In the Garden: Unusual tree varieties for fall planting

Published: Oct. 11, 2019 at 3:56 PM EDT
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We aren't planting much in the garden these days, but this is the time of year to plant trees. Charlie Nardozzi has some unusual varieties you might not realize can grow in this area.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, there are some cool looking trees in here and I'm hoping you are going to tell me what they are.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, I will. Because fall is for tree planting and we are up at the UVM Arboretum right on the campus here in Burlington and it's a great place to come to find out all kinds of different trees. There are some beautiful things here and a lot of unusal ones.

Sharon Meyer: They are unusual and I'm sort of surprised that some of them are growing here.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, well they all are obviously hardy here, especially the one that we have right behind us -- that's the dawn redwood.

Sharon Meyer: That is cool.

Charlie Nardozzi: It looks kind of like a redwood because it's kind of in that family. It was lost to mankind until the 1920s when they rediscovered it in China. And now you can buy it and grow it as a regular tree. It can grow up to 70-feet tall, but this one is only going to get maybe 30 or 40-feet tall and it's different from a regular redwood in that it drops all of its leaves in the fall.

But it has a beautiful bark, it grows well, it loves moisture and a full sun location -- a very fast growing tree -- so a nice one to plant if you have a zone 5 location.

And the same with the one behind us. This is the paper bark maple, a beautiful zone 5 tree. It gets about 25-feet tall, but the calling card of course is that beautiful cinnamon colored bark that's just peeling, you can almost imagine snow all around it and how it would really stand out in the winter time.

Now if you want fruit -- and I love fruit -- there's the American persimmon. So you probably know of the regular persimmon, the Asian one. Well, this is an American one. It's hardy to zone 4. It produces those little fruits that turn orange -- they are just starting to turn now.

Sharon Meyer: And those are edible?

Charlie Nardozzi: Well, you don't want to eat them yet because they are very astringent, but when they get really soft and really ripe, then they taste delicious. This is a 30 to 40-foot tall tree. It looks like an avocado almost. It's really kind of a unique tree in the landscape and they are really tough.

And then there is one last shrub I want to throw in -- it's called a ghost bramble. It's a bramble from Tibet, like a blackberry and it has white stems on it so it's really cool when it drops all of it's leaves. It's got these ghostly white stems hanging out in the landscape.

Sharon Meyer: Oh, that's cool

Charlie Nardozzi: So, if you are looking for some ideas, come up to the UVM Arboretum right on the UVM campus.