For elegant winter interest, there are many options for Oklahoma landscapes than evergreen trees and shrubs.
Deciduous trees and shrubs offer winter interest with persistent fruits, interesting bark and branching structure, colorful stems, and flowers capable of withstanding the full force of winter.
When you open your mind to the textures and colors of persistent fruit, broadleaf evergreen leaves, and interesting bark textures, you’ll discover more elegant and uncommon design opportunities.
Colorful Fruit and Flower Favorite Crabapple Trees
The leaves of crabapple trees are usually green, but a few varieties have purple, red, or bronze foliage. During the fall, the color of the leaf may vary depending on the cultivar. They can be red, bronze, or orange.
The flowers come in the forms such as fully double,semi-double, or single, while the color will range from red, magenta, pink, or white. They also have a strong fragrance. Most have darker buds but lighten in color when the flowers fully bloom.
Their fruit ripens when summer is almost ending to mid-fall and usually clings to the tree’s branches throughout winter. The fruits are ordinarily red and look like tiny cherries. However, some cultivars can produce fruits that are orange, yellow, or maroon.
Ornamental crabapple trees are typically compact and suitable for year-round interest. Apart from having breathtaking buds and blossoms in the spring, they are also attractive foliage plants in the summer and fall and provide a lot of fruit that lingers on the branches even during winter.
Most crabapple trees are less than 20 feet in height, making them suitable for most residential landscapes. Some varieties such as the Tina or Sargeant crab can be maintained at less than ten feet in height but will spread up much wider if carefully pruned.
Uniquely Useful Red Twig Dogwood
The red twig dogwood shrub can tolerate almost any kind of soil, wet or dry, sand or clay, and acidic or alkaline. Though it’s best to avoid soils that are too wet because that may encourage mites that disfigure its beautiful red stems
The name originates from the bright red hue developed by their stem during winter. The color eventually fades during spring and summer and redevelops during autumn when the temperature becomes colder and the days shorter. They are more visible during winter when the plant is leafless.
Leaf spots might develop if the humidity is very high, making the plant less attractive, but any damage to the plant will hardly be noticeable.
Oklahoma Native Kentucky Coffetree
The ability of the Kentucky Coffeetree to tolerate pollution and a variety of soils makes it suitable for challenging urban and suburban environments. The tree has a leathery, reddish-brown seed pod that persists well through the winter landscape before dropping to the ground.
Its true character is its interesting branching structure that displays few branchlets. The shadows from the major branches that are created by moonlight or landscape lighting can be truly stunning against a snowy canvas.
Kentucky Coffetrees can be fast growers, but their upright habit will not overtake a landscape as a spreading oak tree might. It can tolerate alkaline soil, dry sites, occasional drought, road salts, and wet sites. It blooms mainly in late spring and early fall. It must be exposed to the full sun for at least 6 hours daily.
Elegant and Versatile Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas like Grandiflora, Annabelle, and Limelight are great choices for winter interest in Oklahoma landscaping design. The flower heads of these plants provide your garden with texture and variety that lasts for the duration of the winter landscape.
In addition to your outdoor environment, dried hydrangea flowers can be re-purposed inside the home. They can be combined with fresh flowers, stand on their own, or mixed with other winter-effect plants. For example, dried hydrangea flowers mixed with red-twig dogwood stems, and a few boxwood or holly branches make an excellent display.
People Friendly Arborvitae For Privacy
Unlike most evergreens, arborvitae is flat-leaved and softer to the touch. For this reason, it performs more like a broadleaf than a needled evergreen. They can be used for screening and windbreaking during the winter.
Techny arborvitae is one of the favorites for residential properties. Its leaves have a deep green color and a fast growth rate. They are durable enough to withstand winter storms and are not bothered by the same diseases and ailments that plague some needle evergreens.
Arborvitae can provide an Oklahoma landscape design with year-round color and texture. They make great accent plants and are considered a workhorse for privacy in tight spaces. Let’s now transition to the qualities of boxwoods and hollies, which are both true broadleaf evergreens.
Trusted and Timeless Boxwoods and Hollies
Boxwoods and hollies both have small, dark evergreen leaves, but there is one distinction. Hollies drop their leaves in the winter just as brilliant red berries reveal their true winter character.
You can distinguish boxwoods by branches that are paired or opposite each other, whereas holly leaves are arranged in alternate patterns. The leaves on boxwood have smooth edges, while holly leaves have tiny scalloped edges that can be sharp to the touch.
Both boxwood and holly have tiny flowers that are not considered showy. Boxwood has both male and female flowers on the same plant and star-shaped flowers, but it doesn’t produce berries.
On the other hand, holly has small white flowers and requires a separate male and female plant to form berries. After pollination, hollies produce small, blue-black berries.
Boxwoods and hollies will flourish in acidic, well-drained soil with full or partial sun. They both gain their formal character from careful pruning. Yet, this practice should be performed no later than early fall to avoid encouraging new growth that may not harden off before winter.
A few boxwoods will turn into copper color in winter, while holly remains dark green. Both plants will be more attractive if they are protected from drying winter winds.
Proactive Landscaping: Helping Oklahoma Homeowners Enjoy Outdoor Living
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