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Ornamental trees for MinonkPublished April 10, 2003 by David Uphoff
Ornamental trees are usually smaller in size that shade trees and can be planted 15 feet from the house or another tree. All of the trees recommended here are flowering trees. Keep in mind that ornamental trees will not live as long as shade trees. Forty years is a long life for an ornamental tree.
Chanticleer Pear: The ornamental pear trees are very nice because of their glossy leaf, dense formal shape and their white flowers in the spring. The Chanticleer pear tree is my favorite because it doesn't grow over 30 feet and doesn't split like the more popular Bradford pear. There are a row of Bradford pear trees planted along the north side of the Minonk Township Cemetery.
Japanese Tree Lilac: Another small tree to consider is the Japanese Tree Lilac. It doesn't get over 30 feet tall and has leaves similiar to a lilac bush and has lilac flowers in the spring but does not have the same scent.
European Hornbeam: The pyramidal european hornbeam is very compact and has a formal sheared look to it. It is a slow grower but is a very distinctive tree that would enhance any landscape.
Saucer Magnolia: The magnolia tree doesn't grow very tall and has beautiful pinkish white flowers in the spring. The tree also has an interesting branch structure with large glossy leaves. The tree is a slow grower but is a very striking tree to have in your landscape. The saucer magnolia tree is the best variety to plant in this area.
Horse Chestnut: The Horse Chestnut tree is famous for lining the boulevards of Paris. The tree has 5 large leaves to a stem and has very large showy flowers in the spring. The Baumann Horse Chestnut has red flowers while the others have white flowers. For an ornamental tree, this tree is fairly long-lived. Six Baumann Horse Chestnut trees are planted along the northeast edge of the Minonk Township Cemetery. These trees are hard to find and also expensive but they will be the most distinctive tree in your neighborhood. Horse chestnut trees can be bought at the Growing Grounds nursery on South Main Street in Bloomington.
Kousa Dogwood: A Kousa dogwood tree is one of the earliest flowering trees. It has a white flower in the spring and its leaves turn red in the fall. It should be planted in a protected area since it is not as hardy in this area.
Flowering crabapples: I do not recommend any flowering crab trees because they so often are afflicted with a fungus that causes them to lose their leaves in the middle of the summer. However, if you want to plant one of these trees, buy from a reputable nursery and ask the nurseryman for a disease resistant variety. "Sargent" and "Radiant" are supposed to be resistant to apple scab.