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TREES & plants

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  • Azalea 'Northern Lights' series (Rhododendron )

    Also known as: Azalea 'Northern Lights' series

    A hardy series of azalea hybrids (Rhododendron) developed for bud hardiness in Minnesota to withstand cold temperatures as low as -35° F without significant damage. Azaleas are deciduous, drop their leaves in fall, and have five stamens in each flower. Should be sited in protective area in a well-drained soil. Numerous colors are available.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum )

    Also known as: bald-cypress, bald cypress, baldcypress, swamp cypress, white-cypress, tidewater red-cypress, gulf-cypress, red-cypress

    This stately conifer, native to the Midwest, often is found in groupings in parks and larger spaces, along streets, and around lakes. Unlike most cone-bearing trees, bald-cypress loses its needles each winter and grows a new set in spring. Hardy and tough, this tree will adapt to a wide range of soil types, whether wet, dry, or even swampy.

    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

  • Balkan pine (Pinus peuce)

    Also known as: Balkan pine, Macedonian pine

    Balkan pine is not well known, but has potential to be an attractive landscape plant in residential yards. This tree may be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    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

  • Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)

    Also known as: balsam fir, balm of Gilead

    Balsam fir is native to the far northern parts of the United States, up into Canada. This evergreen tree has flat, dark green needles with a strong balsam scent. Balsam fir makes a striking figure in the landscape with its narrowly-pyramidal shape, but it does best in cooler northern climates.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 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: 
    • North America

  • Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica )

    Also known as: Bayberry, Northern Bayberry, Candleberry

    A pleasantly aromatic large shrub. Bayberry is an upright-rounded, dense shrub with semi-evergreen dark green, leathery-like leaves and small waxy, persistent blue-gray fruit, which add winter interest and attract many species of birds. Native along the coast of the eastern U. S., can be used in a shrub border, in mass, or informal foundation planting.

    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: 
    • North America

  • Bearberry cotoneaster (Cotoneaster dammeri)

    Also known as: Bearberry cotoneaster

    Bearberry cotoneaster is a low-growing, semi-evergreen shrub reaching 1 to 2 feet high with a 6 feet wide spread. Use in groups on slopes to stabilize soil, ground cover, or front of shrub borders. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), 
    • Large plant (more than 24 inches), 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches), 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)

    Also known as: Beauty bush, Beautybush, beauty-bush

    An old fashion back of the border shrub. Beauty bush lives up to its name in spring when it is covered with pink, bell-shaped flowers. Arching stems and dark green foliage turns a yellow-green in fall. During the rest of the season it offers little in the way of ornamental appeal.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac (Syringa pekinensis 'Zhang Zhiming')

    Also known as: BEIJING GOLD™ Peking lilac

    This cultivar has creamy-yellow flowers; attractive, cinnamon-colored bark; and unique yellow-gold fall color. The Peking lilac is a dependable urban tree and a great choice even for parking lot, boulevard, and parkway plantings. Native to Asia, it is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, amber-colored, peeling bark.

    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

  • Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

    Also known as: Big bluestem, turkeyfoot

    Big bluestem is a native grass and one of the main components of the tallgrass prairies that once covered Illinois. It offers interest in the landscape throughout the winter.

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

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

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

  • Big-leaved hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

    Also known as: big-leaved hydrangea, big leaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, French hydrangea, Japanese hydrangea, lacecap hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, penny mac, hortensia

    Big-leaved hydrangeas are valued for their showy flowers, however, these small shrubs from Japan are generally not flower bud hardy in cold winters in Zone 5 and colder. This type of hydrangea sets its flower buds on the previous year's growth making them more susceptible to freeze damage. In recent years, newer varieties have been developed that are somewhat hardier, but will do better if placed in a protected location and covered with snow throughout the winter.

    Size Range: 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet), 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Big-leaved linden (Tilia platyphyllos)

    Also known as: big-leaved linden, bigleaf linden

    Like other lindens, big-leaved linden produces clusters of very fragrant flowers in early summer. It has an attractive form and can be used as a street tree. This species may be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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

  • Birchleaf spirea (Spiraea betulifolia)

    Also known as: Birchleaved spirea, Birch-leaved spirea

    Birchleaf spirea is a great small, rounded shrub, reaching 3 to 4 feet high. The early summer white flowers, dark green, birch-like leaves turn a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and purple fall color adding seasonal interest and great for butterfly gardens and the front of the shrub border. May be difficult to find in local nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet), 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis )

    Also known as: bitternut hickory, bitternut, swamp hickory

    Bitternut hickory is a large north American native tree, best reserved for larger landscapes. Like all hickories, debris from its fruit drops from late summer throughout autumn, making fall cleanup in urban areas more challenging.

    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), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

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

  • Black ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus nigra)

    Also known as: black ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), black ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. Black ash is a medium-sized, native tree adaptable to wet sites. Currently, ash trees cannot be sold in Illinois. Check with your state for quarantine restrictions.

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

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

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

  • Black cherry (Prunus serotina)

    Also known as: black cherry, wild black cherry

    Black cherry is a large, native tree found in the Midwest and throughout the eastern United States. The showy white flowers appear as pendulous clusters in early spring followed by dark, pea-sized fruits in late summer. The mature bark is dark and scaly, often flipping on the edges.

    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

  • Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa )

    Also known as: Black chokeberry

    Black chokeberry is a dependable small to medium sized shrub with upright, mounded habit. Small clusters of white flowers in spring are followed by glossy black fruit. Dark green foliage turns reddish-purple in the fall.

    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

  • Black Hills spruce (Picea glauca var. densata)

    Also known as: Black Hills spruce

    Black Hills spruce is a small- to medium-height tree with a dense habit and broad, pyramidal form. It is a good addition to residential landscapes or for use in windbreaks.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Black jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens )

    Also known as: Black jetbead

    Whether planted in sun, or heavy shade, the black jetbead will prosper, making it a great shrub for shady sites. Use as a specimen or border plant. Showy white flowers, crisp green foliage, and black fruit clusters make this shrub distinct throughout the growing season.

    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

  • Black locust (Not recommended) (Robinia pseudoacacia)

    Also known as: black locust, common locust

    Black locusts have invasive traits that enable them to spread aggressively. While these trees have demonstrated invasive traits, there is insufficient supporting research to declare them so pervasive that they cannot be recommended for any planting sites. Review of risks should be undertaken before selecting these trees for planting sites. Black locust produces hanging clusters of very fragrant white flowers in spring. This fast-growing native tree can form colonies and has brittle wood. Sharp spines may be present, especially on sucker growth. They are also susceptible to locust borers.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Black maple (Acer saccharum subsp. nigrum)

    Also known as: black maple

    Black maple, once considered a separate species, is now considered a subspecies of sugar maple (Acer saccharum). It displays similar characteristics: dense, rounded crown; dark, furrowed bark; and brilliant fall color. It is a commonly planted tree in this region.

    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), 
    • Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)

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

  • Black oak (Quercus velutina)

    Also known as: black oak

    Black oak, a native of the Chicago region, could be used as a parkway or street tree. Fall color is yellow to yellow-brown. This species is not offered in commerce as often as other oak species.

    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

  • Black poplar (Not recommended) (Populus nigra)

    Also known as: black poplar

    Due to susceptibility to cankers, black poplar is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. Black poplar is difficult to find in the nursery trade due to its short-lived, weedy nature.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)

    Also known as: black raspberry

    Black raspberry is a multi-stemmed, colony-forming shrub with white flowers, edible black fruits and colorful reddish stems in winter.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Black spruce (Picea mariana)

    Also known as: Black spruce, Bog spruce, Swamp spruce

    Black spruce is a small, narrow evergreen tree with a spire-like crown. It has descending branches, with dark, bluish-green needles, and upturned ends. Lower limbs sweep the ground. It is an excellent choice for cold northern climates and tolerant of wet sites.

    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

  • Black walnut (Juglans nigra)

    Also known as: Black walnut, Eastern black walnut

    The black walnut is a Chicago-area native tree that provides excellent shade for large properties. It needs to be sited with care, since the tree produces a chemical that is toxic to some other plants. This tree attracts wildlife including squirrels and the banded hairstreak butterfly.

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

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

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

  • Black willow (Salix nigra)

    Also known as: black willow

    Black willow is a native tree that can tolerate very wet sites. It is fast growing, but may live for only 40 or 50 years. Wood is brittle and the tree may require regular pruning.

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

  • Black-eyed Susan vine (ANNUAL VINE) (Thunbergia alata)

    Also known as: Black-eyed Susan vine

    Black-eyed Susan vine is an annual vines with orange-yellow flowers that resemble black-eyed Susans. This vine is an annual and climbs by twining.

    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

  • Black-haw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium)

    Also known as: Black-haw, Blackhaw, Blackhaw viburnum

    Black-haw viburnum is a large shrub or a small, native tree. In spring new leaves emerge copper-colored followed by white, flat-topped flowers. In fall, black fruits contrast with the pinkish-red foliage. A great plant for naturalized areas.

    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)

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

  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)

    Also known as: blackthorn; sloe

    Blackthorn or sloe is a large deciduous shrub to small tree reaching 9 to 12 feet high with blackish-brown bark and dense, stiff, spiny branches. Native to Europe and western Asia. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    Size Range: 
    • 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

  • Blood-twigged dogwood (Cornus sanguinea )

    Also known as: Blood-twigged dogwood, common dogwood, dogberry, European dogwood, bloodtwig dogwood

    Blood-twigged dogwood is a medium-sized shrub, popular mainly for its straight stems and branches, which turn a mix of green and red in winter. It has flat-topped fluffy clusters of white flowers, more smelly than fragrant, in late summer, followed by small black fruit.

    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: 
    • Non-native

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