Podcast: Let's Argue About Plants

Episode 99: Only Three Trees

Video by Danielle Sherry and Carol Collins. Edited by Kara Demos.

The thought of restricting most gardeners to only three of any plant might sound cruel. After all, what makes us happier than heading to the nursery to fill a shopping cart? But limiting your plant palette has many advantages. In many cases, less variety means less chaos. And when it comes to trees, limiting yourself to just three options may also be necessary, since trees take up more space and are more expensive than a perennial. It’s for these reasons that we decided to imagine ourselves on a strict three-tree diet. In this episode we answer the question: If you could only have three trees, which ones would you choose? The answers might surprise you.

Expert testimony: Ed Gregan works for Bailey Nurseries in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


Carol’s Plants

‘Forest Pansy’ redbud (credit: S. G. S., via Wikimedia Commons)
‘Forest Pansy’ redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’, Zones 5–9). Photo: S. G. S., via Wikimedia Commons


‘Silhouette’ dawn redwood
‘Silhouette’ dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Zones 5–8b)


‘Lois’ magnolia
‘Lois’ magnolia


‘Lois’ magnolia flowers
Flowers on ‘Lois’ magnolia (Magnolia ‘Lois’, Zones 4–9)


Danielle’s Plants

'Heronswood Globe' katsura tree habit
‘Heronswood Globe’ katsura tree habit


'Heronswood Globe' katsura tree foliage close-up
Foliage of ‘Heronswood Globe’ katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Heronswood Globe’, Zones 4–8)


Franklin tree
Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha, Zones 5–8)


Dragon’s-eye Japanese red pine
Dragon’s-eye Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora ‘Oculus Draconis’, Zones 4–7) 


Expert’s Plants

Ed Gregan works for Bailey Nurseries in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Goldspire™ ginkgo (credit: Bailey Nurseries)
Goldspire™ ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba ‘Blagon’, Zones 4–8). Photo: Bailey Nurseries


Goldspire™ ginkgo (credit: Bailey Nurseries)
Goldspire™ ginkgo. Photo: Bailey Nurseries


Scarlet Fire® kousa dogwood (credit: Bower and Branch)
Scarlet Fire® kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa ‘Rutpink’, Zones 5–8). Photo: Bower and Branch


Japanese stewartia
Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia, Zones 5–8)


Full moon maple
Full moon maple (Acer japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, Zones 5–8)


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