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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 05, 2009

From: Buffalo, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree to plant and thought you may be able to give us some advice.

ANSWER:

The hardest part of making this choice will be selecting just one!!

You don't indicate anything about the conditions in your new front yard (for instance whether it is on the north, south, east or west side of your house which will affect whether the tree is exposed to sun or winter winds or more protected and shady).  You also didn't mention whether you are looking for a big shade tree or a smaller ornamental tree. One feature you will learn to appreciate as you get accustomed to the northern winter are fruits that persist through winter and attract birds.  The American Mountain ash and a number of crabapple species have this feature.  If you do select the mountain ash, be certain that your nursery does not substitute the European mountain ash, as it is very susceptible to insects and diseases.

You can do a narrow search or a recommended species search on our database by clicking on "Explore Plants" on our website main page to see a longer list but here are a few of my favorites that would be suitable in your new zone.

Large (but not huge) Shade trees with good fall color

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)

Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum)

Smaller ornamental trees

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Malus coronaria (sweet crabapple)

Sorbus americana (American mountain ash)


Acer rubrum

Liquidambar styraciflua

Nyssa sylvatica

Amelanchier canadensis

Cercis canadensis

Cornus florida

Sorbus americana

 

 

 

 

 

 

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