- Trees For Zone 8
- Advantages of Buying Trees For Zone 8
- Top 10 Tough Fast-Growing Shade Trees
- Bad Fast-Growing Shade Trees
- Good Fast-Growing Shade Trees
- Tree Planting
- Content Disclaimer:
- Zone 8 Flowering Trees: Growing Flowering Trees In Zone 8 Regions
- Growing Flowering Trees in Zone 8
- Zone 8 Flowering Tree Varieties
Trees For Zone 8
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Advantages of Buying Trees For Zone 8
Buying and planting trees require a minimal investment of money and time compared to the multitude of benefits you will receive in return. Trees add value and beauty to property, help to lower utility bills when strategically planted for shade and windbreaks and will provide children and pets a fun place to play in and under. Before planting trees in your landscape, consider what benefits you want to derive. Different varieties offer different benefits, as these popular types:
These trees types are planted primarily for their shade-giving interests and can provide decades (perhaps centuries) of pleasure. Shade trees help to lower energy usage during the summertime by keeping a home cooler, so less air conditioning is needed. Most of these tree varieties grow slow and are deciduous (lose their leaves in the fall) but certain types of evergreens can also provide a location with the desired respite from the sun’s rays.
Red Maple Trees
Color is what this tall, sturdy tree brings into a landscape. The new leaf growth in the spring have red edges, and in the fall the maple leaves will turn a brilliant red before dropping to the ground. The red maple can grow up to 60 feet in height and need plenty of horizontal space to grow out into as well. Red maple trees are hardy and will spread out to fill up to about a 40 feet space.
The mighty oak tree is so called for good reason; it grows strong, sturdy and reaches majestic heights while providing shade and acorns for wildlife. Classified as a hardwood, oak trees are very resistant to diseases and pests and will last for decades in a landscape. The only downside to having them growing in a landscape is a large number of acorns which drop to the ground during the early fall. Each acorn contains the seed for a new oak tree, and it will quickly sprout, take root and grow unless the acorns are removed from the landscape. Deer and other wildlife love to eat the tasty acorns, so oak trees are an excellent choice to plant at the perimeters of wooded areas.
Dogwoods, ornamental cherry, plum, pear, crabapple, and tulip poplar are just the names of a few flowering trees that will add color, fragrance, and beauty to a landscape. Flowering trees come in a variety of heights which range from a manicured 6-foot tall ornamental fruit tree to a 60-foot tall tulip poplar. Bloom colors span the color gamut, and most will produce a heady fragrance when in full bloom during the spring of the year.
Trees For Zone 8
Top 10 Tough Fast-Growing Shade Trees
August 27, 2018 12:47 pm
Red maples are very fast growing and spectacular in fall.
What makes a fast-growing shade tree exceptional? First, it must be strong-wooded and long lived. Second, it must be attractive, providing desirable seasonal characteristics to make your yard look great. Those that are native, disease resistant, and well-adapted to a given region are also optimal. Finally, they should have minimal messy fruits to reduce the hassle of seasonal clean up.
Bad Fast-Growing Shade Trees
Many popular fast-growing shade trees have serious problems, especially dangerous branch droppers that are weak wooded and split and drop branches (large and small) during wind or ice storms. Silver maple (Acer saccharinum), Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana), and poplars (Populus species), are some of the worst of the branch dropping shade trees, making them both dangerous and expensive.
Others are terribly messy. For example, sweet gums (Liquidambar styraciflua) are elegant, fast-growing native trees with outstanding fall color, but the copious “gum balls” they drop are too messy for most homeowners. There are options for sweet gum lovers though, the cultivar ‘Rotundiloba’ has beautiful gold and burgundy fall color and no fruits. So, in some cases it’s just a matter of searching for the right variety.
Good Fast-Growing Shade Trees
Our top 10 list of fast-growing shade trees contains trees with good attributes, so homeowners can feel confident planting one or more in their yard. With good care, each of these trees can grow more than 24 inches each year, if climate allows. They come in a suite of sizes to fit different landscape settings, but each is strong and beautiful in its own right.
Freeman’s maple is attractive and fast-growing. (Image by Famartin)
Freeman Maple (Acer x freemanii): With a mature height of 40 to 55 feet and USDA Hardiness Zone range of 3 to 8, Freeman maple is an adaptable shade tree with a broad, spreading canopy and outstanding fall color in various shades of red. It is a cross between the troublesome silver maple and strong-wooded red maple (A. saccharinum x A. rubrum), but has all the good traits of the latter. Try the vibrant cultivar Autumn Blaze®, which turns scarlet-red in fall.
Red Maple (Acer rubrum): This tall, resilient native of eastern North America can reach 40 to 70 feet and survive in Zones 3 to 9. It’s smooth, gray bark looks handsome in winter, and its three-lobed leaves turn shades of red, orange, and gold in fall. For an exceptionally hardy variety (Zone 3) try ‘Northwood’, which sports a rounded canopy and consistent orange-red fall color. Redpointe® is another choice variety with pure red fall color. Red maple is adaptable to moist or dry soils.
Bald cypress are not just for moist areas but grow well in regular home landscapes.
Bald Cypress (Taxodium disticum): Though often thought of as a wetland tree, bald cypress also thrives in uplands and average landscape soil. This eastern US native has fast growth, strong wood, and exceptional beauty, making it a winning tree for many homeowners. It’s soft, feathery needles are bright green through the growing season and turn coppery red in fall, forming a natural mulch around the tree’s base. Standard forms can reach 50 to 70 feet and are hardy to Zones 4 to 9, but many shorter cultivated varieties exist for smaller yards, such as the weeping ‘Cascade Falls’ that only reaches 20 feet.
Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus ‘Espresso’): The open, architectural branching of this large, Midwest-native tree lends an elegant look in large landscapes, and grass easily grows beneath it. The tree’s attractive compound leaves turn golden yellow in fall. Each specimen may have male or female flowers, and females produce large, leathery seed pods that can be messy. Thankfully, the male ‘Espresso’ is seedless and has an elegant vase-shaped canopy. Prairie Titan™ is another seedless form with a spreading canopy. This tree will tolerate moist or dry soils and survives in Zones 3 to 8.
The fast-growing thornless honeylocust has pretty yellow fall color.
Thornless Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos forma inermis): Wild forms of this widespread North American tree have vicious thorns that radiate from the trunk, but inermis is completely thorn-free. Mature height ranges from 30 to 70 feet, and Zones range from 4 to 10. Trees may have male or female flowers. Female forms develop drooping strands of white, fragrant, bee-pollinated flowers followed by undulating, brown, seed-filled pods. These are messy, so several seedless male forms have been selected, including ‘Suncole’, which has yellow spring and fall foliage, and ‘Moraine’, which has dark green summer leaves that turn gold in fall.
The leaves of this fast-growing, fire-resistant oak turn yellow and orange in fall.
California White Oak (Quercus lobata): The rounded canopy and fast-growing nature of this grand white oak makes it an excellent choice for western landscapes. Mature specimens can reach up to 70 feet and survive in Zones 7 to 11. In fall its deep green turn shades of yellow and orange. This fire-resistant oak is also remarkably drought tolerant and an essential wildlife tree popular for restoration plantings.
English walnuts develop attractive rounded canopies with age.
Carpathian English Walnut (Juglans regia ‘Carpathian’): This unusually fast-growing walnut reaches 40–60 feet at maturity and has the advantage of bearing delicious English walnuts in the fall. It is hardy to Zones 5 to 9 and develops a large, rounded canopy with age. Plant two or more trees for best nut production. Nuts may be produced in 4 to 8 years after planting.
Massive golden summer blooms make this fast-growing tree especially welcome in home landscapes.
Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata): Maturing to a sizable 40 feet, golden rain tree offers some of the most spectacular flowers of midsummer. The branches of this East Asian native become covered with large sprays of golden flowers followed by papery seed capsules that look like Japanese lanterns. The fall leaves turn pale yellow. It survives in Zones 5 to 8, but may suffer during periods of high summer heat. Summerburst® is a vigorous selection that is more tolerant of summer heat and has extra glossy leaves.
Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata): This elm relative from East Asia is prized for its adaptability and lovely vase-shaped canopy. It is hardy in Zones 5 to 8 and can reach up to 80 feet when mature. It’s finely toothed leaves turn from deep green to orange yellow in fall. Japanese zelkova will tolerate some drought and grows well in urban settings.
Chinese scholar tree is an elegant, spreading tree with beautiful summer flowers.
Chinese Scholar Tree (Sophora japonicum): Maturing to a stately height of 50 to 75 feet, Chinese scholar tree is a real beauty that bears drooping clusters of fragrant white flowers in summer that attract bees. Small, beaded pods follow, which are easy to clean. In fall, its compound leaves turn a pleasing shade of yellow. The cultivar Regent® is even faster growing and reaches a more manageable height of 45 feet.
These hardy trees can be planted in spring or fall and may be purchased from nurseries as smaller container-grown plants or larger balled and burlapped specimens. Larger trees initially look better, but they can be slower to establish.
When planting your new tree, dig a planting hole to the same depth as the root ball and three (or more) times as wide. Place the dug backfill on a large tarp or in a wheelbarrow to keep your lawn tidy. (If you have heavy clay soil, you may want to dig the hole a bit deeper for more deep-down amendment, and then bring it back up to the rootball’s depth before planting.)
Amend the back fill with a 1:2 ratio of Fafard Premium Natural and Organic Compost, and mix it in well. Sprinkle in an all-purpose tree fertilizer, using the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding quantity.
Place the tree in the center of the hole, making sure the top of the rootball meets the soil line of your yard and the tree is straight (first-year staking may be required). Then fill in with the amended backfill. Push the fill in around the edges to make sure there are no air pockets. Water deeply after planting and then add 2 to 3 inches of bark mulch in a circle around the newly planted tree, being sure to keep mulch away from the trunk.
Water your newly planted tree one or two times a week for at least two months. During dry spells, your tree will need supplemental water for at least a year after planting. Then watch it grow and change yearly until it has become the perfect shade-tree for your home’s landscape.
About Jessie Keith
Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.
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Zone 8 Flowering Trees: Growing Flowering Trees In Zone 8 Regions
Flowering trees and zone 8 go together like peanut butter and jelly. This warm, mild climate is perfect for so many trees that flower in zone 8. Use these trees to add spring blooms to your yard, for their gorgeous scents, and to attract pollinators like bees and hummingbirds.
Growing Flowering Trees in Zone 8
Zone 8 is a pretty great climate for gardening. You get a nice, long growing season with plenty of warmth and mild winters that don’t get too cold. If you’re in zone 8, you have a lot of options for growing flowering trees, and doing so is easy.
Be sure that you do your research on what the zone 8 flowering tree varieties that you choose need to thrive: the right amount of sun or shade, the best kind of soil, sheltered or open space, and the level of drought tolerance. Once you plant your tree in the right spot and get it established, you should find it takes off and requires minimal care.
Zone 8 Flowering Tree Varieties
There are so many flowering zone 8 trees that you will be able to choose whichever varieties you want based on color, size, and other factors. Here are some notable examples of flowering trees that thrive in zone 8:
Venus dogwood. Dogwood is a classic spring bloom, but there are a lot of cultivars you may not have heard of, including Venus. This tree produces exceptionally large and stunning flowers, up to six inches (15 cm.) across.
American fringe tree. This is a truly unique option. A native plant, American fringe produces fuzzy white flowers later in the spring as well as red berries that will attract birds.
Southern magnolia. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough to grow a southern magnolia tree, you can’t beat it. The glossy green leaves alone are pretty enough, but you also get beautiful, creamy white flowers in spring and throughout the summer.
Crape myrtle. The small crape myrtle tree produces clusters of bright flowers in the summer, and they will linger into the fall. Zone 8 is the perfect climate for this popular landscaping tree.
Royal empress. For a fast-growing tree that also flowers in zone 8, try the royal empress. This is a great choice for getting quick shade and for pretty lavender flowers that burst forth each spring.
Carolina silverbell. This tree will grow to 25 or 30 feet (8 to 9 m.) and produce pretty, white, bell-shaped flowers in great profusion in the spring. Carolina silverbell trees also make a good companion plant for rhododendron and azalea shrubs.