Ornamental trees are decorative, smaller trees that usually only grow to be about 25 feet or fewer. The right ornamental trees will serve their purpose to add stunning beauty to your yard. But there’s a number of factors to take into consideration before you choose which to plant. Perhaps there’s a specific look you have in mind, to start.
You also want to make sure whichever ornamental trees you plant will grow well in the conditions of your yard, in addition to Oregon’s conditions overall. You should first decide where in your yard you want to plant an ornamental tree, and then look for trees that will work in that spot. If a tree is planted in an unsuitable place, it could be quite a handful. And make sure you have enough space for the trees to grow.
Here are suggestions of our favorite ornamental trees to plant in Oregon, what they bring to your yard, and what conditions they grow best in.
1. Japanese Maple
This is a very beloved and popular ornamental tree, both in Oregon and beyond. It can be used as a dramatic focal point for your landscape. Despite not being native to Oregon, they work well in our climate. Japanese maple trees grow slowly, usually just one to two feet per year. Though it takes a while to grow, once established, it will be more or less carefree. It will produce beautiful, vivid fall foliage and will provide you with gorgeous color for three seasons.
To get the best color, the maple should be planted in an area where it will get sun for part of the day. It grows best in moist, well-drained, but not wet, soil and can tolerate mild acidic conditions. It also produces samara fruits.
There are many different varieties, so decide which one is best for you and your yard. You can choose based on size, leaf shape, and range of leaf colors. For instance, if you don’t have much space in your yard, you might want to choose a dwarf variety.
When it comes to maintenance, the most involved pruning should be done in late winter. But you can also lightly prune the ornamental trees in spring and summer, for general upkeep.
2. Vine Maple
Unlike the Japanese Maple, this is an ornamental maple tree that is native to Oregon. A small to medium ornamental tree, it’s common throughout the state. Its leaves turn yellow, orange, and red in the fall. And it grows samara fruits that attract birds. Those fruits will ripen to red in the summer. This tree also serves as a host plant for caterpillars and attracts butterflies. While it can grow in drier conditions, it generally grows best in partial shade and moist soil. It can ultimately grow up to 20 feet or fewer.
3. Crape Myrtle
The flowers of this ornamental tree provide your yard with bright summer color. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be white, pink, coral, purple, or red. They bloom from July to September, which is later in the season than other flowering trees. It is typically thought of as a tree for hotter climates, but with the right conditions, it can work perfectly in Oregon’s milder summers.
It grows best in full sun and well-drained soil and can grow well in heavy soil with rocks and clay. The soil doesn’t need to be nutrient rich. Crape myrtles are also drought tolerant. In the fall, the leaves turn a wide range of shades, from gold to red to purple. The bark is also lovely and peels to reveal different tones of pale orange, cinnamon, and tan. The bark especially glows throughout the winter, as well as rainy weather.
You can find this ornamental tree in different sizes, from dwarfs to the tallest variety, which can grow up to 25 feet tall.
There are a couple of different species of dogwood we love in Oregon, but the two below are particular favorites.
Pacific dogwood is a native ornamental tree in Oregon that blooms in the spring and can also have a second bloom in the fall. It features beautiful white flowers, which are followed by orange or red berries. The berries can provide food for different types of birds and other animals in the fall.
This dogwood should preferably be planted in areas with partial shade instead of full sun and in moist, well-drained soil. Also, make sure the soil is nutrient rich. It ultimately can grow up to about 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide. It is often used as an understory tree.
Pagoda dogwood gets its name because its branches grow horizontally in a tiered habit, resembling a pagoda. So it’s a perfect choice if you’re interested in a unique, architectural look in your landscape. The clusters of creamy, delicate white flowers bloom in June. The fruit that follows is blue-black. Foliage in the fall turns red to purple. The ideal conditions are partial shade, but it can also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool. And it also grows best in moist, well-drained soil. It can grow up to 25 feet tall and 30 feet wide.
Another dogwood to consider include Cornelian cherry, which features yellow flowers and edible, cherry-like red berries, hence the name. This dogwood grows to be 20 to 25 feet tall and 15 feet wide. And it grows best in full sun.
Native to Oregon, this is a shrub-like ornamental tree that features light green leaves, white flowers in the spring, and blue berries in the summer. The leaves turn red and orange in the fall. And the bark still looks lovely in the winter. So it really provides beauty all year long!
A serviceberry tree can grow in full sun to shade, and it is very drought tolerant. It also attracts birds that eat fruit, and the nectar from its white flowers attracts butterflies. And this is an ornamental tree that will really work in any landscape. It can grow to be about 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide.
To make sure the trees stay healthy and keep looking their best, they’ll need proper maintenance. You can trust Mr. Tree with all the service your ornamental trees in Oregon may need. We’ll bring expert knowledge and decades of experience. You can find more information on our website.