Plant Descriptions: Shade Trees

Pacific Groves Maple Trees
Maples (Acer)
Deciduous trees or large shrubs, highly favored in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and the inter-mountain areas.
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
   Hedge Maple (A. campestre) - Small tree, usually to 30', with corky bark and distinctive foliage. Dense, compact, rounded head in the Northwest, thinner in California. Excellent for small 
containers and bonsai.
Vine Maple (A. circinatum) - Many stemmed, crooked, sprawling and vine-like in shade. Foliage light green, turning orange, scarlet or yellow in fall. Single trunk growing 5' to 35'. Clusters of tiny reddish-purple flowers in April-May.
Amur Maple (A. ginnala) - Tree or bush form to 20'. Small spreading tree, extremely hardy. Colorful orange-red fall foliage. Small, fragrant clusters of yellow
flowers in spring.
Green Box Elder (A. negundo) - Grows 35' to 45' with an equal spread. A hardy, fast growing tree. Excellent wind break.
Fall color is yellow (image)​.
   Flamingo Boxelder
(A. negundo "Flamingo") - Grows in height from 25' to 35' with a 20' spread. Head is round with dense branching. Compound leaflets with variegation that holds through the summer. Less susceptible
to reversion.
Variegated Boxelder
(A. negundo "Variegatum") - Fast growing to 40'. Leaves divide into 3 to 5 oval, long leaflets with toothed white margins. Leaves turn yellow in fall. Large clusters of white fruit are spectacular. 
Norway Maple (A. platenoides) - Rounded, dense head with green foliage to 50'. Turns yellow in fall. Clusters of small greenish-yellow flowers in early spring (image)​. 
Crimson King Maple
(A. platenoides "Crimson King") - Dark maroon foliage, retaining color all summer. Slower growing than Norway. Tree is dense with a rounded head. Grows in height from 30' to 40' with a spread of 35'.
   Crimson Sentry Maple 
(A. platenoides "Crimson Sentry") (Plant Patent No. 3258) - A narrow, upright columnar variety. Grows in height from 20' to 25' with a spread of 15'. Leaves are dark purple. Tree is slow growing (image)​.
Silver Variegated Maple
(A. platenoides "Drummondii") - This unusual and striking tree grows slowly with a rounded head. Grows in height to 35'. Leaves are light green edged with silvery white.
Columnar Norway Maple
(A. platenoides "Columnar") - Narrow and shaped in an upright column, this tree has large, dark green leaves. Excellent for street planting. Grows to height from 40' to 60' with a spread of only 15'. Leaves turn yellow in fall.
Cleveland Maple
(A. platenoides "Clevelandii") - Tree is dense with an oval head, upright growing habits. Grows to height from 40' to 50'. Leaves are dark green, turning gold in fall.
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
Pacific Groves Maple Trees
   Deborah Maple 
(Plant Patent No. 4944) - Similar to the Schwedleri, but grows with a much straighter central leader and with more vigor. Grows in height from 50' to 60' with a spread of 40'. Leaves are brilliant red in spring and early summer, turning to
Emerald Queen Maple
(A. platenoides "Emerald Queen") - A fast growing, dense and upright Norway with rounded head. Grows in height from 60' to 80' with a spread of 40'. New leaves are green with a red tint, turning to a dark glossy green in early summer. Leaves turn yellow in fall ​(image)​.
Royal Red Maple
(A. platenoides "Royal Red Leaf") - Similar to Crimson King but seems to be a bit hardier. 
Red Maple (A. rubrum) - Grows fast and is deep rooted, has an attractive oval to round growth. Grows in height from 40' to 50' with a 20' spread. Red flowers appear in early spring even before bright green leaves unfold. Leaves go from orange to scarlet-red in fall. Twigs and small branches are red. Fruit is dull red.
   Autumn Blaze Maple 
(A. rubrum "Autumn Blaze") (Plant Patent No. 4864) - This red maple has an upright habit of growth. Grows in height to 50' with a spread of 40'. Autumn Blaze has an attractive green summer foliage and excellent scarlet fall leaf color.
Autumn Flame Maple
(A. rubrum "Autumn Flame") (Plant Patent No. 2377) - Autumn Flame branches readily, forming a shapely dense, well rounded head. Grows in height 40' to 50'. Leaves are smaller than most red maples and turn a brilliant scarlet color two weeks before other red maples.
October Glory Maple
(A. rubrum "October Glory") (Registered) - A dense, rounded form. Grows in height from 50' to 60' with a 35' to 40' spread. Leaves are dark green, then turn crimson red in the fall.
Red Sunset Maple
(A. rubrum "Red Sunset") (Registered) - It is a vigorous growing tree with upright branching and an oval crown. Grows in height from 40' to 50' with a 35' spread. Leaves are dark green, turning to red in the fall (image)​.
   Silver Maple (A. saccharinum) - A fast, upright growing, hardy tree. Branches are very flexible and when the wind blows, it reveals the silvery underside of the medium green leaves. Grows from 50' to 90' tall with a spread of 50' to 80' (image)​.
Silver Queen
(A. saccharinum "Silver Queen") - Rich, dark green foliage. Upright, seedless clone. Bright gold fall color.
Weir Cutleaf Silver Maple
(A. saccharinum "Weiri") - Finely cut, bright green foliage. Somewhat pyramidal in habit. 
Sugar Maple (A. saccharum) - Slow growing, long-lived tree. Hardy, beautifully rounded form. Grows to 60' tall with a spread of 40'. Leaves are medium green and in the typical maple shape. Leaves change in fall to spectacular yellow-orange and red.
Legacy Maple (A. saccharum "Legacy") (Plant Patent No. 4979) - Legacy grows upright with a dense, oval crown. Grows to 50' tall with a 35' to 45' spread. Leaves are thick and glossy green. Resistant to leaf tatter. In the fall, leaves turn reddish-pink and orange-yellow.
Green Mountain Maple
(A. saccharum "Green Mountain") - The same as the Sugar Maple yet very heat and drought tolerant.
Pacific Groves Common Horsechesnut Tree
Aesculus nippocastanum
Common Horsechesnut - Deciduous trees with leaves divided fanwise into large, toothed leaflets. Clusters of showy creamy-white flowers at the ends of branches with leathery capsules of glossy seeds in June and July (image)​.
Pacific Groves Mimosa Silk Tree
Albizia julibrissin
   Silk Tree, Mimosa - Rapid growth to 30'. Can be headed back to produce a 10' umbrella. Pink fluffy flowers on fern leaf branches. Blooms in summer. Does best with high summer heat. Does very well in desert areas. Excellent small shade tree or patio canopy tree. Best as a multi-trunk tree. Very good lawn tree ​(image)
Birch (Betula)
Very popular white barked trees with finely toothed leaves.
Small conical fruit hangs on through winter.   
Pacific Groves Birch Trees
Pacific Groves Birch Trees
Pacific Groves Birch Trees
   Jacquemontii Birch
(B. jacquemontii) - Tree grows upright with height reaching 40' to 50'. Known as the whitest bark birch, it has dark green leaves with a leathery texture.
River Birch (B. nigra) - Very fast growth, pyramidal, 50' to 90'. Diamond shaped leaves. Young bark is pinkish and shiny aging cinnamon-brown to blackish.
     European White Birch 
(B. pendula) - Delicate and lacy, upright growing, medium-size tree, 30' to 40'. Noted for its white bark. Older bark at base is blackish-gray.
Yellow fall foliage (image)​.

Clump White Birch (B. pendula) - Same as European White, in clumps of
three or more stems (image)​.
Cutleaf Weeping Birch
(B. pendula "Dalecarlica") - This birch is very hardy, with graceful, weeping branches. Grows in height from 45' to 50'. Bark is silvery-white with deep-cut, glossy green leaves which turn
yellow in fall.
 Young’s Weeping Birch
(B. pendula "Youngii") - Growing at a moderate rate, this small birch grows from 18' to 20' tall with a spread of 20' to 25'. Head is dome shape with foliage much like the White Birch. Branches slender, graceful and hang straight down. May be kept small.    
  Paper Birch, Canoe Birch 
(B. papyrifera) - Slower turning than European White Birch, but chalk-white when older. Grows to 100'. Bark peels off in papery layers (image)​.
Japanese White Birch
(B. platayphylla Japonica) - Fast growth to 40'. Narrow open habit. Glossy green leaves to 3 inches long, turn yellow in fall. Bark is white. This variety is resistant to birch bores.
Pacific Groves Catalpa Trees
Hardy and well adapted to most soils. Large clusters of white, trumpet-shaped, 2 inch wide flowers followed by long, bean-shaped seed capsules.
Western Catalpa (C. speciosa) - Round headed, 40' to 70'. Leaves, 6 to 12 inches long (image)​.  
Pacific Groves Redbud Trees
Redbud (Cersis)
Deciduous shrubs or trees. Clusters of sweet pea shaped flowers in early spring, followed by clusters of flat pods. Attractive broad rounded leaves, heart-shaped at base. Fall color.
Eastern Redbud (C. canadensis) - To 25'. Most likely takes tree form. Rosy-pink flowers on bare brown branches in early spring (image)​.
Western Redbud (C. occidentalis) - Shrub or small tree, 10' to 18'. Three weeks of brilliant magenta flowers in spring. Light yellow or red in fall. Attractive seed pods hold into winter.

   Crataegus (Hawthorn)

Pacific Groves Hawthorn Trees
Pacific Groves Hawthorn Trees
   Autumn Glory Hawthorn ("Autumn Glory") - Small, twiggy tree with rounded, dense head. Grows in height from 15' to 18'. Covered with clusters of single white flowers in spring. Leaves are glossy green. Bright fruit in fall,
lasting well into winter.
Cockspur Hawthorn (C. crus-galli) - Round head with dark green glossy foliage. Grows in height from 15' to 20' with equal spread. Flowers are white. Fruit is small and bright red.
Rust free and thornless (image)​.
Crimson Cloud (C. laevigata "Crimson Cloud") (Plant Patent No. 2679) - Tree is oval with upright spreading branches. Grows in height to 25' with 18' spread. Leaves are small and glossy green. Tree is resistant to the leaf spot disease. Flowers are bright red with a star white center. In the fall, it is covered with red fruit which last well into winter.
Carriere Hawthorn (C. lavallei) - Upright growing with a spreading, open head. Grows in height to 20'. Dense, dark green leaves, turning bronzy-red in the fall. Clusters of large white flowers are followed by large orangish-red fruit remaining until winter.
   Palus Scarlet Hawthorn
(C. laevigata "Pauls Scarlet") - Very dense branches, growing to a rounded head. Grows in height to 20'. In spring, double scarlet flowers make this one of the showiest of all hawthorns ​(image).
Toba Hawthorn (C. toba) - Small tree, only grows to height of 15'. Leaves are thick, glossy dark green that lasts throughout the fall. Flowers are double pale pink. Red fruit appears in fall.
Washington Hawthorn (C. phaenopyrum) - Moderate growth of 25' with a spread of 20'. Light, open limb structure. Glossy leaves 2 to 3 inches long, with sharp pointed, maple-like leaves, foliage turns beautiful orange and red in fall. Small white flowers in large clusters in spring and summer. Shiny red fruit in autumn hangs into winter. More graceful and elegant than other hawthorns. Least susceptible to fire blight.
Pacific Groves Ash Trees
Ash (Fraxinus)   
Very hardy trees grow quickly in most soils including alkaline. Fairly pest free.
Pacific Groves Ash Trees
Pacific Groves Ash Trees
Pacific Groves Ash Trees
   Autumn Purple Ash
(F. americana "Autumn Purple") - A new seedless American Ash. Shape is rounded. Grows in height to 45' with a spread of 40'. Tree is special because of its beautiful fall colors from reddish to deep purple. Color may hold for several weeks depending on season and soil.
Blue Ash (F. quadrangolata) - Branches distinctly square in this ash, which grows in height from 50' to 60'. Dark green leaves are oval in shape with saw tooth edges. Leaves turn purple in fall.
Flowering Ash (F. ornus) - Rapid growth of 40' to 50'.Luxuriant mass of foliage. Medium green leaflets, lavender and yellow in the fall. Fragrant, white May bloom (image)​.
   Green Ash (F. pennsylvanica) -
 Fast growing, native tree with round form and dense foliage. Very hardy, withstands drought and thrives over large area. Grows 30' to 40'. Gray-brown bark, bright green leaflets 4 to 6 inches long.
Marshall Seedless Ash
(F. pennsylvanica "Marshall") - Seedless type of green ash with a shapely, tapered head. Grows in height from 50' to 60'. Leaves are dark, glossy green, turning yellow in fall ​(image)​.
Patmore Ash (F. pennsylvanica "Patmore") (Plant Patent No. 4684) - A seedless ash which grows erect with well spaced branches. Grows in height to 45' with a 35' spread. Foliage is glossy green turning yellow.  
   Raywood Ash
(F. oxycarpa "Raywood") - Compact, rounded head and fast growing to 35' tall. Leaves are serrated and dark green, turning purple-red in fall. No seeds. Very outstanding tree (image)​.
Summit Ash
(F. pennsylvanica "Summit") - A hardy, seedless green ash. Upright uniform growth with a strong central leader. Grows in height from 50' to 60'. Dark green leaves are narrow and pointed in shape. Green leaves turn yellow in fall. Generally the first of the green ash trees to change color.
Urbanite Ash
(F. pennsylvanica "Urbanite") (P.A.F.) - A small, tight growing full-crowned ash with a pyramidal growth habit. Grows in height to 50' with a 40' spread. Leaves are lustrous green, thick and leathery turning deep bronze in fall. This ash tolerates city conditions and is especially resistant to sun scald.   
   Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)       
Pacific Groves Locust Trees
Thornless Honey Locust (G. triacanthos inermis) - Broad, graceful tree with compound leaves. Light green foliage turns to yellow. Thornless with few or no pods (image)​.
Golden Locust (G. triacanthos "Aurea") - Tree has a delicate, loosely rounded head that gives an open appearance. Grows in height to 40'. Branches have striking yellow foliage on ends with inside leaves a rich green color.
Shademaster Locust (G. triacanthos "Shademaster") -
A fast growing tree with a straight, strong trunk. Grows in height from 30'. Leaves are dark green and larger than most honeylocust. More upright and faster growing than Moraine.  

(Plant Patent No. 1515)
Skyline Locust (G. triacanthos "Skyline") -
Pyramidal form with a sturdy trunk. Grows in height from 50' to 60'. Leaves are dark green and larger than most honey locust. (Plant Patent No. 1619)

Pacific Groves Laburnum Trees
  Golden Chain (L. watereri "Vossi") - Upright growth. Green bark. Bright green leaves, divided into three leaflets. Flowers yellow, sweet pea shaped, hanging in clusters like wisteria. One of the most spectacular blooming trees.    
Weeping Golden Chain (L. anagyroides "Pendulum") - Weeping variety of common Golden Chain (image)​.
Pacific Groves Sycamore Trees
Pacific Groves Poplar Trees
Pacific Groves Sumac Trees
   Sycamore (Plantanus aerifolia)

London Plane Tree or
European Sycamore
(P. acerfolia Bloodgood)
Bloodgood strain -
A rapidly growing tree which forms a broad, open head. Grows in height from 50'. Leaves are maple shaped and long in size, and medium to dark green. Bark on tree sheds in colors of brown to cream. Grows well under city conditions. Anthracnose resistant. Yellow fall color.
Yarwood Sycamore
(P. acerfolia "Yarwood") - Same growth habits as Bloodgood only leaf is twice as large. Anthracnose and mildew resistant ​(image)​.
   Poplar (Populus)
Rapid growing, hardy and require little maintenance. Invasive roots.

Carolina Poplar
(P. canadensis "Siouxland") -
Upright, spreading after a few years. Totally seedless, sometimes called Cottonless Cottonwood. Grows in height from 70' to 100'. Leaf is dark green. It is resistant to leaf rust.
Lombardy Poplar (P. nigra) -
Fast growing, narrow columnar with dense branching. Grows in height from 70' to 100'. Leaf is heart-shaped and bright green, turning yellow in fall.
Quaking Aspen (P. tremuloides) -
Fast growing with heights reaching 60'. Leaves are green with silvery undersides, turning golden-yellow
in fall (image)​.
   Sumac (Rhus)
Deciduous trees or shrubs. Very hardy and thrive in poor soils.

Smooth Sumac (R. glabra) -
Large shrub or small tree. Toothed leaflets, green above, whitish beneath, turning scarlet in fall. Scarlet fruit in fall. Hardy (image)​.
Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina) -
Similar to Glabra except branches covered with velvety, short brown hair. Clusters on tiny green flowers in June and July are followed by clusters of fuzzy crimson fruit which last throughout winter.
Pacific Groves Purple Robe Locust Trees
Robinia ambigua
   Leaves divided into many roundish leaflets. Flowers cluster like sweet peas in early summer. Fast growing, drought and heat tolerant.
Wood is very brittle. Shapely size to 40'.
Purple Robe Locust (R. ambigua "Idahoensis" "Purple Robe") - Showiest of locusts in bloom with dark, purple-pink flowers in 8" clusters. Reddish-bronze new growth.
Long blooming period (image)​.  
   Willow (Salix)
   Very fast growing and thrive in most soils. Needs plenty of water. Leaf out in early spring and hold leaves late.
Pacific Groves Willow Trees
   Corkscrew Willow (S. matsudana "Tortuosa") - To 35' with equal spread. Branches twisted or curled into upright, spiraling patterns. Leaves are green turning yellow in fall.
Weeping French Pink Pussy Willow (S. caprea) - Hardy. Grows in height from 10 to 20'. Tree has whiplike, upright stems that grow inch-long pinkish-silver catkins. This is a weeping variety on a 6'standard trunk ​(image).
Glove Navajo Willow (S. matsudana "Navajo") - Hardy, large spreading, rounded umbrella-shaped head. Grows in height from 30 to 50'. Slender, green leaves turn yellow in fall.
Niobe Golden Weeping Willow (S. alba Tristis) - Round head with weeping branches. Tree is fast growing. Grows in height from 40 to 50'. Leaves are yellow-green, turning yellow in fall.
Weeping Pussy Willow (S. discolor) - Grafted at 5-½' or ground budded. With a spread of 6' to 10'. Graceful weeping branches with white catkins. Grows well in wet areas.
Rapid grower and very disease resistant.
Weeping Willow (S. babylonica) - 30' to 50'. Leaves are bright green and paler beneath.
Very pronounced weeping habit.
Pacific Groves Mountain Ash Trees
   Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia)   
   European Mountain Ash (S. aucuparia) - Rapid growth, 20' to 30' with 15' to 20' spread. Dense oval to round crown. Dull green leaflets, gray-green below. Turn yellow, orange or red in fall. White flowers in late spring with orange-red fruit in mid summer.   
Cardinal Royal Mountain Ash (S. aucuparia "Cardinal Royal") - a sub species of the above with especially large, bright red berries that color early (image)​.
Columnar or Blackhawk Mountain Ash (S. aucuparia "Black Hawk") - Narrow, upright growth. Finely cut, fernlike foliage. Clustered white flowers and bright fruit.
Dwarf Mountain Ash (S. aucuparia) "Special Fruiting" - Very small growing selection to 15'. Heavy flowers and fruit.  
   Linden (Tilia)
Pacific Groves Linden Trees
 Deciduous trees with dense, compact crowns. Excellent street tree. All have very fragrant, yellow-white, drooping flower clusters.
   American Linden ‘Redmond’ (T. americana 'Redmond') - Straight trunk, narrow pyramidal crown. Heart shaped glossy dark green leaves. Flowers in June - July.
Littleleaf Linden (T. cordata) - Densely pyramidal to 30' to 50'. Leaves 1-½" to 3" long and just as broad. Dark green above and silvery beneath. Flowers in July (image)​.
Glenleven (T. cordata "Glenleven") - Straight growth habit and pyramidal head. Grows to 45' with 30' spread. Medium green leaves turn yellow in fall.
Pacific Groves Elm Trees
Elm (Ulmus)
Deciduous or partially evergreen trees. Easily grown in most soils.
Camperdown Weeping Elm (U. glabra "Camperdownii") - Drooping branches. Dense foliage. Generally 10' to 20' tall ​(image)​.