What’s good for pollinators is good for people, a message that’s gaining momentum across North America and around the world. Midway through National Pollinator Week, we’re impressed by all the ways people are celebrating pollinators and working to improve local habitats. Hundreds of dots on the Pollinator Week Map pinpoint local efforts to raise awareness of the vital role that pollinators play in growing a healthier environment. Walking tours in parks and public gardens, educational events, and open gardens that showcase pollinator habitat are taking place this week. Here in the nursery, we’re growing pollinator-friendly trees!
Last month, we encouraged blog readers to Spark a Buzz for Trees during National Pollinator Week. There, you’ll find links to useful pollinator resources, and profiles of six flowering trees that are proven pollinator pleasers: Golden Raindrops® and Royal Raindrops® Crabapples, Goldenrain Tree, Eastern Redbud, and Greenspire® Linden.
Three more trees, notable for flowering times that occur outside of the typical springtime bloom season, are featured here and are among our 2023-2024 offerings. Their early spring, mid-summer and late summer blooms offer pollen and nectar when trees are typically not in bloom.
Our cultivars of Cornelian Cherry Dogwood, Amur Maackia and Seven-son Flower are also among the Baker’s Dozen of Pollinator Trees that will be featured by Nancy Buley in her July 16 presentation at AmericanHort/Cultivate ’23 in Columbus, Ohio. Register today for this green industry event where you can also learn BMP’s for Bare Root Trees, presented by JFS sales representatives Roger Purcell and Pat Carey. You’ll find them and our sales team at Booth 1435 in the Exhibit Hall, July 16-18. See you there!
Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry
Cornus mas ‘JFS PN4Legacy’
Saffron Sentinel® heralds the beginning of spring as bright flowers burst from buds clustered along its winter-bare branches. Its late-winter flowers are among the earliest of woody plants to bloom, even before the forsythias. This remarkably narrow selection of Cornelian Cherry Dogwood is vigorous, symmetrical and resistant to pests and diseases. Foliage remains clean and dark green throughout the summer months. Bright red oval fruits ripen in late summer and persist into autumn. Dark brown bark that exfoliates with age complements the deep crimson fall color and adds winter interest. Height and spread are approximately 22’ x 12’.
Chicago-area garden writer Heather Blackmore of Here She Grows recently chronicled the planting of a Saffron Sentinel® Cornelian Cherry Dogwood in her front garden. She’s already looking forward to next spring’s blooms!
Stars & Sparks™ Seven-son Flower
Heptacodium miconioides ‘JFS GM1HM’
New for 2023-24! Upright growth habit and stout branch structure form a sturdy tree of small stature that grows to a height and spread of about 18’ x 12’. Unique in form, flower, foliage and bark, this rugged individual is a standout in a species that’s typically multi-stemmed or shrubby in growth habit.
Glossy green summer foliage is lush and tropical in appearance, with narrow, rather thick, strongly veined leaves that resist heat and drying winds. Petite, fragrant, star-like white flowers appear in clusters of seven in late summer. These delicate blooms attract hummingbirds, butterflies, honeybees and other pollinators at a time when few trees are in bloom.
After petals drop, the long lasting, ornamental calyxes take center stage, providing the “spark” that inspired the name of this remarkable cultivar. They shine bright red to maroon well into autumn. In winter, curling ribbons of exfoliating, vertically striped, greyish brown bark create the perfect foil for winter snow as it piles up along its sturdy, storm resistant branches.
Maackia amurensis ‘JFS-Schichtel1’
MaacNificent® Maackia is distinguished from seedling-grown trees by its vigorous, upright growth habit and symmetrical, vase-shaped form. Narrow, compound leaves drape from upright branches to give the tree a cool, airy look. Glossy, dark green foliage is complemented by creamy white flowers in mid-summer that are very attractive to pollinators. Blooms are borne on stiff, upright racemes when few other trees are flowering. This attractive small tree performs well in harsh urban environments and has proven tolerant of heat, drought and cold. USDA Zone 3 hardiness and the ability to thrive in poor soils, acid or alkaline, make this nitrogen fixer a great choice for difficult sites.