Snow day highlights storm-resilient tree structure

There’s no day like a snow day to admire trees with good bones. Sturdy trunks, open branch angles and dominant central leaders contribute to storm-resilient, long-lived trees. Cloaked in lush foliage throughout the growing season, the architecture of well-grown trees is best viewed in winter. Here at the nursery, storm resistant structure was accentuated by a late season snowfall that lasted just a few hours and melted by afternoon. The surprise dusting of snow lasted just long enough for us to snap a few photos while admiring the arboreal winter silhouettes. City Sprite® Zelkova, Skinny Genes® Oak and Mountain Sentinel® Aspen were standouts among the JFS introductions that line the driveway to our shipping docks, and are also currently available.

Last week’s snowfall inspired us to feature Sparkling Sprite® Crabapple in our March 7 blog post. You’ll find availability of this extraordinary crabapple on our Bare Root, Container and Northwest Shade Trees lists. If you are not already a Schmidt customer, contact our office for details for ordering, wholesale quantities and terms of business. Don’t delay! Shipping is in full swing, and trucks are rolling to destinations across the continent.

City Sprite® Zelkova

Zelkova serrata ‘JFS-KW1’ PP 20996

New fallen snow and dense fog painted a blank canvas behind the branches of the City Sprite® Zelkova that grows beside the driveway to our loading docks. During the next few weeks, hundreds of semi-trucks towing refrigerated trailers will pass by its naturally neat and compact canopy that only appears to have been pruned to keep its branches from reaching into the right-of-way.

Urban foresters and utility companies appreciate the compact, mannerly growth habit of this petite city tree. Short internodes contribute to its compact, dense, and semi-dwarf form, resulting is the perfect little tree for tight urban spaces. Oval to vase-shaped, it grows to a height and spread of approximately 24’ x 18’.

Fine textured foliage is brighter green in summer than the leaves of typical Zelkova and turns yellow in autumn. Hardiness is USDA Zone 5. Introduced in 2009, it has been embraced by urban foresters and landscape designers and is on its way to being a top seller in our UtiliTrees™ product line.

Skinny Genes® Oak

Quercus x bimundorum ‘JFS-KW2QX’ PP 24442

Skinny jeans turn heads in the fashion world. The same can be said of Skinny Genes® Oak, our 2013 introduction that’s turning heads in the plant world as its use and popularity grows. A slim fit designed for cityscapes, this leafy, elegant exclamation point is perfectly suited for planting along narrow streets and other restricted urban planting spaces.

Tightly columnar form and glossy dark green summer foliage make it a showstopper in the fields, on the streets and in the landscape. Clean, mildew resistant foliage stays fresh and green through the heat of summer before turning tawny yellow in autumn and defoliating in late winter. Mature height and spread are approximately 45’ x 10’. Hardy through USDA Zone 4, it was selected from second generation seedlings of a sister of the adaptable, time-tested and widely planted Crimson Spire™ Oak.

Mountain Sentinel® Aspen

Populus tremuloides ‘JFS-Column’

This leafy landscape exclamation mark brings columnar form to our native quaking aspen. Towering high above neighboring trees, the slender green column offers the same magically unique sound of fluttering leaves and the golden yellow fall color that make the species such a popular landscape tree. Eye-catching even in winter, its silvery-gray bark glows in stark contrast to a backdrop of dark evergreens or cloudy winter skies.

Ascending branches form an extremely narrow and upright tree with a height and spread of  about 35’x 8’ spread at maturity. Its excellent performance in our mild, maritime USDA Zone 8 climate and hardiness through Zone 3 assures its adaptability over a wide planting range.

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