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September, 2020
Multi-stem Vine Maples

We have a stunning selection of Acer circinatum 'Vine Maple' (multi stem) currently available.  
These are field grown vine maple planted from small seedlings, not the tall skinny field collected ones that struggle to survive in our exposed landscapes. Many are broad, dense, multi-stem specimens that will grow to fill important landscapes that you will be proud of.
We grow approximately 180 varieties of trees but here are some we have that are hard to find:

  • Nyssa & cultivars
  • Parrotia & cultivars
  • Carpinus caroliniana & cultivars
  • Ginkgo & cultivars
  • Quercus garryana
  • Tree Lilacs
  • Snowcone Styrax  
  • Many more
Tree Profiles Update
September 2020

For this quarter, I've compiled an update of what we have observed about the performance of different species and cultivars. I have reviewed over 70 trees that we have had on our website as 'Tree Profiles' over the last many years. We have learned a lot of helpful information about tree growth and performance.  Remember, these are my observations, limited to these specific trees grown in western Washington. Your conditions and results may vary. Consider these trees for enhancing your planting efforts:
·        Redpointe ® Maple, (Acer rubrum ‘Frank Jr.) If I had to plant any red maple right now, I would choose the Redpointe Maple. Among other red maples, it appears the Redpointe has the strongest central leader, best branch attachment along with a great form, leaf size, red twigs and petioles, and fall color that I have seen so far.
·        Urban Sunset® maple, (Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘JFS-KW-187’). Compared to its close relatives, Pacific Sunset® and Norwegian Sunset®, the Urban Sunset® maple is the better choice because of its slightly more narrow form. Although all three are great, fast-growing, drought-tolerant, medium size maturing, great fall color trees, the Pacific Sunset® and Norwegian Sunset® have very broad crowns and take up lots of lateral space as they grow. 
·        American hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana.  I have always been a fan of the American hornbeam but there is a little too much variability with form and fall color in the seedling grown trees.  Consider checking out the improved cultivars of: ‘Firespire’, Fire King’, ‘Native Flame®’, ‘Palisade’, and Rising Fire®.
·        Tupelo cultivars, Nyssa sylvatica cvs. – We are now growing and evaluating 12 Nyssa cultivars. WhyThis species appears tolerant of wet and dry conditions, has few if any insect or disease issues, and has bright green shiny leaves that can turn the most spectacular red color in the fall. They are considered a medium to large maturing tree with a size that ranges from 25 feet wide to 45 feet tall. And, its roots are typically growing more downward than lateral, with less chance of infrastructure damage. Our evaluation of young trees in a nursery setting is very limited, but we are certainly beginning to see differences, between the different cultivars. I expect to continue to learn a lot more about these over the next decades. (Note: Unlike ginkgo cultivars, some of these cultivars are females, but the fruit is relatively small.) Here are some of my observations. 
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'David Odom' (Afterburner®) Female-My favorite because of its dense full form and spectacular fall color.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Forum' (Forum) Female-Excellent upright form, faster grower, but not so dense and less fall color.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Green Gable' (Green Gable) Male - My second favorite because of its dense full form and spectacular fall color.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Haymanred' (Red Rage®) Male- Largest leaf with a drooping appearance.
o  Nyssa Sylvatica 'JFS-PN Legacy1' (Gum Drop®) Male-Apparently slower-growing, more dense crown, smallest maturing of all Nyssa, likely not over 30 feet.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'JFS-red' (Firestarter®) Male - Slower growth, with about 5% of its larger leaves showing unusual early bright red fall coloring scattered throughout the crown in late summer.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Northern Splendor' (Northern Splendor) Female-Most cold hardy, darkest green leaf, with great fall color and having the most fruit, although fruit is very small.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Red Splyndor®' (Red Splyndor®) Female - Just planted, so waiting to see what it offers.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'The James' (Forest Fire™) Female I think - Just planted, so waiting to see what it offers.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Tupelo Tower' (Tupelo Tower) Female -Supposedly the most upright form and good fall color.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Wildfire' (Wildfire) Male -Most dense and unusual of all Nyssa’s, with red-tipped leaves early in the season, then all green in late summer and the last to color red and drop its leaves. I have seen a loss of apical dominance on the main leader of some older specimens.
o  Nyssa sylvatica 'Zydeco Twist' (Zydeco Twist) Male - Crazy fun, curly limbs, and twigs. This is likely more suited for a garden or plaza than a street tree to maybe 25 feet. (Not to be confused as herbicide damaged).
·        Kentucky Coffeetree, Gymnocladus dioicusThis tree is ugly in youth but grand as it matures. Sparse and naked limbs in winter form, suggest limited canopy but produce a dense canopy of bi-pinnately compound leaves with bluish tint make this a highly desirable drought-tolerant tree. Seek male cultivars like ‘Espresso’, ‘Decaf®’, ‘Skinny Latte, and ‘True North’ to avoid fruit. This looks like a tough tolerant tree.
·        Persian Ironwood, Parrotia persica. The straight species and narrower cultivars of ‘Ruby Vase’, ‘Vanessa’, and ‘Golden Belltower’ continue to be impressive.  I had high hopes for a fourth cultivar, ‘Persian Spire’, a slow-growing narrow dwarf form with a beautiful purple edged leaf, but early warming, a late spring frost last year killed the tops of every tree in our and other nurseries in the area. Time will tell if it was an anomaly.
·        Elm, Ulmus spp. – We continue to narrow down the potentially large number of disease resistance elms available on the market for us to grow. ‘Princeton’ is our favorite largest maturing specimen with its familiar American elm vase-shaped form and yellow fall color. ‘Frontier’ is a popular middle size maturing tree up to 45 feet with round form and purple fall leaf color. ‘Emerald Sunshine® is one of the smallest elms maturing at 35 feet with great leaves, form, and bright yellow fall color. All elms are tough and drought tolerant, but need regular pruning in youth and early structural training as they grow. Once established, elms will grow literally like weeds. Corrective and suppression pruning must be applied at appropriate intervals to keep most young elms in check and to produce balanced and appropriate canopy development.
As always, I appreciate hearing from others about their experiences so that we can learn from each other.

Jim Barborinas and
Christina Pfeiffer
Urban Forestry Services | Bartlett Consulting
Urban Forest Nursery, Inc
2020 Available Inventory
Click below to see our latest inventory list. We will be updating it soon and will send out monthly emails to ensure our customers always have the most current information on our availability.
As always, we invite our customers to come check out our production facility in Mount Vernon, WA, including our new RFID Inventory system.  Give us a call and set up your appointment today!
  We have reached our pledge of $100,000 to the TREE Fund Endowment Campaign to fund research, with a special emphasis on root systems, in order to grow better nursery stock.  Our first $10,000 Research Grant will be awarded every other year in perpetuity starting next year. To meet that goal, we allocated a portion of each sale to the Endowment and will continue to do so to increase the amount in the future. Go to www.treefund.org for more information and challenges facing our urban trees. Thank you for your support!