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TREES & plants

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  • Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum)

    Also known as: Washington hawthorn

    Washington hawthorn is one of the commonly planted hawthorn species. It has the typical white flowers, followed by red fruit that persist into winter. This species is fairly thorny and is prone to the cedar-rust diseases.

    Size Range: 
    • 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

  • Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana)

    Also known as: Wayfaring tree

    Wayfaring tree is a large rounded shrub often used because for its adaptability and reliability. Thick, dark green leaves, white spring flowers, and beautiful clusters of red to yellow to black berries add to the ornamental appeal. Plants often appear ‘leggy,’ so use near the back of the border, in mass, or in groupings. A good plant for naturalizing.

    Size Range: 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • 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

  • White ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus americana)

    Also known as: white ash, American ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), white ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. White ash, a native woodland tree found throughout the Midwest, had been used extensively as a shade and street tree. 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

  • White fir (Abies concolor)

    Also known as: white fir, concolor fir, Colorado fir

    The white fir is a hardy and ornamental North American native evergreen. Its attractive, blue-green needles curve outward and upward on branches and, when crushed, emit a lemon scent. This choice plant tolerates a wide range of conditions, including drought, heat, and cold temperatures.

    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: 
    • North America

  • White mulberry (males or fruitless cultivars) (Morus alba)

    Also known as: white mulberry, common mulberry

    White mulberry can be invasive; look for males or fruitless cultivars. It is an aggressive, often weedy tree native to China. It was originally imported for the silkworm industry, but has since naturalized throughout North America in fencerows, abandoned fields and urban areas.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • White oak (Quercus alba)

    Also known as: white oak

    White oak is a massive, long-lived stately tree with wide-spreading horizontal branches and wine-red fall color. This native tree provides shade for larger landscapes and parks.

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

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

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

  • White poplar (Not recommended) (Populus alba)

    Also known as: white poplar, silver poplar, silver-leaved poplar

    White poplars 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.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • White spruce (Picea glauca)

    Also known as: white spruce, Canadian spruce

    White spruce is a large, pyramidal evergreen with aromatic foliage and uniform habit. This popular garden conifer is native to Canada and the northwestern United States. When sited properly white spruce can be a long-lived attractive addition to any landscape.

    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: 
    • North America

  • White willow (Salix alba)

    Also known as: white willow

    White willow, like other species of willow, is very tolerant of wet sites. It is a fast-growing tree with weak wood that is prone to storm damage. This species is best known for its weeping cultivars ('weeping willows'). This plant has some cultivated varieties.

    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

  • White-forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum)

    Also known as: White-forsythia, white forsythia, Korean abelialeaf

    The white-forsythia is a small shrub with a rounded to arching habit that is great for specimen planting. Its fragrant, white flowers bloom in early spring. Prune after flowering to promote new stem growth and a fuller plant.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Whitespire Senior gray birch (Betula populifolia 'Whitespire')

    Also known as: Whitespire Senior gray birch, Whitespire birch

    This cultivar demonstrates good resistance to bronze birch borer (BBB). The name 'Whitespire' was incorrectly assigned to Betula platyphylla. It is now assigned to Betula populifolia and the plants are often sold under the name 'Whitespire Senior' to avoid confusion.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • North America

  • Whitethorn (Crataegus laevigata)

    Also known as: whitethorn, English hawthorn

    Whitethorn or English hawthorn is a small tree that can be utilized under power lines, but it may be difficult to find in nurseries. Typical of hawthorns, this species has white flowers in spring, followed by red fruits. Stems bear one inch long thorns.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Wild blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis)

    Also known as: Wild blackberry; Common blackberry; Allegheny blackberry

    Wild blackberry is a medium-sized shrub growing throughout roadsides, open fields and wood edges. Sweet, spicy edible fruits, attractive fall color and a valuable food source for wildlife.

    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

  • Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)

    Also known as: Wild hydrangea, Smooth hydrangea, Sevenbark, Tree hydrangea

    Wild hydrangea is a hardy, adaptable shrub grown for its large, cloud-like clusters of early summer flowers that start out pale green and turn to white then eventually fade to brown adding winter interest to the landscape. Since it flowers on the tips of the new growth its flower buds are not diminished by harsh winters. It is native to woodlands in the eastern U.S. For garden purposes, cultivated varieties are more attractive.

    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: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Wild plum (Prunus americana)

    Also known as: wild plum, American red plum, August plum, hog plum

    Wild plum, also called American plum is a small, fast-growing, short-lived, colony-forming native tree, commonly found along fencerows, open fields, and roadsides. Abundant tiny white flowers open before the leaves emerge in spring. Plums appear in late summer.

    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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

    Also known as: Winter honeysuckle

    Winter honeysuckle is an attractive shrub with early-flowering fragrant flowers. However, under the Illinois Exotic Weed Act, it cannot be sold in Illinois. It is also considered invasive in many areas. The information provided here is more for identification purposes rather than a guide to plant selection. This plant is NOT recommended.

    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

  • Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)

    Also known as: Wintercreeper, Wintercreeper euonymus

    Wintercreeper is a fast-growing, versatile ground cover, shrub or vine. Many different cultivars are available. Wintercreeper should be used with care as it is considered invasive in some locations.

    Size Range: 
    • Medium plant (12-24 inches), 
    • Small plant (6-12 inches), 
    • Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)

    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

  • Witherod (Viburnum cassinoides)

    Also known as: Witherod, Witherod viburnum, Swamp viburnum, Appalachian tea viburnum, wild raisin

    Witherod viburnum is a large, upright-spreading, suckering shrub, native to North America. It tolerates both shady and wet sites, excellent for naturalizing, shrub borders and woodland sites. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

    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

  • Woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum)

    Also known as: Woodbine, woodbine honeysuckle

    Woodbine is a type of honeysuckle that vines. This species is very fragrant and has flowers that show a mix of yellow, white, and pink.

    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

  • Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

    Also known as: yellow birch

    Yellow birch, an Illinois native, has a silvery bronze bark that peels into small strips. Fall color is yellow. This species some resistance to bronze birch borer.

    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

  • Yellow buckeye (Aesculus flava)

    Also known as: yellow buckeye, sweet buckeye

    Buckeyes are known for their flower displays in May; yellow buckeyes are no exception. This Illinois native produces yellow flowers in upright clusters measuring up to 6 inches tall. In fall, the leaves display a yellow-orange color. It is susceptible to leaf blotch and 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: 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Yellowroot (Xanthorhiza simplicissima)

    Also known as: yellowroot

    Yellowroot is a small woody perennial forming a dense carpet that reaches 1 to 3 feet high. This east coast native is found in damp woods, stream banks and wet depressions. The best feature is the yellow to red to purple fall color.

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

    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

  • Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)

    Also known as: yellowwood, American yellowwood

    Choose a yellowwood tree for excellent shade in a small- to medium-sized landscape. Note that the branches of the yellowwood are highly susceptible to ice storm damage.

    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

  • Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

    Also known as: yucca, Adam's needle yucca, Adam's needle, Spanish bayonet

    Yucca is a drought-tolerant shrub with stemless, stiff evergreen leaves that end in a narrow point. In late spring a 3- to 6-foot stalk appears with cluster of white, bell-shaped flowers.

    Size Range: 
    • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet), 
    • 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: 
    • North America

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