.

American Snowbell

Styrax americanus

D

5–9

F–P

6'–10'

5'–8'

4'–6'

5.5–6.5

X

Native wetland species. Flowers white and showy. Growth rate is slow to medium depending on landscape conditions.

Bigleaf Snowbell

Styrax grandifolius

D

7–9

F–P

8'–15'

8'–12'

6'–12'

5.5–6.5

X

Native upland, typically understory species. Flowers white and showy. May not be easy to transplant. Growth rate is slow to medium depending on landscape conditions.

Blackhaw Viburnum

Viburnum prunifolium

D

3–9

F–P

12'–15'

8'–12'

5'–10'

5.5–7.0

X

Usually a small understory tree. Easily transplanted. Flowers white. Bark corky. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Rusty Blackhaw

Viburnum rufidulum

D

5–9

F–P

10'–20'

10'–20'

10'–15'

5.5–7.0

X

Another small understory tree. Very similar to Blackhaw Viburnum. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Lilac Chastetree

Vitex agnus–castus

D

7–9

F–P

8'–10'

8'–10'

10’–15’

6.0–8.0

 

Often pruned into a single- or multi-trunked tree. Escaped in the U.S. and have seen it escaped in western Texas. Popular plant in old gardens. Foliage has pungent odor when crushed. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Chastetree

Vitex negundo

D

6–8

F–P

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

A few cultivars, but cutleaf forms usually sold. Fine-textured foliage. Growth rate is fast.

Hercules-club or Toothache Tree

Zanthoxylum clava-herculis

D

7–10

F–P

25'–30'

20'–25'

15'–20'

6.0–8.0

X

An unusual tree with spiny bark. Larger than Prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum americanum). Typically a tree of alkaline sites. Leaf texture fine. One for the collector.

Chinese Date or Jujube

Ziziphus jujuba

D

6–9

F–P

15'–20'

10'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Sometimes grown for fruit, but rarely seen in cultivation. Spiny, small tree. Growth rate is slow to medium.

1 BE = Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; NE = Needled Evergreen; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; and V = Variable.

2 F = Full Sun; P = Part Sun to Part Shade; and S = Shade.

3 Heights provided in this table are general ranges, and some species may get larger over many years, as observed in record champion trees.

4 Native refers to species that are native to the southeastern United States.

Medium Trees — 20–40 feet

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height3

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native4

Comments

Florida Maple

Acer barbatum

D

6–9

F–S

20'–25'

15'–25'

15'–25'

6.0–8.0

X

Better suited to Southern climate than sugar maple. Chalkbark maple (Acer leucoderme) is also better suited in the South. Growth rate is medium.

Paperbark Maple

Acer griseum

D

5–8

F–P

20'–35'

10'–30'

15'–30'

5.5–7.5

 

Exfoliating bark. Growth rate is slow.

Chalkbark Maple

Acer leucoderme

D

5–9

F–P

25'–30'

15'–25'

15'–30'

6.0–8.0

X

Bark whitish. Better suited to Southern climate than sugar maple. Florida maple (Acer barbatum) is also better suited in the South. Growth rate is medium.

Boxelder

Acer negundo

D

3–9

F–P

30'–50'

30'–50'

17’–25’

6.0–8.0

X

Wood weak and subject to wind damage. Tolerates dry soils, but usually found on flood plains. Fast grower. Short-lived tree. Has compound leaves. Growth rate is fast.

Shantung Maple

Acer truncatum

D

4–8

F–P

20'–25'

20'–25'

17’–25’

6.0–8.0

 

Painted maple is subspecies mono. Not common. Growth rate is slow.

Ohio Buckeye

Aesculus glabra

D

4–7

F–S

20'–40'

20'–40'

10'–30'

6.0–8.0

X

Rare in Mississippi and grows on damp, high-pH soils. Flowers are white to cream; tree larger than red buckeye. Growth rate is medium.

Charlotte Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin ‘Charlotte’

D

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

23’–35’

5.0–7.0

 

See Mimosa in Table 2. May escape cultivation via seed dispersal and become invasive. Reported to be resistant to mimosa wilt. Not easily found in the nursery. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Rubra Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin ‘Rubra’

D

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

23’–35’

5.0–7.0

 

See Mimosa in Table 2. Seed may revert to wild form and become invasive. Deep rose flowers. Growth rate is medium to fast.

American Hornbeam

Carpinus caroliniana

D

4–9

F–S

20'–30'

20'–30'

15'–25'

6.0–7.0

X

More tolerant in the South compared to many other Carpinus. In wild, typically grows on flood plains in shade. Bark smooth, ridged; sometimes called musclewood.

Southern Catalpa

Catalpa bignonioides

D

6–9

F–P

30'–40'

30'–40'

20’–30'

7.0–8.0

X

Often raised for worms used for fish bait that feed on leaves. Flowers white with yellow and purple spots in throat. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Chinese Catalpa

Catalpa bungei

D

5–8

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to native catalpa, but smaller. Flowers rose to white. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Chinese Catalpa

Catalpa ovata

D

5–8

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to native catalpa, but flowers yellowish-white and fruit very slender. Growth rate is fast.

Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis

D

4–9

F–P

20'–30'

25'–35'

10’–15’

5.5–8.0

X

Short-lived tree. Not well adapted to coastal areas. Grown as small tree for flowers in spring. A few cultivars and varieties. Growth rate is medium to fast.

White Flowering Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis ‘Alba’

D

4–9

F–P

20'–30'

25'–35'

10’–15’

5.5–8.0

X

See Eastern Redbud. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Forest Pansy Eastern Redbud

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’

D

5–9

F–P

20'–30'

25'–35'

10’–15’

5.5–8.0

X

See Eastern Redbud. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Texas Redbud

Cercis canadensis texensis

D

6–9

F–P

15'–25'

15'–25

8'–15'

5.5–8.0

 

Native to Texas and Oklahoma. Similar to Eastern Redbud; leaves tend to be very glossy. Slightly smaller than Eastern Redbud. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Desert-willow

Chilopsis linearis

D

7–9

F

15'–25'

10'–15'

8'–15'

6.5–8.0

 

Native to the Southwest. Not a true willow (Salix) and does not like wet soils. A few cultivars available. Beautiful, fine-textured tree, but may not be easily cultivated in the Southeast. Growth rate is medium

Chinese Fringetree

Chionanthus retusus

D

6–8

F–P

15'–25'

15'–20'

15'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to White Fringetree, but shorter petals and probably less showy. Can grow to be a small tree. Growth rate is slow.

White Fringetree

Chionanthus virginicus

D

4–9

F–P

25'–30'

25'–30'

20'–25'

6.0–7.0

X

Also known as Grancy Gray-beard. Popular shrub or small tree with age. Male and female trees. Growth rate is slow.

Drummond's Dogwood

Cornus drummondii

D

4–9

F–P

20'–25'

10'–20'

10'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Similar to Silky Dogwood, except fruit are white. Suckers profusely and can be aggressive. Growth rate is slow, but shoots are fast.

Flowering Dogwood

Cornus florida

D

5–9

F–S

20'–30'

20'–30'

17’–25’

5.0–6.5

X

Showy part of flower are bracts and not petals. Color white, pink, red. Wood is hard, heavy. Very sensitive to heavy, poorly drained soils. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Swamp Dogwood

Cornus foemina

D

6–9

F–P

20'–25'

10'–20'

10'–20'

5.5–7.0

X

Very similar to Silky Dogwood, except larger. Wetland shrub or small tree in the wild. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Kousa Dogwood

Cornus kousa

D

5–8

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

15'–25'

5.5–6.5

 

Many cultivars and not easy to cultivate in Zones 7 and 8. Bracts white and showy like Flowering Dogwood, but slightly smaller. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

Cornus mas

D

4–8

F–P

20'–25'

15'–20'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

 

Flowers yellow, but bark is also an interesting landscape feature. Several cultivars. Growth rate is medium.

American Smoketree

Cotinus obovatus

D

4–8

F–S

20'–30'

20'–30'

20'–30'

6.0–8.0

X

Also called Chittamwood. Grows on high-pH soils or rock in the wild. Can become a small tree with age. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Cockspur Hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli

D

4–7

F

20'–30'

20'–35'

15'–25'

6.0–7.0

X

Large hooked thorns, although var. inermis is thornless. Spring flowers showy. Growth rate slow to medium.

Washington Hawthorn

Crataegus phaenopyrum

D

4–8

F–S

25'–30'

20'–25'

13’–20’

6.0–7.0

X

One of the best of all the hawthorns. Tolerates city conditions well. One of later-flowering species. Fruit showy in winter. Native from Virginia to Alabama. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Mourning Cypress

Cupressus funebris

NE

8–11

F

30'–40'

25'–35'

25'–35'

6.0–7.5

 

Impressive weeping form in landscape. Have grown successfully in 7b for many years. Growth rate is medium.

Monterey Cypress

Cupressus macrocarpa

NE

7–9

F

30'–40'

25'–35'

25'–35'

6.0–7.5

 

Develops layered branches and flat top with age. Humidity difficult for this tree, though have had a tree for several years from seed. Numerous cultivars. Growth rate slow to medium.

Italian Cypress

Cupressus sempervirens

NE

7–9

F

30'–40'

3'–4'

3'–6'

6.0–7.5

 

Distinct columnar growth seen in West Coast and Mediterranean land- scapes. Very formal, although the wild form tends to be informal. Several cultivars, including the typical columnar forms. Needs well-drained soils. Growth rate is medium.

Dove-tree

Davidia involucrata

D

6–7

F–P

20'–40'

20'–40'

15'–30'

6.0–7.0

 

Fascinating tree with a fascinating cultural past. Flowers (bracts) with the apparance of flying doves, sometimes called Ghost Tree for similar reason. Not easily established as young plants, at least in Zone 7. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Japanese Persimmon

Diospyros kaki

D

7–9

F

20'–30'

20'–30'

7’–10’

5.5–7.0

 

Fruit may be nuisance in landscape, but when fruit is major consideration, plant two varieties. Refer to MSU publication IS1446 for more information on fruiting varieties and culture. Growth rate is medium.

Fortune Fontanesia

Fontanesia fortunei

D

4–8

F–P

20'–30'

15'–20'

8'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Large shrub, but can be used as a small tree. Very fine texture in land- scape. Growth rate is medium.

Sunburst Thornless Honey Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Sunburst’

D

4–8

F

30'–35'

30'–35'

20'–25'

6.0–8.0

X

Thornless with yellow foliage, but other similar cultivars exist. Susceptible to canker. Growth rate is fast.

Loblolly-bay

Gordonia lasianthus

BE

7–9

F–P

30'–40'

20'–30'

15'–25'

5.5–6.5

X

Rare in Mississippi, both wild and in the landscape. Generally a species of wet, acid soils, but may favor well-drained soils in cultivation. Not easily cultivated, especially in Zone 7. Growth rate is medium.

Carolina Silverbell

Halesia carolina

D

4–9

F–P

30'–40'

20'–35'

15'–25'

6.0–8.0

X

Rare in Mississippi, occurring on rocky ridges in the northeast part of the state, usually as an understory tree. Showy white, bell-shaped flowers in spring. Growth rate is medium.

Two-winged Silverbell

Halesia diptera

D

5–8

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

15'–25'

5.5–7.5

X

Typically, an understory tree of floodplain forests in Mississippi. Very showy when blooming and seems to do well in landscapes. Similar to other silverbells. Growth rate is medium.

Mountain Silverbell

Halesia tetraptera

D

4–9

F–P

30'–40'

20'–35'

15'–25'

6.0–7.5

X

Similar to Carolina Silverbell with showy white, bell-shaped flowers in spring. Growth rate is medium.

Common Witchhazel

Hamamelis virginiana

D

3–9

F–S

20'–30'

20'–25'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

Difficult to move as a large plant. Trunk and bark are landscape features. Does not flower well in deep shade. Growth rate is medium.

East Palatka Holly

Ilex x attenuata ‘East Palatka’

BE

6–9

F–P

25'–30'

20'–25'

15’–20’

5.0–6.0

 

Very heavy berry producer. Supposed to be a female clone of American Holly. Growth rate is medium.

Foster’s No. 2 Holly

Ilex x attenuata ‘Foster #2’

BE

6–9

F–P

25'–30'

10'–18'

10’–15’

5.0–6.0

 

Hybrid between American Holly and Dahoon Holly. Leaves more narrow than American Holly. More tolerant of adverse conditions than American Holly. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Savannah Holly

Ilex x attenuata ‘Savannah’

BE

6–9

F–P

25'–30'

20'–25'

15’–20’

5.0–6.0

 

Popular large holly. Leaves have wavy margin, 2–3 inches long, with several spines. Growth rate is medium.

Dahoon

Ilex cassine

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

8'–15'

8'–15'

5.0–6.0

X

Native to the lower South. Foliage is somewhat fine in texture, compared to American Holly. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Possumhaw

Ilex decidua

D

5–9

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

10’–15’

5.0–6.5

X

Shrub to small tree. Birds reported to prefer red berries over orange ones. Common in low ground, either open or with overstory trees. Fruit not showy until after frost. Several cultivars. Georgia Holly (Ilex longipes) is very similar. Growth rate is medium.

Koehne Holly

Ilex x koehneana

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–25'

15'–25'

10'–15'

5.0–6.0

 

Shrub to small tree. Plant closer for screening. Fruit and foliage attractive. Growth rate is medium.

Lusterleaf Holly

Ilex latifolia

BE

7–9

P

20'–25'

15'–20'

15’–20’

5.0–6.0

 

Dioecious. Fruits on 2-year-old wood. Vigorous shoots may be injured by cold. May resemble magnolia at a distance. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Hollywood Juniper

Juniperus chinensis ‘Kaizuku'

NE

5–9

F

20'–30'

10'–20'

5’–8’

6.0–8.0

 

Also known as 'Torulosa.' Growth shape apparently not drastically affected by pruning. Apparently not hardy in northern U.S. A popular, picturesque plant. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Rocky Mountain Juniper

Juniperus scopulorum

NE

3–7

F

30'–40'

3'–15'

10'–15'

6.0–8.0

 

Usually planted as a specimen. Native to the West with several cultivars, including 'Blue Heaven,' 'Moonglow,' 'Skyrocket,' and 'Wichita Blue' (all blue foliage forms with columnar to pyramidal form). Susceptible to foliar disease and may need staking when first planted. Growth rate is medium.

Canaert Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana ‘Canaertii’

NE

3–9

F

20'–30'

8'–15'

10’–15’

6.0–8.0

X

Heavy fruit producer. Very popular form of red cedar. Easily sheared to various shapes. Growth rate is medium.

Golden Rain Tree

Koelreuteria bipinnata

D

6–8

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

20'–30’

5.0–7.0

 

Subject to winter kill or severe injury every 10–15 years. Best suited for coastal Mississippi. Tree’s form is unpredictable. Short lived. Growth rate is fast.

Panicled Golden Rain Tree

Koelreuteria paniculata

D

5–8

F–P

30'–40'

25'–35'

30’–45’

5.0–7.0

 

May not do well in northern Mississippi. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Bois-d-Arc, Bodark, or Osage-Orange

Maclura pomifera

D

4–9

F–P

20'–40'

20'–40'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Native west of Mississippi. Fruit and deadwood are a maintenance problem. Difficult to grow other plants beneath this one. Inner bark is orange. Root system shallow and competitive. Adapted to alkaline soils. Sap is milky, and female fruit can be a problem. Wood is very durable. Growth rate is fast.

Bigleaf Magnolia

Magnolia macrophylla

D

5–8

F–S

30'–40'

20'–30'

17’–25’

5.0–6.5

X

Flowers white and large, as much as 1 foot across. Leaves very large at 1–3 feet long. Open exposure may result in large leaves being beaten by the wind. Other similar species native to Southeast. Growth rate is fast.

Umbrella Magnolia

Magnolia tripetala

D

5–8

F–S

15'–30'

10'–25'

17’–25’

5.0–6.5

X

Difficult to transplant. Very similar to Bigleaf Magnolia. Open exposure may result in large leaves being beaten by the wind. Other similar species native to southeast. Growth rate is fast.

Japanese or Saucer Magnolia

Magnolia x soulangeana

D

4–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

15’–25’

5.0–6.0

 

One of the showiest plants in bloom. Flowers and buds may be injured by cold. Warm spell causes buds to open. Cultivars available: ‘Alba’ has white flowers; ‘Alexandria’ has rose-purple flowers; ‘Burgandy’ has deep purple flowers; and many others. Growth rate is medium.

Southern Crabapple

Malus angustifolia

D

4–9

F

20'–30'

20'–30'

15’–25’

5.0–6.5

X

Flowers pinkish, but probably not as showy as some hybrid cultivars, although it is native. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Japanese Flowering Crabapple

Malus floribunda

D

4–8

F

15'–25'

10'–20'

17’–25’

6.0–7.0

 

One of the oldest and most dependable crabapples. Flowers fairly early in its life. Bears every year. May not receive enough cold in Zone 8b for good flowering. Growth rate is medium fast.

Hybrid Flowering Crabapples

Malus cultivars

D

4–9

F

15'–25'

10'–20'

17’–25’

6.0–7.0

 

Variable group of trees with many cultivars. Cultivars vary in flower color, foliage color, height, disease resistance, and bark features. Growth rate is slow to fast depending on cultivar.

Fruitless White Mulberry

Morus alba ‘Fruitless’

D

5–9

F–P

30'–50'

25'–45'

20’–25’

6.0–7.5

 

Many cultivars, but fruited forms can be invasive. Tolerates most soils. Growth rate is fast.

American Hophornbeam

Ostrya virginiana

D

4–9

F–P

25'–40'

15'–30'

15'–25'

6.0–6.5

X

Also known as ironwood. Generally an understory species. Leaves small, similar to elm or birch, a positive landscape feature. Growth rate is slow.

Sourwood

Oxydendrum arboreum

D

5–9

F–P

25'–30'

18'–20'

15'–25'

5.5–6.5

X

Related to azaleas, flowers more similar to Pieris. Fall color generally red, showy, but bark and branching an interesting landscape feature as well. Growth rate is slow.

Jerusalem Thorn

Parkinsonia aculeata

SE

9–11

F–P

   

13’–20’

6.0–7.5

 

Native to southern North America. In warm areas will flower from spring to fall. Stems remain green throughout the year. Thorns. Short-lived tree. Young trees grow rapidly and require staking for first 2 or 3 years. Tolerant of salt spray. Growth rate is fast.

Persian Parrotia

Parrotia persica

D

5–8

F–P

20'–40'

15'–30'

15'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to Witchhazel, with which it is related. Interesting bark. Growth rate is medium.

Swamp Redbay

Persea borbonia

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

10'–20'

5.5–6.5

X

Plant of swamps, now threatened by invading disease-carrying beetles. Similar to Sweetbay Magnolia, but smaller. Growth rate is medium.

Amur Corktree

Phellodendron amurense

D

4–7

F–P

30'–45'

30'–45'

25'–35'

6.0–7.0

 

Fine-textured tree related to Citrus, but dioecious. Growth rate is medium.

Virginia Pine

Pinus virginiana

NE

4–8

F

15'–40'

10'–30'

13’–20’

5.5–6.5

X

Rare Mississippi pine generally found in rocky bluffs in northeast Mississippi. Often grown commercially in Christmas tree farms. Takes regular pruning at proper time well. Growth rate is fast.

Pistachio or Chinese Pistache

Pistacia chinensis

D

6–9

F

30'–35'

25'–35'

26’–40’

5.5–6.5

 

Drought tolerant. Planted for fall color of scarlet to golden yellow. Used as understock for edible nut tree. Durable tree, wind resistant. Growth rate is medium.

Platycarya

Platycarya strobilacea

D

6–8

F

20'–30'

20'–30'

15'–25'

6.0–7.0

 

Interesting uncommon tree in Mississippi landscapes, but certainly one for the collector. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Southern Yew

Podocarpus macrophyllus maki

BE

8–10

F–P

20'–35'

10'–15'

8’–10’

5.5–7.0

 

Can be sheared and shaped easily. Dioecious. Widely used on the coast. Several other species available, but uncommon in Mississippi landscapes. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Formosan Cherry

Prunus campanulata

D

8–9

F

20'–30'

15'–25'

20'–30'

6.0 –7.0

 

Early flowering cherry with pink flowers. 'Okame' is the common cultivar sold and hardier. Growth rate is medium.

Carolina Cherry Laurel

Prunus caroliniana

BE

7–10

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

10’–15’

5.5–6.5

X

Native coastal plain species. Leaves and fruit poisonous when eaten. Best in full sun. A few compact forms available. Prefers well-drained soils. Subject to wind and ice storm damage. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Double Flowering Oriental Cherry

Prunus serrulata ‘Kwansan’

D

5–9

F

30'–40'

25'–35'

20'–30'

6.0–7.0

 

Very attractive when in flower. New growth bronzy-green. One of the hardiest and most popular flowering cherries. Growth rate is medium.

Higan Cherry

Prunus subhirtella

D

5–8

F

20'–40'

15'–30'

10'–20'

6.0–7.5

 

Pink flowering in early spring. Showy with both weeping and double- flowering forms. Growth rate is slow to medium depending on cultivar.

Yoshino Cherry

Prunus x yedoensis

D

5–8

F

20'–30'

20'–30'

23’–35’

6.0–7.0

 

Makes excellent show in early spring. Growth rate is medium.

Blue Japanese Oak

Quercus glauca

BE

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

15'–20'

13’–20’

5.5–6.5

 

Difficult to find in the trade, but escapes in cultivation. Leaves very dark green, but severe winters may kill the foliage. Excellent tree for coastal areas and somewhat shrubby when young. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Chinese Sumac

Rhus chinensis

D

5–8

F–P

20'–25'

20'–25'

13’–20’

5.0–6.0

 

Leaves generally coarser than native species. Like native species, root suckers can be a problem in the landscape. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Flameleaf Sumac

Rhus copallina

D

4–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

7’–10’

5.5–7.0

X

Suckers freely, forming a large colony. One of the earliest woody plants to appear on cleared land. Large specimens rarely seen. Growth rate is medium.

Staghorn Sumac

Rhus typhina

D

4–8

F–P

15'–30'

15'–30'

13’–20’

5.0–6.0

X

Cutleaf forms available. Easily damaged by ice storms, and root suckers can be a problem. Tolerates poor dry soils. Branching habit often resembles a stag’s horns. Growth rate is medium.

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

D

4–9

F–P

30'–50'

20'–35'

13’–20’

6.0–8.0

X

Tends to sucker readily, forming large clumps. Several cultivars including purple flowering forms. Wood highly resistant to decay. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Babylon Weeping Willow

Salix babylonica

D

5–8

F–P

30'–40'

30'–40'

20’–30’

5.0–6.0

 

Now considered a hybrid. Very fast grower near water sources. Brittle wood subject to storm damage. Short-lived. Shallow, competitive root system. Growth rate is fast.

Corkscrew Willow

Salix matsudana ‘Tortuosa’

D

4–7

F–P

20'–30'

15'–25'

10’–15’

6.0–8.0

 

Twisted branch form is Peking Willow. Short-lived tree in Mississippi heat and humidity. Wood is weak and subject to storm damage. Roots may clog sewer lines. Landscape asset is the twisted branches resembling a cork screw. Nice effect when foliage is not present. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Western Soapberry

Sapindus drummondii

D

6–9

F

25'–30'

25'–30'

20’–30’

6.0–8.0

 

Southwestern native. Fruit reported to be mildly poisonous. Fruit, when crushed in water, will form lather like soap. Not readily available in trade but should be used more. Growth rate is medium.

Sassafras

Sassafras albidum

D

4–9

F–P

30'–50'

25'–40'

13’–20’

6.0–8.0

X

Sassafras tea is made from roots. Difficult to transplant, especially if large. Stems remain green. Often found growing in colonies. Three different leaf shapes on same tree: right mitten, left mitten, and three-lobed. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Tall Stewartia

Stewartia monadelpha

D

6–8

F–P

20'–40'

20'–40'

10'–20'

5.5–6.5

 

Flowers and bark not as showy as Japanese Stewartia, but still worth consideration, especially since it may be more heat tolerant. Growth rate is medium.

Japanese Stewartia

Stewartia pseudocamellia

D

4–7

F–P

20'–40'

20'–40'

10'–20'

5.5–6.5

 

Both flowers and bark are attactive landscape features. Tall Stewartia may be more adaptable statewide. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Japanese Snowbell

Styrax japonicus

D

5–8

F

20'–30'

20'–30'

10'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

Larger than native Styrax species. Flowers showy and generally white, but pink flowering forms available. Growth rate is medium.

Japanese Tree Lilac

Syringa reticulata

D

3–7

F

20'–30'

15'–25'

15'–25'

6.0–7.0

 

Flowers typically white, but showy and fragrant. Not common in Mississippi landscapes. Growth rate is medium.

Stinking Cedar

Torreya taxifolia

NE

6–9

P–S

30'–35'

20'–25'

15'–20'

6.0–7.0

X

Federally endangered. Only Torreya in U.S., although other species occur in Asia. Very dark green foliage on horizontal branches. Very interesting tree and certainly one for the collector. Growth rate is slow to medium.

1 BE = Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; NE = Needled Evergreen; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; and V = Variable.

2 F = Full Sun; P = Part Sun to Part Shade; and S = Shade.

3 Heights provided in this table are general ranges, and some species may get larger over many years, as observed in record champion trees.

4 Native refers to species that are native to the southeastern United States.

Large Trees — More than 40 feet

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height3

Width

Spacing

pH range

Native4

Comments

Momi Fir

Abies firma

NE

4–9

F

40'–50'

20'–30'

10'–20'

6.0–7.0

 

Hard to find firs like Momi hardy in the South. Probably cooler parts of Tennessee where a number of firs, foreign and domestic, would be suited, but not the Deep South. Growth rate is medium.

Crimson King Norway Maple

Acer platanoides ‘Crimson King’

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–40'

27’–40’

6.0–8.0

 

See Norway Maple in Table 2. Holds red to reddish-purple leaf color during growing season. Fall color may not be compatible in some situations. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Emerald Queen Norway Maple

Acer platanoides ‘Emerald Queen’

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–40'

27’–40’

6.0–8.0

 

See Norway Maple in Table 2. Leaves green during growing season. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Jade Green Norway Maple

Acer platanoides ‘Jade Glen’

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–40'

27’–40’

6.0–8.0

 

See Norway Maple in Table 2. Rapid grower with straight limbs. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Schwedleri Norway Maple

Acer platanoides ‘Schwedleri’

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–40'

23’–35’

6.0–8.0

 

See Norway Maple in Table 2. Slightly smaller than parent plant. Leaves red in spring, turning green in summer. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Superform Norway Maple

Acer platanoides ‘Superform’

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–45'

27’–40’

6.0–8.0

 

See Norway Maple in Table 2. Rapid grower with dark green leaves. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Red Maple

Acer rubrum

D

3–9

F–P

40'–60'

40'–60'

33’–50’

6.0–8.0

X

Tolerates poorly drained soils. Good fall color. Many cultivars. Growth rate is fast.

Autumn Flame Red Maple

Acer rubrum ‘Autumn Flame’

D

5–9

F–P

40'–60'

40'–60'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

See Red Maple. Large globular tree with slightly smaller leaves. Colors early in fall. Growth rate is fast.

Columnar Red Maple

Acer rubrum ‘Columnare’

D

5–9

F–P

60'–80'

15'–25'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

See Red Maple. Tree densely upright in form, giving it a columnar appearance. Growth rate is fast.

October Glory Red Maple

Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’

D

5–9

F–P

40'–50'

40'–50'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

See Red Maple. Large globular tree with glossy green leaves. Turns scarlet to crimson in the fall. Growth rate is fast.

Red Sunset Red Maple

Acer rubrum ‘Red Sunset’

D

5–9

F–P

45'–50'

35'–40'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

See Red Maple. Large upright tree with glossy green leaves. Good fall color. Growth rate is fast.

Drummond Red Maple

Acer rubrum drummondii

D

5–9

F–P

40'–50'

40'–50'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

See Red Maple. Leaves with three to five lobes, wooly white beneath. Fruit generally larger than Red Maple. Relatively short-lived tree. A wetland variety of A. rubra. Growth rate is fast.

Silver Maple

Acer saccharinum

D

3–9

F–P

50'–100'

30'–70'

20’–30’

6.0–7.5

X

Short-lived tree. Not well adapted for lower South. Wood is brittle. Good fall color. Shallow root system may cause heaving of walks, etc. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

D

4–8

F–P

60'–100'

30'–70'

27’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Commonly sold, but better suited for cooler and more humid regions of the United States. Several cultivars. Not recommended below Zone 7. Florida or Southern Sugar Maple better suited. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Yellow Buckeye

Aesculus flava

D

4–8

F–S

60'–75'

40'–50'

30'–40'

6.0–8.0

X

Flowers yellow, but not aways visible high in canopy. Fruit can be smaller than Ohio and Red Buckeye. Growth rate is medium.

Monkey Puzzle

Araucaria araucana

NE

7–10

F–P

50'–80'

30'–50'

20'–30'

6.0–7.0

 

Related to Norfolk Island Pine, but native to South America. Unique tree, but not easily established in the South. Growth rate is medium.

River Birch

Betula nigra

D

4–9

F–P

40'–70'

40'–60'

20'–30'

5.0–6.5

X

Aphids may be severe on young leaves, causing distortion. Exfoliating bark. Some cultivars. May be multitrunked. Chlorosis above pH of 6.5. Growth rate is medium.

California Incense Cedar

Calocedrus decurrens

NE

5–8

F–P

30'–50'

8'–10'

8'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

Western native and can get very large with age. Growth rate is slow to medium (faster when established).

European Hornbeam

Carpinus betulus

D

5–7

F–P

40'–60'

30'–40'

25'–35'

6.0–7.0

 

Several cultivars, including columnare, compact, and weeping forms. Better for northern Midsouth zones. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Water Hickory

Carya aquatica

D

6–10

F–P

60'–90'

25'–40'

25'–25'

5.5–7.0

X

Tree of very wet soils. Leaf texture fine, comparable to Pecan. Nuts small and slightly flattened. Growth rate is medium.

Southern Shagbark Hickory

Carya carolinae-septentrionalis

D

5–8

F–P

60'–80'

35'–55'

27’–40’

6.4–8.0

X

Similar to Shagbark Hickory. Bark peels in long strips. Nut is edible. Nut may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Bittternut

Carya cordiformis

D

4–9

F–P

50'–75'

30'–40'

25'–35'

6.0–7.0

X

Native bottomland hardwood, with relatively fine leaf texture. Similar to Water Hickory. Bark rather smooth. Growth rate is medium.

Pignut Hickory

Carya glabra

D

4–9

F–P

50'–60'

25'–35'

30'–50'

5.5–7.0

X

Common hardwood in a wide range of habitat. Bark rather smooth. Fall color typically yellow. Nuts may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Pecan

Carya illinoensis

D

5–9

F

70'–100'

40'–75'

27’–40’

6.4–8.0

X

Leaves fall early and appear late. Wood brittle and subject to storm damage. Nuts are edible. Nuts may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Big Shellbark

Carya laciniosa

D

5–8

F–P

60'–80'

35'–55'

27’–40’

6.4–8.0

X

Leaves fall early and appear late. Bark peels in long strips. Nuts are edible. Nuts may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Shagbark Hickory

Carya ovata

D

4–8

F–P

60'–80'

35'–55'

27’–40’

6.4–8.0

X

Leaves fall early and appear late. Bark peels in long strips. Nuts are edible. Nuts may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Nutmeg Hickory

Carya myristiciformis

D

6–8

F–P

60'–80'

35'–55'

25'–35'

6.5–8.0

X

Tree of calcareous soils. Texture relatively fine, with yellowish-copper leaf undersides most notable in fall. Nuts are small, blotched. Growth rate is medium.

Mockernut Hickory

Carya tomentosa

D

4–9

F–P

50'–60'

25'–35'

30'–50'

6.4–8.0

X

Bottomland hardwood. Bark peels in long strips. Nuts are edible. Nuts may be food for wildlife such as squirrels and birds. Growth rate is medium.

Chinese Chestnut

Castanea mollissima

D

4–8

F–P

40'–60'

40'–60'

25'–35'

5.5–6.5

 

Sometimes used as replacement for American Chestnut. Spiny fruit husk can be a problem in landscape. Fruit is edible. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Northern Catalpa

Catalpa speciosa

D

4–8

F–P

40'–60'

20'–40'

15'–30'

6.0–7.0

X

Larger relative of Southern Catalpa. Leaves coarse-textured; fruits long, pendant pods. Leaves eaten by worms that are sometimes used for fish bait. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Atlas Cedar

Cedrus atlantica

NE

6–9

F

40'–60'

30'–40'

15'–30'

6.0–7.0

 

Usually used as an accent tree. Gray and weeping forms typically sold. Prefers well-drained soils. Growth rate is slow.

Deodar Cedar

Cedrus deodara

NE

7–8

F

40'–70'

30'–40'

20’–30’

6.0–7.0

 

Tops may die because of borers and destroy symmetry. Branches pendulous when young. Reported to be drought tolerant. Growth rate is medium.

Cedar of Lebanon

Cedrus libani

NE

5–7

F

40'–60'

30'–40'

15'–30'

6.0–7.0

 

Similar to Deodar Cedar in form. Available but rarely seen in Mississippi. Some cultivars available. Growth rate is slow.

Sugar Hackberry

Celtis laevigata

D

5–9

F–P

50'–70'

40'–60'

33’–50’

6.0–8.0

X

Long-lived tree. Bark interesting with warty outgrowths. Zigzag stems. Good for chalky or alkaline soils. Roots shallow and dense. Growth rate is medium.

Common Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis

D

3–9

F–P

40'–60'

30'–50'

25'–40'

6.0–8.0

X

Similar to Sugar Hackberry. A few cultivars. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Katsuratree

Cercidiphyllum japoncium

D

4–8

F–P

40'–60'

20'–35'

15'–25'

6.0–7.0

 

Leaf similar to Redbud but opposite and unrelated and without showy flowers. Good shade tree with yellowish fall color. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Hinoki Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa

NE

5–8

F

50'–75'

10'–20'

8'–15'

5.5–7.5

 

Standard form described here, but several cultivars available that will remain very small. Growth rate on standard is medium, but dwarf forms are slow.

Sawara Falsecypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera

NE

4–8

F

50'–70'

10'–20'

8'–15'

5.5–7.5

 

Standard form described here, but several cultivars available that will remain very small. Threadleaf (filifera) forms common and often used as shrubs. Growth rate on standard is medium, but dwarf forms are slow.

Atlantic Whitecedar

Chamaecyparis thyoides

NE

4–9

F–P

40'–50'

10'–20'

8'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

Native to swamps in the South. Have seen large trees along tributaries in Southeast Mississippi. Many cultivars, including dwarf and gray forms. Growth rate is medium to fast.

American Yellowwood

Cladrastis kentukea

D

4–8

F–P

30'–50'

40'–55'

25'–40'

5.5–7.0

X

Rather rare in Mississippi, generally occurring on limestone bluffs. Both bark and white flowers of interest in the landscape. Growth rate is medium.

Japanese Cryptomeria

Cryptomeria japonica

NE

5–8

F

50'–60'

20'–30'

15'–25'

5.5–7.0

 

Nice pyramidal tree, although can develop some disease problems with age. Several cultivars, including dwarf or more compact forms like 'Black Dragon.' Growth rate is medium.

Common Chinafir

Cunninghamia lanceolata

NE

7–9

F

30'–75'

10'–30'

13’–20’

6.0–8.0

 

Overall appearance of plant is coarse, though foliage is small. Sensitive to poorly drained soils. Can get unusually shaggy with age. A gray form is available. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Leyland Cypress

X Cupressocyparis leylandii

NE

6–10

F–P

60'–70'

12'–20'

10’–15’

5.0–7.0

 

This plant is an intergeneric hybrid. Transplants easily from containers. Tolerant of salt spray. Varieties include ‘Castlewellan’ with yellow foliage; ‘Green Spire’ with a narrow, columnar form; ‘Leighton Green’ with heat resistance; ‘Naylor’s Blue’ with grayish-green foliage; ‘Silverdust’ with bluish-green foliage with white variegations. Growth rate is very fast.

Arizona Cypress

Cupressus arizonica

NE

7–9

F–P

40'–50'

25'–30'

15'–25'

6.0–8.0

 

Has very attractive blue-gray needles. Responds well to fertilizer. May get too big for many locations. Growth rate is medium.

Common Persimmon

Diospyros virginiana

D

4–9

F

35'–60'

20'–35'

20’–30’

5.0–6.5

X

One of the most durable of small trees, growing in a wide variety of habitats. Male and female trees. Difficult to transplant. Growth rate is medium.

Cider Gum

Eucalyptus gunnii

BE

7–11

F–P

40'–50'

30'–40'

20'–30'

6.0–8.0

 

Unusual landscape tree with gray foliage. Many species from Australia and Tasmania. The similar Silver Dollar Tree (E. cinerea) is listed for Zone 8 south, but have had one in 7b for several years. Too many Zone 7 south species to address here. Another group for the collector. Growth rate is medium.

American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

D

4–9

F–P

50'–70'

50'–70'

30’–50’

5.0–6.7

X

Sensitive to overly wet areas. Roots are shallow and tolerate very little soil disturbance around plant once established. Not tolerant of city conditions. Growth rate is medium.

European Beech

Fagus sylvatica

D

4–7

F

50'–60'

35'–45'

30’–40’

5.0–6.7

 

Sensitive to very wet areas. Does not tolerate soil disturbance around roots once established. Many cultivars, including purple leaf forms. Growth rate is medium.

White Ash

Fraxinus americana

D

4–9

F

50'–80'

50'–80'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Not tolerant of poorly drained soils and should not be used in suburban areas with no topsoil or where soil is a heavy clay. Several cultivars. Now threatened by the emerald ash borer. Growth rate is medium.

Green Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica lanceolata

D

2–9

F

50'–60'

25'–30'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Leaves more lance-shaped than regular Green Ash. Occurs over much of United States. Avoid poorly drained soils, although commonly grows in flood plain forest. Several cultivars, including seedless. Now threatened by the emerald ash borer. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Marshall’s Seedless Green Ash

Fraxinus pennsylvanica lanceolata

D

3–9

F

50'–60'

40'–50'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

One of male (seedless) varieties. Does not have litter problem as with ‘Marshall’s Seedless’ Green Ash. Old cultivar selected in Nebraska. Drought resistant. Now threatened by emerald ash borer. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Blue Ash

Fraxinus quadrangulata

D

4–7

F–P

50'–70'

30'–50'

20’–30’

6.0–8.0

X

Short-lived tree, with unusual four-winged twigs. Tolerates alkaline soils and dry conditions. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba

D

4–8

F–P

50'–80'

30'–40'

30’–40’

6.0–7.0

 

Many cultivars, including male and female cultivars. Fruit is produced on female trees and often has an unpleasant odor. Select a male variety. Long-lived with good fall gold color. Fossils of leaves over 150 million years old. Growth rate is medium.

Thornless Honey Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos inermis

D

4–8

F

30'–70'

25'–60'

20’–35’

6.0–8.0

X

This selection has no thorns, but there are several thornless cultivars. May develop thorns with age. Growth rate is fast.

Moraine Thornless Honey Locust

Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Moraine’

D

4–8

F

40'–50'

35'–45'

20’–35’

6.0–8.0

X

Thornless cultivar with good gold fall color. First patented thornless honey-locust. Growth rate is fast.

Kentucky Coffeetree

Gymnocladus dioicus

D

4–8

F

60'–75'

40'–50'

25–35'

6.0–7.5

X

Another rare tree both in the landscape and wild. Very large compound leaves. Seeds once used as a coffee substitute after roasting. Legume, so rather tolerant of poor soils. A few cultivars. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Igiri Tree

Idesia polycarpa

D

6–9

F

40'–60'

40'–60'

30'–40'

6.0–7.0

 

Unusual tree, particularly in fruit. Uncommon in Mississippi landscapes. Growth rate is fast.

American Holly

Ilex opaca

BE

5–9

F–P

40'–50'

18'–40'

13’–20’

5.0–6.0

X

Often an understory tree in woodlands. Numerous varieties. Some with yellow fruit. Dioecious. Difficult to transplant in larger sizes. Fruits on new wood. Growth rate is medium.

Howard American Holly

Ilex opaca ‘Howard’

BE

6–9

F–P

40'–50'

18'–40'

13’–20’

5.0–6.5

X

See American Holly. Heavy berry producer. Female clone. Not as hardy as American Holly. Growth rate is medium.

Butternut or White Walnut

Juglans cinerea

D

3–7

F

40'–60'

30'–50'

25'–40'

6.0–8.0

X

Rare in Mississippi and over much of its native range. Roots give off toxic substance, making it difficult to grow other plants nearby. Fruit can be a nuisance. Difficult to transplant. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Black Walnut

Juglans nigra

D

4–9

F

50'–75'

45'–70'

30’–40’

6.0–8.0

X

Roots give off toxic substance, making it difficult to grow other plants nearby. Fruit can be a nuisance. Difficult to transplant. Growth rate is slow to medium.

English Walnut

Juglans regia

D

6–9

F

40'–60'

40'–60'

25'–40'

6.0–8.0

 

Smooth, whitish bark an interesting feature in the landscape. Fruit can be a nuisance, but easier to shell. Difficult to transplant. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Eastern Red Cedar

Juniperus virginiana

NE

2–9

F

40'–50'

8'–20'

13’–20’

5.5–8.0

X

Usually dioecious. Fruit matures in 1 year. May be difficult to transplant when large. Lends itself to formal landscapes. Many cultivars. Growth rate is medium.

American Sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua

D

5–9

F

60'–75'

40'–50'

30’–40’

6.0–7.0

X

One of better trees for fall color for Deep South. Usually maroon but may be red or yellow. Seed balls may be a nuisance in landscapes. They do not decay readily. Roots shallow and not easily transplanted in larger sizes. One of few trees that tolerates topping at an old age. Growth rate is medium.

Tulip Magnolia

Liriodendron tulipifera

D

4–9

F–P

70'–90'

35'–50'

30’–40’

6.0–7.0

X

Does not transplant easily in larger sizes. Sensitive to poorly drained soils or soils with high water table. Rapid growth when fertilized in late winter with high nitrogen fertilizer. Growth rate is medium.

Cucumbertree Magnolia

Magnolia acuminata

D

4–8

F–S

50'–80'

40'–70'

30’–40’

5.0–7.0

X

Not very common in landscapes. Pyramidal in form when young. Flowers greenish to yellow, unlike native, deciduous, white-flowered magnolias. Several cultivars. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Yulan Magnolia

Magnolia denudata

D

5–8

F–P

30'–40'

25'–35'

15’–25’

5.0–6.0

 

Difficult to transplant. Needs plenty of room to develop. Rose-colored flowering form available. Growth rate is medium.

Southern Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora

BE

7–10

F–S

60'–80'

30'–50'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Leaf litter objectionable. Best when the lower branches are retained and allowed to sweep the ground. Difficult to transplant in large sizes. Many cultivars, some dwarf. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Sweetbay Magnolia

Magnolia virginiana

BE

5–9

F–S

60'–70'

30'–50'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Sheds leaves in spring. Roots shallow and difficult to transplant. Sprouts readily from the roots. Typically grows in Southern swamps and not drought tolerant. Foliage silvery below. Several cultivars. Not to be confused with true bays (Lauraceae) used in cooking. Growth rate is medium fast.

Dawn Redwood

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

D

5–8

F–P

70'–100'

25'–30'

30’–40’

5.5–6.5

 

Prior to 1944 this tree was known only by its fossil records. It existed in the small Chinese province of Szechuan-Hupeh for over a million years until its discovery. Much variation found in seedlings and some cultivars available. Growth rate is fast.

Red Mulberry

Morus rubra

D

5–9

F–P

40'–70'

40'–50'

20'–30'

5.5–6.5

X

Fruit red to black, although White Mulberry may also have black fruit. Usually a woodland understory tree. Leaves large and branches usually horizontal and open. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Water Tupelo

Nyssa aquatica

D

6–9

F–P

80'–90'

40'–50'

30'–40'

5.5–6.5

X

Swamp species with rather coarse texture and high canopy. Trunk swollen (buttressing) on wet sites, but no knees like Baldcypress. Growth rate medium.

Swamp Tupelo

Nyssa biflora

D

7–10

F–P

40'–50'

20'–25'

15'–25'

5.0–6.5

X

Swamp or bog very similar to Tupelo Blackgum but grows in wetter soils, sometimes very acidic. Growth rate slow to medium depending on soils.

Tupelo Blackgum

Nyssa sylvatica

D

4–9

F–P

30'–50'

20'–30'

20’–30’

6.0–7.0

X

Generally distributed along streams and floodplains. Early fall color and leaf drop. A few cultivars. Growth rate is medium.

Shortleaf Pine

Pinus echinata

NE

6–9

F

50'–75'

25'–50'

20'–25'

5.5–6.5

X

Upland tree with small cones. Timber tree and generally not a landscape tree, but may be found in natural home landscapes. Growth rate is fast.

Slash Pine

Pinus elliottii

NE

8–10

F

50'–75'

25'–50'

30’–40’

5.0–7.0

X

Tree of wet soils and also has some salt tolerance in coastal areas. Cones 2–6 inches long and stalked. Can be damaged by ice storms. Difficult to transplant past the seedling stage. Excellent canopy tree for azaleas and camellias. Growth rate is fast.

Spruce Pine

Pinus glabra

NE

8–10

F–P

40'–60'

20'–30'

15’–20’

5.5–7.0

X

Floodplain species that will tolerate heavier soil conditions than other pines. Bark smooth similar to oaks. Branches smooth. Cones remain on tree for 2–3 years. Cones 1–2.5 inches. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Austrian Pine

Pinus nigra

NE

4–7

F

50'–60'

20'–40'

10'–20'

5.5–6.5

 

Occasionally sold in Mississippi with a few cultivars, but tends to be short- lived. Needles coarse, stiff. Similar to Japanese Black Pine in form. Growth rate is medium.

Longleaf Pine

Pinus palustris

NE

7–10

F–S

50'–75'

25'–50'

30’–40’

4.5–5.0

X

Sometimes confused with Slash Pine, but generally a tree of more upland sandy and poor soils. Slow growth for first 2–3 years, then fast. Needles 8–18 inches long. Easily damaged by ice storms. Excellent canopy for camellias and azaleas. Growth rate is fast.

White Pine

Pinus strobus

NE

3–7

F–P

50'–80'

20'–40'

20’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Very soft-textured pine. Bark smooth on young limbs and trunks. Not recommended for Lower South, at least parts of Zone 7 and south. Plant is affected by day length, which varies less in the Deep South. Growth rate is fast.

Loblolly Pine

Pinus taeda

NE

6–9

F–S

60'–90'

30'–40

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Difficult to transplant in large sizes. Excellent canopy for azaleas and camellias, but not generally recommended for landscapes. Cones 3–6 inches long with almost no stem. Needles 6–9 inches long. Growth rate is fast.

Japanese Black Pine

Pinus thunbergii

NE

6–8

F

20'–80'

15'–50'

30’–40’

5.5–6.5

 

Needles 3–4 inches long. Ideal for Japanese garden effect. Similar to Austrian Pine in form. Growth rate is fast.

London Plane Tree

Platanus x acerifolia

D

4–9

F

70'–100'

65'–80'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

 

Cross between American and Oriental Sycamores. Reported to be less susceptible to anthracnose. Is very similar to American Sycamore except smaller in scale. Growth rate is fast.

American Sycamore

Platanus occidentalis

D

4–9

F

75'–100'

65'–80'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Short-lived tree well recognized by brown bark exfoliating to smooth white under bark. Due to disease and insect problems, it is questionable if this tree should be planted in the Deep South. Leaves may be a litter problem. Growth rate is fast.

Bolleana Poplar

Populus alba ‘Pyramidalis’

D

3–8

F–P

50'–60'

5'–10'

17’–25’

5.5–7.0

 

Very formal. Leaf silvery-white beneath. May show dust and soot. Suckers readily from roots. Tolerates poor to fertile soils. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Eastern Poplar

Populus deltoides

D

3–9

F

75'–100'

50'–75'

30’–40’

5.5–7.0

X

Male trees preferred due to nuisance, cottony seeds of female trees. Quick shade but short-lived. A major tree for pulpwood because of rapid growth. Massive fibrous root system may invade sewer lines and fertile, moist planting beds. Leaves a litter problem. Growth rate is fast.

Lombardy Poplar

Populus nigra ‘Italica’

D

3–9

F

50'–60'

5'–15'

20’–30’

5.5–7.0

 

Formal columnar tree. Short-lived tree. Highly advertised tree through mail order sources. Shallow roots with many suckers. Growth rate is fast.

Black Cherry

Prunus serotina

D

3–9

F–P

50'–60'

40'–50'

20'–30'

6.0–7.5

X

Fruit favored by many forms of wildlife. Short-lived tree with brittle wood. Volunteer seedling common along fence rows. Fast growth with fertile, moist, well-drained soils. Growth rate is fast.

Chinese Wingnut

Pterocarya hupehensis

D

6–9

F

60'–80'

50'–70'

30'–40'

6.0–7.0

 

Fine foliage, related to Hickory. Other large species of Wingnuts are available for shade. Growth rate is medium.

Sawtooth Oak

Quercus acutissima

D

5–9

F

40'–60'

30'–50'

30’–40’

5.0–6.5

 

Can escape cultivation. Acorn about 1 inch in diameter with long scales covering about half the acorn. Sometimes confused with chestnut oak. Growth rate is medium to fast.

White Oak

Quercus alba

D

4–9

F–P

50'–80'

50'–80'

30’–40’

5.0–6.5

X

Attains a massive size but is slow-growing. Not easily adaptable to city conditions. Leaves are large and provide fairly dense shade. Acorns attract deer and other wildlife. Growth rate is slow.

Southern Red Oak

Quercus falcata

D

6–9

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

4.0–5.0

X

Bark dark brown or black and deeply fissured. Easily transplanted. One of the best oaks for the South. Grows better in drier locations. Galls can be a problem. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Swamp Red Oak

Quercus pagoda

D

7–9

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

4.0–5.0

X

Easily transplanted. Taller growing than Southern Red Oak and generally on lower ground. Galls may be unsightly. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Laurel Oak or Diamond Oak

Quercus laurifolia

SE

6–9

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Acorn half-inch long. Plant difficult to transplant. Long-lived tree. Attractive, symmetrical tree. Similar and often confused with Quercus hemisphaerica. Growth rate is medium.

Overcup Oak

Quercus lyrata

D

5–9

F–P

40'–60'

30'–50'

20'–30'

5.0–6.0

X

Wetland species and included here for very wet areas in landscapes. Acorns float and can be a problem in landscape. Growth rate slow to medium.

Bur Oak

Quercus macrocarpa

D

3–8

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

6.0–8.0

X

Acorn large and possible problem in landscape. Rare in Mississippi and adapted to alkaline soils. Foliage and bark dark. Growth rate is slow.

Chinkapin Oak

Quercus muehlenbergii

D

4–7

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

5.0–8.0

X

Also known as Yellow Chestnut Oak and leaves similar to Swamp Chestnut Oak. Bark ashy-gray and flaky. Acorn about half-inch long, oval, dark brown with cap covering about one-fourth of acorn. Not especially well-suited for coastal counties, but does well in alkaline soils. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Water Oak

Quercus nigra

D

6–9

F–P

40'–70'

50'–80'

30’–40’

5.5–6.5

X

Bark grayish-black, rough. Excellent for city conditions. Leaves may be retained part of the winter. A good oak for the landscape. Leaves spatulate at the end, often developing three lobes. Acorns small and attract wildlife. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Pin Oak

Quercus palustris

D

4–8

F

60'–70'

25'–40'

30’–40’

5.0–6.5

X

Easily transplanted. Typically a bottomland tree and not very drought tolerant. Becomes chlorotic if grown in alkaline soils. Leaves deeply cut with five to nine lobes. Tolerates city conditions. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Willow Oak

Quercus phellos

D

5–9

F–P

40'–60'

30'–40'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Retains leaves late in fall. Leaves fine and resemble those of Black Willow. Long-lived tree. Acorn about half-inch long, oval to flattened, with cap covering about one-fourth of acorn. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Swamp Chestnut Oak

Quercus michauxii

D

5–9

F–P

70'–80'

60'–70'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Difficult to transplant. Bottomland hardwood. Excellent fall color not found in other chestnut oaks. Acorn large, about 112 inch long, lustrous brown, with cap covering about one-third of acorn. Growth rate is medium.

English Oak or British Oak

Quercus robur

D

4–8

F–P

40'–60'

30'–40'

30’–40’

5.5–6.5

 

Many cultivars available. More columnar forms can be planted closer together. Difficult to transplant. Acorn 1 inch long on stalk. Growth rate is slow.

Shumard Oak

Quercus shumardii

D

5–9

F–P

40'–60'

30'–50'

30’–40’

6.0–7.5

X

Good substitute for Scarlet Oak. Very attractive symmetrical tree. Acorn 34 to 114 inch long. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Post Oak

Quercus stellata

D

5–9

F–S

60'–70'

40'–60'

30’–40’

5.0–6.0

X

Rather difficult to transplant. Dead leaves fall throughout the winter. Not often used in the landscape. Will tolerate moist, well-drained areas. Acorn about half-inch long with cup covering a fourth to half of the acorn. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Live Oak

Quercus virginiana

BE

7–10

F

40'–80'

60'–100'

50’–75’

5.0–6.0

X

Largest on record has a 38-foot trunk circumference, 168-foot spread, and 75-foot height. Other Live Oak species and varieties exist in the United States. Easily transplanted when young. Needs plenty of room to develop. Acorns three-fourths inch long, narrow, black. Thought to be slow-growing, but proper care indicates otherwise. Growth rate is medium.

White Willow

Salix alba

D

2–9

F

75'–100'

50'–100'

30'–50'

5.0–6.0

 

Escaped in the United States. Large willow with fine texture. A few cultivars, including yellow twig forms. Growth rate is fast.

Black Willow

Salix nigra

D

3–9

F–P

40'–60'

30'–50'

20’–30’

5.5–7.0

X

Easily escapes in the landscape by wind-dispersed seed. Very fine texture, but branches brittle and problem in the landscape. Tree of little landscape value, but adaptable to very wet sites. Growth rate is fast.

Japanese Pagodatree

Sophora japonica

D

4–7

F

50'–75'

50'–75'

30'–50'

5.5–6.5

 

Fine-textured tree with creamy-white flowers. Legume adaptable to poor soils. Can reseed in the landscape. A few cultivars. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Common Baldcypress

Taxodium distichum

D

4–11

F–P

50'–70'

20'–30'

25’–35’

5.5–6.5

X

Tolerates very dry to very wet sites. Cypress knee production occurs in wet or poorly drained soils. Growth rate is slow to medium.

American Arborvitae

Thuja occidentalis

NE

3–7

F

40'–60'

10'–15'

8'–15'

5.5–7.0

 

Native to North America with many cultivars. Commonly sold, but often suffers in Zone 7 south. Growth rate is slow to medium depending on cultivar and growing conditions.

Giant Arborvitae

Thuja plicata

NE

5–7

F–P

50'–70'

15'–25'

10'–20'

5.5–7.0

 

Native to western North America with many cultivars. Commonly sold, especially 'Green Giant,' which may or may not be Giant Arborvitae. Growth rate is slow to medium.

American Linden

Tilia americana

D

4–8

F–P

60'–80'

40'–50'

30’–40’

5.0–6.5

X

More than one botanical variety and cultivar in the United States. Flowers attract bees in large numbers, since they are a good source of nectar for honey. Tolerant of most soils but does well in moist, fertile, well-drained ones. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Littleleaf Linden

Tilia cordata

D

4–7

F

60'–70'

40'–50'

30’–40’

5.5–7.5

 

Many cultivars. One of several exotic Tilia species in cultivation. An attractive tree. More tolerant of alkaline soils. Does not tolerate dry sites. Drainage must be good. Growth rate is fast.

Canadian Hemlock

Tsuga canadensis

NE

4–7

F–S

40'–70'

25'–35'

10'–15'

5.5–6.5

X

Many cultivars. Native Alabama north. Asian and western species are also cultivated. Beautiful tree in nature producing intense shade. Large and sometimes old stands in the Appalachian Mountains are dying from the invasive woolly adelgid. Growth rate is medium.

Winged Elm

Ulmus alata

D

6–9

F–P

50'–60'

45'–55'

30'–40'

5.5–6.5

X

Noted for the cork-winged branches. Very tolerant of difficult sites. Growth rate is medium to fast.

American Elm

Ulmus americana

D

3–9

F–P

60'–80'

40'–50'

30’–40’

5.5–6.5

X

A nice, well-recognized shade tree with several cultivars, some of which were developed for Dutch elm disease resistance. Growth rate is medium to fast.

Cedar Elm

Ulmus crassifolia

D

7–9

F–P

50'–70'

40'–60'

30’–40’

5.5–7.0

X

Similar to Winged Elm, but without the wings. Withstands a wide range of conditions from wet to dry. Seen more west of Mississippi. Growth rate is slow to medium.

Japanese Zelkova

Zelkova serrata

D

5–8

F–P

50'–80'

30'–60'

20'–40'

6.0–7.0

 

Many cultivars. Has been promoted as an elm replacement. Other Zelkova species have been introduced. Foliage very similar to elm, but bark tends to be smooth. Growth rate is medium.

1 BE = Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; NE = Needled Evergreen; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; and V = Variable.

2 F = Full Sun; P = Part Sun to Part Shade; and S = Shade.

3 Heights provided in this table are general ranges, and some species may get larger over many years, as observed in record champion trees.

4 Native refers to species that are native to the southeastern United States.

Table 2. Invasive landscape trees and suggested alternatives for each.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Foliage1

Zones

Light2

Height3

Width

Spacing

pH range

Regulated4

Reason5

Suggested Alternatives

Trident Maple

Acer buergerianum

D

5–8

F–P

20'–35'

20'–35'

15'–30'

5.5–6.5

 

S

Other medium-height Maple species (Acer spp.)

Norway Maple

Acer platanoides

D

4–7

F–S

40'–50'

30'–40'

27’–40’

6.0–8.0

 

S

Native maple (Acer) species

Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissima

D

4–8

F–P

40'–60'

30'–50'

15'–25'

5.5–8.0

 

B

Other pinnate-leaved trees, such as Pecan

Mimosa

Albizia julibrissin

D

7–9

F–P

20'–30'

20'–30'

23’–35’

5.0–7.0

 

S

Thornless Honeylocust

Tung-oil Tree

Aleurites (Vernicia) fordii

D

8–10

F–P

10'–20'

10'–20'

8'–15'

6.0–7.0

 

S

Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides)

Common Paper Mulberry

Broussonetia papyrifera

D

6–10

F–P

20'–40'

20'–40'

20’–30'

5.5–7.0

 

V

Other mulberries (Morus spp.), native or fruitless

Camphor Tree

Cinnamomum camphora

BE

9–11

F–P

40'–60'

40'–60'

20'–40'

5.5–7.0

 

S

Live Oak, Sweetbay Magnolia, or Southern Magnolia

Harlequin Glorybower

Clerodendrum trichotomum

D

7–9

F–S

5'–10'

5'–8'

5'–8'

5.5–7.0

 

V

Seven-son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides)

Russian-olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia

D

2–7

F

12'–20'

12'–20'

8’–12’

6.0–8.0

 

S

Pineapple Guava for grayish foliage

Autumn Elaeagnus

Elaeagnus umbellata

SE

4–8

F

12'–20'

15'–25'

8’–12’

6.0–8.0

 

S

Pineapple Guava for grayish foliage

Common Pearlbush

Exochorda racemosa

D

4–8

F–S

10'–15'

10'–15'

8'–12'

5.5–7.5

 

S

Small cherry species (Prunus spp.), snowbells (Halesia spp. or Styrax spp.), or hawthorns (Crataegus spp.)

Chinese Parasol Tree

Firmiana simplex

D

7–9

F–P

30'–45'

20'–35'

10’–25’

5.0–7.0

 

S

Bigleaf or Umbrella Magnolia

Japanese Privet

Ligustrum japonicum

BE

7–10

F–S

6'–12'

6'–10'

6'–10'

6.0–7.0

 

S

Osmanthus spp., or other small broadleaf evergreen tree

Glossy Privet

Ligustrum lucidum

BE

7–10

F–S

20'–25'

20'–25'

10’–15’

6.0–7.0

 

S

Osmanthus spp., or other small broadleaf evergreen tree

Chinaberry

Melia azederach

D

7–10

F–P

30'–40'

25'–35'

15’–20’

5.0–7.0

 

B

Lilac Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) or Chastetree (Vitex negundo)

White Mulberry

Morus alba

D

5–9

F–P

30'–50'

25'–45'

20’–25’

6.0–7.5

 

S

Fuitless variety, or native

Royal Paulownia

Paulownia tomentosa

D

5–9

F

30'–40'

30'–40'

20’–25’

6.0–8.0

 

S

Catalpa bignonioides or speciosa; Tilia americana

Chinese Photinia

Photinia serrulata

BE

6–9

F–P

20'–25'

15'–20'

10’–15’

6.0–7.0

 

S

Banana Shrub, Swamp Redbay, Blue Japanese Oak, or other

Trifoliate-orange

Poncirus trifoliata

D

6–9

P–S

8'–20'

4'–15'

4'–15'

5.5–6.5

 

S

Citrus cultivars where hardy, or Wafer-ash

Callery Pear

Pyrus calleryana

D

5–8

F

30'–50'

20'–35'

17’–25’

5.5–6.5

 

S

Includes 'Aristocrat,' 'Bradford,' 'Capital,' and other cutlivars. Replace with medium-height cherry species (Prunus spp.)

Chinese Tallow Tree

Triadica sebifera

D

7–10

F–P

30'–40'

30'–40'

15'–30'

5.5–6.5

X

S

Golden Rain Tree or Panicled Golden Rain Tree

Lacebark Elm

Ulmus parvifolia

D

5–9

F

40'–50'

40'–50'

13’–20’

5.0–7.5

 

S

Japanese Stewartia, or other tree with attractive bark feature

Siberian Elm

Ulmus pumila

D

4–9

F–P

50'–70'

40'–50'

13’–20’

5.5–7.5

 

S

Japanese Zelkova or native elms (Ulmus spp.)

Linden Viburnum

Viburnum dilatatum

D

5–7

F–P

8'–10'

6'–8'

5'–8'

6.0–7.0

 

S

Blackhaw Viburnum or Rusty Blackhaw

1 BE = Broadleaf Evergreen; D = Deciduous; NE = Needled Evergreen; SE = Semibroadleaf Evergreen; and V = Variable.

2 F = Full Sun; P = Part Sun to Part Shade; and S = Shade.

3 Heights provided in this table are general ranges, and some species may get larger over many years, as observed in record champion trees.

4 Regulated as a noxious weed in Mississippi by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

5 Primary reason species is invasive: S=Seed; V=Vegetative Spread; B=Both Seed and Vegetative.


Publication 2679 (POD-05-23)

Reviewed by Jeff Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Written by Victor Maddox, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Plant and Soil Sciences; and Lelia Scott Kelly, PhD, former Extension Professor, North Mississippi Research and Extension Center. Landscape renderings by Richard Martin III.

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Portrait of Dr. Jeff Wilson
Assistant Professor
Horticulture: State Master Gardener Coordinator

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