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TREES & plants

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  • ACCOLADE™ elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica 'Morton')

    Also known as: ACCOLADE™ elm

    The ACCOLADE™ elm is a Chicagoland Grows® selection that demonstrates very good resistance to Dutch elm disease (DED), and elm leaf beetle. It is useful as a street, parkway, or shade tree. This elm has glossy green leaves and yellow fall color.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Alabama snow wreath (Neviusia alabamensis)

    Also known as: Alabama snow wreath, snow wreath, Alabama snow-wreath, snow-wreath

    Alabama snow wreath is a colony-forming, upright, open shrub with exfoliating reddish-brown stems and clusters of white, fuzzy, bottle brush-like flowers. Native in the southeastern U. S. Unusual shrub and may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis)

    Also known as: Alaska cedar, Alaska-cedar, yellow cypress, Nootka falsecypress

    Alaska cedar in an interesting medium-sized evergreen tree with gray-green to blue-green foliage that droops from widely spaced branches. Native to moist bottomlands in the Pacific Northwest, it needs consistently moist soil. This plant is also known as false cypress.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Allegheny serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis)

    Also known as: Allegheny serviceberry, smooth shadbush, Juneberry

    Allegheny serviceberry is a small native understory tree with four-season interest. The early white spring flowers, outstanding orange-red fall color, and striking gray bark make it a lovely specimen for any landscape. The edible purplish-black fruit in late summer is attractive to many birds.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum)

    Also known as: Alpine currant

    Alpine currant (Ribes alpinum) is a hardy, low mounded shrub commonly used as a hedge. Plants are tolerant of full sun to full shade. Very low maintenance with no ornamental appeal than its dense green foliage.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • American basswood (Tilia americana)

    Also known as: American basswood, American linden, basswood

    American basswood is native to the Chicago area and is often used as a specimen or dense shade tree. Its heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers in June make it especially attractive for people, while songbirds and blue jays are attracted to its seeds and use the tree for shelter.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American beech (Fagus grandifolia)

    Also known as: American beech

    American beech is a large, graceful native tree, excellent for large, park-like landscapes where it has room to spread its wide, low-growing branches. The massive trunk has beautiful silver gray bark; the dark green summer foliage turns a golden bronze in the fall. Leaves typically hang on well into the winter months adding to the seasonal interest.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

    Also known as: American bittersweet, Climbing bittersweet

    American bittersweet is a climbing vine that twines around its support. Its attractive feature is its autumn fruit, a yellow-orange three-lobed capsule with showy orange-red seeds. For fruit, American bittersweet needs both male and female vines and should be should be sited in full sun and pruned in early spring. Do not confuse this vine with Oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus, an invasive plant. This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American black currant (Ribes americanum)

    Also known as: American black currant; wild black currant

    American black currant is a thornless, erect native shrub with showy yellow flowers in early spring followed by edible black berries in mid-summer. Excellent for moist shady sites.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

    Also known as: American bladdernut, Bladdernut, Bladder nut

    American bladdernut is a large, native, under story shrub or compact tree, often forming thickets in undisturbed landscapes. Beautiful clusters of drooping, tubular white flowers appear in early spring, followed by unusual bladder-like seed pods, which are persistent long into the winter months. A great plant for naturalizing or shady woodlands.

    Size Range: 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American chestnut (Castanea dentata)

    Also known as: American chestnut

    The American chestnut was once the king of the forest. It was a magnificent tree used for lumber and for food. Then the chestnut blight came in and began to decimate this species in the early 1900s. The American chestnut is not extinct. It survives in the wild in the form of root systems and stump sprouts. There are also ongoing efforts to develop trees that are resistant to the disease.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American cranberry-bush (Viburnum opulus var. americanum)

    Also known as: American cranberry-bush, American cranberry-bush viburnum, American cranberrybush viburnum

    This native viburnum offers ornamental interest throughout the seasons; flowers in spring, red fruit in late summer and red fall color.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American elm (Ulmus americana)

    Also known as: American elm

    Elms are loved for their graceful, stately shape, with branches like spreading fountains, and their green leaves that turn gold in fall. Sadly, the American elm can no longer be recommended because it is vulnerable to a devastating pathogen called Dutch elm disease. For cultivars of American Elm that are resistant to Dutch elm disease, see below.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American hazelnut (Corylus americana)

    Also known as: American hazelnut, American Filbert, American hazel

    American hazelnut is a thicket-forming native shrub, excellent for naturalizing, woodland gardens and shade areas. Showy male flowers (catkins) add early spring interest, dark green leaves turn a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors in the fall. The nuts mature from September to October, attracting seed-eating birds, such as blue jays and woodpeckers.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American holly (Ilex opaca)

    Also known as: American holly

    American holly is a broad-leaved evergreen tree reaching 40 to 50 feet high, densely pyramidal in youth becoming more open and symmetrically conical with age. The dark green, elliptical leaves have several spiny teeth along the leaf margin. Plants grow best in low, acid pH soils in part shade. Avoid windy sites. Trees are either male or female and require several to get fruit production.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

    Also known as: American hornbeam, musclewood, blue beech

    The American hornbeam is a native forest understory tree in the Chicago area, making it useful for shady landscapes and naturalized or woodland gardens. New leaves emerge reddish-purple, changing to dark green, then turn yellow to orange-red in the fall, offering a kaleidoscope of color throughout the year.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American Sentry® linden (Tilia americana 'McKSentry')

    Also known as: American Sentry® linden, American Sentry® basswood

    The American Sentry linden is reported to have some resistance to Japanese beetle. It is a dense shade tree with heart-shaped leaves and fragrant flowers; this cultivar is particularly symmetrical. This is a cultivated variety of a native plant.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • American smoke tree (Cotinus obovatus)

    Also known as: American smoke tree, American smoketree, Chittamwood

    American smoke tree (Cotinus obovatus; syn. Cotinus americanus) is a native of North America, but is little used in home landscapes. This small to medium tree produces the same 'smoke' (hairy fruit stalks) as it's Eurasian cousin, smoke bush and also offers excellent fall color.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)

    Also known as: American wisteria, American wistaria

    American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens; syn. Wistaria frutescens) is a woody vine that produces beautiful hanging clusters of purple flowers. This species is native to North America. It is a good alternate to the Japanese and Chinese wisterias that have become invasive in some areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Amur cherry (Prunus maackii)

    Also known as: Amur cherry, Amur chokecherry, Manchurian cherry

    Amur cherry is an ornamental tree native to Manchuria, Siberia, and Korea. It has beautiful amber to reddish-brown flaking bark; clusters of fragrant, white hanging flowers in spring; and red maturing to black fruit.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Amur corktree (male only) (Phellodendron amurense)

    Also known as: Amur corktree, Amur cork tree

    Amur corktree can be invasive. Look for male cultivars which do not produce the messy fruit that females do.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Amur maackia (Maackia amurensis)

    Also known as: Amur maackia

    Amur maackia is a compact, rounded tree for smaller landscapes. The compound leaves emerge silvery-green in spring changing to medium green in summer. White, spiky flowers appear in mid-summer when little else is flowering and showy, mottled olive-green bark adds to winter interest.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Amur maple (Not recommended) (Acer ginnala)

    Also known as: Amur maple

    Amur maple has invasive traits that enable it to spread aggressively. This tree is under observation and may be listed on official invasive species lists in the near future. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting this tree for planting sites.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Angelica tree (Aralia elata)

    Also known as: Angelica tree, Japanese angelica tree

    This unusual plant is hard to define. It grows tall enough in the wild to be a tree, but is often a large shrub in landscapes. Large clusters of tiny white flowers appear in late summer followed by small, black fruit. Stems are thorny. Angelica tree has become invasive in a few areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Anglo-Japanese yew (Taxus media)

    Also known as: Ango-Japanese yew, Anglojap yew, English yew, Japanese yew

    Anglo-Japanese yew is a very popular hybrid between English and Japanese yew species often used as hedges, specimens and foundation plants. Hardy and resilient, yews are very tolerant of urban conditions and are one of the few evergreens that tolerate heavy shade.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Annual sweet pea (ANNUAL VINE) (Lathyrus odoratus)

    Also known as: Annual sweet pea, sweet pea

    Annual sweet pea is similar in appearance to the perennial sweet pea, except that it comes in a wider range of colors and the flowers are fragrant.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Apple serviceberry (Amelanchier grandiflora)

    Also known as: apple serviceberry, juneberry, shadblow

    Apple serviceberry is a wonderful four-season tree with white flowers in the spring, blue-green leaves that turn red in the fall, blue-black edible berries, and smooth silver-gray bark. Excellent for a woodland garden, naturalized setting, or as a specimen plant in a garden. This tree is a hybrid of two native species of serviceberry.

    Size Range: 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides)

    Also known as: Atlantic white-cedar, Swamp white-cedar, Southern white-cedar

    Atlantic white-cedar is an attractive plant, but is not commonly found in landscapes. It may be difficult to find in nurseries as well. This tree requires moist to wet sites and is very intolerant of drought.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Austrian pine (Not recommended) (Pinus nigra)

    Also known as: Austrian pine

    Due to susceptibility to many diseases and pests, Austrian pines are not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Autumn moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis)

    Also known as: Autumn moor grass

    Autumn moor grass is a cool-season, clumping grass, with foliage that is semi-evergreen to evergreen (depending on climate). Flowers are less showy than many other grasses but the plants are durable and can tolerate light shade.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches)

    Light Exposure: 
    • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
    • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

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