Birds in Paradise

Volunteers and staff have re-purposed colorful old event banners into stitched tapestry bird banners to adorn arboretum specimens that offer particular winter interest. Plants with attractive bark, winter fruit or unique habit or foliage sport banners with bird images on one side and horticultural info on the other.

  1. Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides)

The Hardy Rubber Tree is typically grown as an ornamental shade tree because of its attractive glossy green foliage and its excellent resistance to insect and disease problems. As the common name suggests, rubber can in fact be made from the tree sap, but the extraction process is very complicated.

2. Water Oak (Quercus nigra)

A native of North America, the water oak shows tremendous potential in its adaptability. The acorns are particularly abundant on water oak and make good food for wildlife.

3. London Plane Tree (Platanus x acerifolia ‘Yarwood’)

Hybrid of American Plane tree (sycamore) (Platanus occidentalis) and Asian Plane tree (Platanus orientalis). The tree tolerates pollution and other urban conditions well. It features dense canopy that is great for shade and displays brown flaking bark to reveal a striking cream color.

4. Big-leaf Magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla)

This North American native tree is deciduous in most areas. During the winter, its silvery grey bark stands out and at the end of each branch is a large fuzzy bud. When it drops its leaves at the end of fall, it looks like newspaper covering the ground. This tree has the largest flower of any tree in North America. Come back in June to see this spectacular tree in bloom!

5. Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’)

Attractive foliage with burgundy red coloring turns brilliant scarlet in the fall. The interesting coppery bark provides striking interest in the winter.

6. White Fir (Abies concolor)

White fir has good foliage color, a nice natural shape, pleasing aroma and good needle retention. The bark on younger trees is thin, smooth, gray with numerous resin-bearing pockets. Old bark is thicker, reddish-brown to light gray and broken into irregular, flattened scales.

7. Possumhaw (Ilex decidua)

Light gray stems and bright red berries are enough to make the possumhaw holly an attractive shrub during the winter. Bunches of berries form along the branches and turn bright red as the leaves fall off. Only female plants bear fruit.

8. Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)

Paperbark maples are prized for their beautiful copper orange exfoliating bark, creating a showpiece in the winter garden.

9. Hedge Maple (Acer campestre)

Hedge Maple is usually low-branched with a rounded form, but there is considerable variability from one tree to another. Because of its dense foliage, landscapers commonly use it in clipped hedges, hence the common name. The bark is gray-brown with corky fissures and ridges, later becoming shallowly ridged and furrowed.

10. Weeping Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Amazing Grace’)

During the winter, the shape of the Weeping Katsura is most notable. Its curved branches and deeply textured bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape. This tree is a part of Theodore Klein’s Sad Garden. Klein planted this grouping of weeping trees so they could share their misery!