Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ABC Wednesday: A Tree for All Seasons

Note to visiting Spring Flingers: Scroll down to my previous post for first impressions of our weekend in Chicago. I'm still sorting through photos to do a longer post--there was so much to see!

This week's ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the letter T for . . .

. . . Trees

I may not exactly be a tree-hugger, but I am certainly a lover of trees. I've always lived in older homes with plenty of mature trees, and I can't imagine living anywhere that didn't have a yard full of shade.

A visit during Spring Fling to Rich's Foxwillow Pines in the northern suburbs of Chicago introduced me to a tree I am now coveting. This variegated beech tree growing in front of the large spruce (or was it a pine?) has pink-tinged leaves that absolutely glow in the sunlight. I only wish I had taken a close-up of the leaves. This tree is going to be added to my ever-growing plant "wish list."

If you were to ask me, though, what my favorite tree is, I would probably answer the majestic oak, the grand old man of my yard which I have featured many times here. But in spring, I might say it's the redbuds with their fluorescent lavender blooms that tell me spring has finally arrived. Of course, a little later in spring, the flowering crabapples are magnificent . . .

While it may not be my absolute favorite, however, a tree that I've grown to appreciate more and more in the past year is one of the smallest trees on our property, a white flowering crabapple.

In the Spring green leaves appear first, then tiny pink buds appear.

By early May, the buds open into a cascade of white flowers. Notice the shape of the tree. Perhaps one of the reasons I have grown to love it more is that it was rather shapeless when we moved here until my husband decided to prune it to make it easier to mow around and under. While he was pruning it for convenience, the end result makes for a pleasing umbrella shape.

Although there is no colorful foliage in the Fall, red berries appear, and when the leaves drop late in the season, this crab is covered with sprays of red, looking almost like a holly decoration for the holidays.

The berries last throughout the Winter, providing a berry sundae for the birds who love this tree.

Oh, did I forget a season? In the Summer, the tree doesn't stand out in the landscape other than its shape, but its small size is inviting . . .

. . . for adventurous tree climbers.

This crabapple really is a tree for all the seasons.

To see more ABC posts today, you may click here. Or to read about the Garden Bloggers' Spring Fling, scroll below.


  1. Hi Rose, LOL, I *do* hug trees. I also love shrubs... my garden seems to have a lot of them.

  2. Dear ABC Team Mate!!!!
    On behalf of all the other mates (LOL!!!) I thank you for this wonderful post!!!!

    And please note that I also DO hug trees and Love them!!!!! Great choice for «T»!!!

    Have a nice Day!!!

  3. Lovely trees - and grand-daughter!

  4. Thanks for the lovely tree photos. I live in the woods so I adore trees. The wind blowing their leaves ... mine don't have flowers though ... I might have to get one of those crab trees ...

    ~~~ If you're interested, I'm doing a Pay It Forward on my blog. ~~~

  5. Love the trees...the flowering ones are beautiful...

  6. Rose, I love your mighty oak tree, too! It is a granddaddy of a tree! But nothing beats a climbing tree when you have sweet visitors~~or a flowering tree for pretty blooms. Gail

  7. Ah, trees, I have plenty of them and love all but the pesky Sweet Gums. Dont get me started on them. lol. The blooms and berries on your trees are beautiful but my favorite would have to be the blossom in the last picture! She brightens up the tree to the fullest. I bet my deer would love those crabapples!

  8. I really like the trees that have those red berries all winter, when we're dying for color. Cute grandchild picture, too! She's lucky to have a good climbing tree available.

  9. Dear a regular tree hugger yours do it for me....

    I love the crab apple and would have that in my garden without a doubt. The shape is just perfect and all the lovely white flowers. The photograph in the winter looked just like a 'winter wonderland'.....beautiful...

    I love the oak....I think most people think fondly of this tree. It's majesty cannot be beaten....

    A lovely post......

  10. Hey Rose, I'm a card carrying tree hugger. I second your choices. I planted oaks when I moved here but will never live long enough to see acorns--they mature so slowly. Crabapples on the other hand grow very fast.

  11. I love silver birches myself.

    I love all your photos and your granddaughter is lovely.

  12. Great idea!This tree is wonderful the whole year.It's really looks like an umbrella shape !
    Thanks for visiting my blog-although there is no translation, today!

  13. Your trees are marvellous! Trees are very useful: they give shade in summer, they produce oxygen and are colourful in autumn or fall. I love trees too.Thanks for this post. The little girl is adorable!

  14. Did you see the flowering red buckeye at the Chicago Botanic Garden? You would like it! I'm patiently waiting for my trees to 'grow', all of them planted in the last 12 years, even though I know the best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  15. Gotta love a crabapple. I am waiting for mine to gain substantially in size so they have presence!

  16. I totally agree that the white crab is a tree for all seasons in your yard. Wonderful pictures of it-especially like the snow cover and of course the tree climber.

    How are your homeless plants doing-finding homes, I hope. I hate to admit it, but I bought a few more plants this week to fill out some containers. :) Still no real sales, but will let you know if I find any.

  17. Such a pretty tree climber! I love all your photos, especially the first one and the snowy one, beautifully put together. What would we do without trees?!

  18. You have trees in abundance - but we couldn't live without them. A worthy T-post :-)

    I fell for the snow covered one - a real Christmas card!

  19. Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm glad to know there are so many other "tree-huggers" out there. To Carol, I am lucky that all of these were planted 40 years ago:) But I'm going to do my best to add to the collection for the next generation.

  20. Is this Tri-color Beech like the one you saw, Rose? If you get it, some sites say it needs some shade to keep the leaf color from getting muddy in summer light and heat. It looks big but apparently you've got the space!

    Love the white crab apple - I used to have one in IL but they don't grow here. My substitute white-flowering tree is a semi-dwarf white crepe myrtle.
    Love the tree-climber photo!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. I love how you covered all the seasons in this post. Beautiful photos. I'm a tree hugger too. What a sweet grand daughter!

  22. I think my favorite tree is the maple.

  23. Rose I'm not a tree climber but certainly a tree hugger! Great post!
    sweet grandaughter.

  24. T is surely for trees and I am so happy you said you want a yard full of shade. Me too. Your crabapple is quite a keeper! I have three here and not one of them looks half as good as yours in the fall. Those berries are a show stopper!

    I am so glad you had such a great time at Spring Fling. It sounds simply awesome and you know I already like meeting other bloggers, the gardens are a bonus for sure. Have fun this summer and do let those tree climbers climb! Maybe they can pick you some awesome crabapples and you can make some crabapple jelly? It is the best with a spring of mint in it. Send some my way if you do:))

  25. Hi, Rose! That variegated beech is on my "Covet List" too. I have seen several in and around our little town, and when they are positioned right, they just shine. A lovely post. Thanks for sharing all your photos with us.

  26. Now I know I definitely need to add this wonderful tree to my garden. :)

  27. I love trees, Rose, and your post is delightful ... the 1st photo, grabbed my heart!

  28. I do love your crabapple. It's got such a pleasing shape. I've been wanting one myself... maybe this fall!

  29. I am an official tree-hugger too! I have planted 21 trees on our lot after we built our house! It had three mature live oak, but the back was barren--now it is a forest in the making.

    Your crab apple pics are lovely. Although mine bloomed for the first time this spring, a late frost nipped all of the blossoms, so sadly no apples again this year.

  30. Dear Rose,
    A lovely tribute to the letter T!
    I am a tree your little tree sitter...
    We plant for them.

  31. I was visiting from one of the lists of those who went to the Spring Fling and saw your Variegated Beech. There is one on the George Mason University campus that caught our eye at graduation and I had one of the kids take a picture so I could make an ID! Then I see it on your blog! wonderful! will be back to visit more often.


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you, so please leave a comment. I'll try to reply here, but I'll definitely return the visit.