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Elegantissima & Ivory Silk

April 22, 2014

Posted in : Plants We Dig

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Green giant arborvitae are all the rage right now and understandably so, it’s a great plant. The issue is that supply cannot keep up with demand. One of the attractive features of this plant is it’s supposed deer resistance. We say 'supposed' because we have seen instances where deer have eaten them. For those of you willing to spray, have a fenced in yard, or have no deer issues we ask that you take a look at a wonderful arborvitae ‘Elegantissima.'

For the longest time Thuja Occidentalis Elegantissima showed some pretty good deer resistance but, we believe deer pressure took some of that resistance away. We also believe the same might end up being the case for Giants. Elegantissima is a pyramidal arb with a good central leader (snow damage is rarely an issue). They grow fairly wide at the base and taper quite a bit at the top. They will reach a height of 15/20’ but can be maintained with pruning at any height you prefer. The tips of the green foliage turn a subtle yellow in late spring/early summer and are quite attractive. They thrive in full sun, but will tolerate some shade. Elegantissima like moist, but well drained soils. This is a phenomenal screening plant and absolutely worthy of your consideration.

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Name us a tree that’s neat, almost pest free, blooms in late spring/early summer and reaches a max height of about 25’? I give you Syringa reticulata ‘ivory silk.' Ivory silk stays relatively small by tree standards, but it still manages to cast some light shade. It can be used as a good street tree, as it does not compete as much with wires, in a foundation planting with ample room from structures (about 15’ in width), or as a stand alone in lawn areas. The large white panicles are produced in late June and last about 1.5 weeks. The flowers are fragrant, although far from being obnoxious. The fall color is a vibrant yellow. Interestingly, the bark is similar to that of a cherry, where it has horizontal lenticels and is quite attractive. This is a great tree for patios and pools, as there is little root competition and they are not messy. Check them out during your next stop at Plant Detectives.

Until next time, happy planting!  

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