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TREES & plants

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  • Downy hawthorn (Crataegus mollis)

    Also known as: downy hawthorn

    Downy hawthorn has the typical white flowers and red fruit of hawthorns, but is not always as thorny as other species. This native tree is beautiful, but is prone to the cedar rust diseases.

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

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

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

  • Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)

    Also known as: downy serviceberry, juneberry, serviceberry

    Downy serviceberry is a four-season plant offering white flowers in spring, small red berries in summer, excellent fall color and gray bark in winter. The fruit is usually eaten very quickly by birds.

    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

  • Dutchman's pipe (Aristolochia durior)

    Also known as: Dutchman's pipe, pipevine

    Dutchman's pipe is a vigorous twining vine that serves as a food source for the pipevine swallowtail butterfly and its caterpillars. Also known as Aristolochia macrophylla.

    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: 
    • North America

  • Dwarf Dogwood (Cornus pumila)

    Also known as: Dwarf dogwood, Dwarf red-tipped dogwood, Dwarf redtwig dogwood

    Dwarf dogwood, also known as red tipped dogwood is a small compact, mounded shrub reaching 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. New leaves emerge purplish-red leaf and leaf tips remain red as the rest of leaf matures to green. In late spring, abundant clusters of slightly fragrant flowers attract butterflies. The mature black fruit are a favorite of birds. Use in a group or as a low hedge.

    Size Range: 
    • 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

  • Dwarf fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenii)

    Also known as: Dwarf fothergilla, Dwarf witch-alder

    Dwarf fothergilla is a small, multi-season shrub with white, bottle brush-like flowers in spring, blue-green leaves in summer turning a kaleidoscope of color in autumn.

    Size Range: 
    • 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: 
    • North America

  • Early Forsythia (Forsythia ovata)

    Also known as: Early forsythia, Korean forsythia

    Early forsythia is a harbinger of spring when bright yellow, bell-shaped flowers lighten the spring landscape long before other plants are awake. Shrubs reach 4 to 6 feet high and wide with a dense, erect habit and slightly arching canes.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Early spirea (Spiraea thunbergii)

    Also known as: Early spirea, Thunberg spirea, Thunberg's meadowsweet

    Early spirea or Thunberg spirea is one of the first spireas to flower in early spring. The 3- to 5-feet-high shrub starts out with lovely white umbel-shaped flowers, followed by fine-textured, light green foliage that eventually changes to a bronzy-orange fall color. Great plant for accent or used in a shrub border.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

    Also known as: Eastern arborvitae, Northern white cedar, Eastern white cedar, American arborvitae

    The eastern arborvitae is an extremely common evergreen tree or shrub, used often as a specimen, in hedges, or for privacy. The small cones open up to look like small flowers and appeal to birds. There are many cultivars that vary in height and other characteristics. On some varieties, the foliage may discolor in winter.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Compact tree (10-15 feet), 
    • 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: 
    • Chicago area, 
    • Illinois, 
    • North America

  • Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

    Also known as: Eastern cottonwood, Eastern poplar

    Eastern cottonwood is a large, fast-growing tree found growing along streams, rivers, and lowland areas. It is native to eastern North America through the Midwest and Chicago region. Due to its large size, weak wood, and penetrating roots, it is best used on large properties away from residential areas.

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

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

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

  • Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

    Also known as: eastern hemlock, Canada hemlock, Canadian hemlock

    One of the more shade-tolerant evergreens, the eastern hemlock has many uses as a specimen, sheared as a hedge, or planted for screening. Native to the eastern United States, the hemlock resembles a large Christmas tree with its broadly pyramidal, pendulous branches; fine, dark-green needles; and abundant brown cones that hang from branches like small ornaments.

    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, 
    • North America

  • Eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

    Also known as: eastern red-cedar, red cedar, eastern redcedar, upright juniper, eastern red cedar juniper

    Eastern red-cedar is native to North America. These cold-hardy, adaptable evergreen trees serve many purposes in the landscape, especially in sites that are dry, alkaline or windy. Because they are quite salt-tolerant, they can be used near roads, driveways, and sidewalks.

    Size Range: 
    • Large tree (more than 40 feet), 
    • Medium tree (25-40 feet), 
    • Small tree (15-25 feet), 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet), 
    • Medium shrub (5-8 feet), 
    • Small shrub (3-5 feet)

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

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

  • Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)

    Also known as: Eastern white pine, white pine

    The Eastern white pine is a tree for landscapes with ample space. Its fine feathery needles, open canopy, and straight trunk get more picturesque with age. Trees are fast-growing and long-lived.

    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

  • Elm cultivars (Ulmus)

    Also known as: Elm

    A number of elms are available that can resist the pathogen that causes the devastating Dutch elm disease. Since the disease first began mowing down American elms in the 1930s, scientists and breeders have been developing alternatives. Most of these trees are hybrids that cross various species of American, Asian and European elms. Some are selections of species that were observed to resist the disease. Not all these trees have the characteristic vase- or fountain-shaped arching branch structure of the beloved American elm, but some come close. Some also have resistance to other disease and pests that trouble elms. As time goes on, better cultivars are developed, but some of the older ones may still be on the market.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • Emerald Triumph viburnum (Viburnum 'Emerald Triumph')

    Also known as: Emerald Triumph viburnum

    Emerald Triumph viburnum is a cross between Viburnum rhytidophylloides ‘Allegheny’ and Viburnum burejaeticum. The compact rounded shrub has white, flat-topped flowers followed by persistent green to red to black fruits. The thick, leathery dark green leaves turn yellow and red in the fall.

    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

  • English ivy (Hedera helix)

    Also known as: English ivy

    English ivy is a versatile plant that functions as both a ground cover and a vine. It's evergreen foliage provides interest year round. This plant can grow aggressively and it considered invasive in some areas.

    Size Range: 
    • Large plant (more than 24 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

  • English oak (Quercus robur)

    Also known as: English oak, truffle oak, pedunculate oak

    English oak is a long-lived oak with a broadly rounded to spreading habit with a short trunk. It is an excellent specimen tree or can be planted in a grouping in large open landscapes. The acorns form a valuable food source for several small mammals and some birds but trees may take up to 20 years to produce fruit.

    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

  • Eurasian smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria)

    Also known as: Eurasian smoke tree, smoke tree, smoke bush, smoketree, smokebush

    The outstanding feature of Eurasian smoke tree is the large, airy, plume-like stalks that hold the small flowers. These are covered with hairs that provide the appearance of a puff of smoke.

    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: 
    • Non-native

  • European ash (Not recommended) (Fraxinus excelsior)

    Also known as: European ash, common ash

    Due to susceptibility to emerald ash borer (EAB), European ash is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually requires removal and/or replacement. European ash is a large shade tree found throughout Europe which is hardy to the Midwest. 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: 
    • Non-native

  • European beech (Fagus sylvatica)

    Also known as: European beech, common beech

    European beech is a large, graceful tree appropriate for large properties like parks.  This species has smooth silvery gray bark and a low branching pattern.

    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

  • European black alder (Not recommended) (Alnus glutinosa)

    Also known as: European black alder, European alder, Common alder

    European black alder 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: 
    • 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

  • European cranberry-bush viburnum (not recommended) (Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus))

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

    European cranberry-bush viburnum is an attractive, multi-season interest shrub, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended. The similar, native American cranberry-bush viburnum (Vibrunum opulus var. americanum) is a more recommended substitute. It has the same ornamental features and is native to North America.

    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

  • European elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

    Also known as: European elderberry, Common elderberry

    European elderberry is a large, multi-stemmed, rounded shrub. Plants are colony-forming and best used for naturalizing in moist to wet landscapes. The flap-topped, white,fragrant flowers appear in early summer, followed by clusters of purple fruit in mid-to-late summer.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum)

    Also known as: European fly honeysuckle

    European Fly Honeysuckle is a large rounded shrub with arching branches and blue-to-gray green foliage. A popular, old-fashioned shrub used for hedges and screening.

    Size Range: 
    • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European hazelnut (Corylus avellana)

    Also known as: European hazelnut, European filbert, European hazel, filbert, giant filbert, hazelnut, cobnut

    European hazelnut is often grown as a large shrub, but it can also be used as a small tree. This species produces edible hazelnuts or filberts.

    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

  • European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus )

    Also known as: European hornbeam, upright hornbeam, common hornbeam

    European hornbeams are excellent in groupings around large buildings and also useful as screens, hedges, and windbreak trees. The European hornbeam has densely textured foliage and handsome, slate-gray smooth to fluted bark. The dark green leaves turn an attractive yellow in the fall, and the bark and buds are ornamental in winter.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European larch (Larix decidua)

    Also known as: European larch, common larch

    European larch is a great choice for specimen plantings or in groups for parks and large areas. Unlike most conifers, it drops its needles in winter. Bright green foliage in spring changes to medium green throughout summer, turning a golden yellow in fall before falling.

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

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)

    Also known as: European Mountain Ash, Rowan,Rowantree, Common Mountainash

    European mountain ash, or Rowan tree, is a small, 20 to 40 feet tall with white, flat-topped flowers, smooth gray bark, and clusters of bright red, persistent fruits. Native to cooler climates of Europe and Asia, often prone to many insect and disease problems when grown in warm climates. May be difficult to find in nursery trade.

    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

  • European privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

    Also known as: European privet, Wild privet, English privet, Primwort

    Common or European privet is a wide spreading shrub often used as a hedge or for screening unwanted views, reaching 10 to 12 feet high and wide. Clusters of fragrant white flowers in mid-June are followed by blue-black berries. This plant is considered invasive by Midwest Invasive Plant Network and should be used cautiously.

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

    Native Locale: 
    • Non-native

  • European white alder (Alnus incana)

    Also known as: European white alder, white alder, gray alder

    European white alder is a fast-growing tree that may be considered as a street tree. Early spring flowers are interesting, but not really showy. This tree may be difficult to find in local 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

  • European white birch (Not recommended) (Betula pendula)

    Also known as: European white birch, silver birch, warty birch, weeping birch

    Due to susceptibility to bronze birch borer (BBB), European white birch is not recommended for planting anywhere in this region and usually require removal and/or replacement. This tree has an attractive pendulous habit. European white birch was once used extensively in landscapes, but its high susceptibility to the bronze birch borer has limited its use in more recent years.

    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

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