Fever tree is an extraordinary rare endemic in Georgia to South Carolina. Its a monotypic species.. And in a family that is decidedly tropical. We’ve carefully tested this cultivar and we are happy to say it performs here beautifully. Conical spreading small tree to 15′. Large tropical looking mid green leaves are opulent. In July to October it blooms. The real flowers are tubular and white and about 1″ long you only notice them as an after thought because you are immediately drawn to the large and colorful pink fading towhite bracts that surround the tiny flower. Its a wonderful effect, a bit like a pink poinsettia. Deciduous with no appreciable fall color. Locate in rich soil in full hot sun to very light shade. Regular water for at least the first two years to establish- then at least once a month. Beautiful rare tree that has been known to take years to commence bloom. This ‘precocious’ cultivar blooms when its barely 1′ tall and from then annually. Cold hardy to near 0ºF. Not for perpetually cold gardens or hot and dusty dry. Average conditions at least. A tree covered in these bracts/flowers is truly spectacular for weeks. Spectacular and something your neighbors WILL NOT HAVE. Thank you too my friend Mike See for sending me this tree to test in our climate. Its a real stunner and not difficult in any way. Limited qualities.
Pacific ponderosa pine is a lovely tree native west of the Cascades from about the Portland area (with some outliers farther north) south to northern California. Our form is from locally collected seed. Slow growing in youth this pine picks up speed in its teens and grows almost exponentially from there. Pacific ponderosa pine is known for it tall straight crowns of lush green needles in clumps of three. This tree is excellently adapted to our winter wet/summer dry climate and even small trees can endure the very longest, driest, hottest summers with no visible stress. Its adaptable to all types of soil – not fussy and is even found in the most well drained stranded flood cobbles of major rivers. To 125′ in time with ulitimate height of close to 200′ in great age – expect a 3′ tall tree to be about 15′ tall in 10 years. Full sun- not very shade tolerant and when planting with other trees anticipate at least a 25′ wide crown in the future. Needles can drop profusely in September which is a bit of a mess. Take note of this. Underplant with other drought adapted natives. Water to establish for the first summer then none in subsequent years. A regal pine that is among the tallest in the world. Oregon native plant.
Gray Pine or Foothill Pine native almost exclusively to the mountains of California- but there are several outlying native populations in Douglas, Josephine and Jackson, Counties in Oregon so we can claim it as our own as well. Known as the tree that casts no shade, its almost completely true as the long gray needles allow almost all light through. Large pine tree with gray foliage- usually forks about 1/2 way up into two main trunks, these are buttressed to support the huge cones which can weigh 5lbs or more. Excellent performance in the Willamette Valley where many are seen around old farm houses and older neighborhoods. Perfectly hardy to cold in our climate and incredibly drought adapted. In fact it shuns all irrigation and is ideal for hot dry locations. Grows very fast in youth, settles down a little with age. Its ultimate height is around 35′-45′ in our climate. A smokey, silvery, shadeless skyline tree. Oregon native plant.
Willow leaved Podocarpus is a large tree native to Chile. Its defined by thin willowy deep green foliage that is dense and somewhat pendulous and reddish shredding bark. In our climate it mostly takes the form of a large shrub. Its ultimate height of 66′, will take decades and decades in our climate and this dense evergreen takes very well to pruning. The somewhat waxy foliage is pretty and verdant year round. To 15′ all in 10 year in Portland. Excellent trimmed hedge or specimen. Prune directly before new growth begins in Spring. Small olive green pillar shaped flower morph into small blue fruits. Native between 36º south and 43º south this forest tree in areas of high precipitation has become very endangered in the wild. Excellent shrub/tree for large container. Rich to average soil that drains with regular water during the summer. In time it gains drought tolerance. Very good year round appearance Very dense and useful as a large screen or hedge. Gains cold hardiness with establishment and we’ve seen no issues down to 5ºF. F. Full sun to very light shade. Lightly deer resistant.
Sophisticated winter blooming tree that we love for its incredibly sweet spicy scented flowers. Double pink flowers are conspicuous and perched perfectly on the green twigs of this asian flowering apricot. Flowers appear in December in mild years as late as February in the coldest. Flowers last forever in the cool winter air. Each spicily scented flower has a prominent boss of white stamens. Its the details man. Flowers are hardy to around 20ºF- closed buds are substantially hardier and will unfurl when the weather warms. Moderately fast growing tree to 18′ x12′ in 10 years. Appreciates deep, rich soil and definitely weekly summer water in its first few years. Fall color is pale yellow. Inedible ornamental fruits often follow the blossoms. Japan.
Canyon live oak is a vastly underused, beautiful evergreen native tree. Found from Lane county, Oregon south through California, slight parts of Nevada around Lake Tahoe and sporadically in Arizona and even New Mexico. This venerable tree is found on the steepest slopes of canyons and mountain ridges. In Oregon it represents the northern most native Live Oak or evergreen oak in North America. Leaves are glossy army green on the the top with a conspicuous furry gold underside. This is a rugged, tough tree that should be used in both gardens and as a street tree. In the Alameda neighborhood in Portland there is an ancient specimen to 60′ tall and wide with a large trunk. This heritage tree was reportedly brought to the city from southern Oregon via horse and wagon. Slow growing in youth it picks up speed exponentially several years after planting. To 40′ x 20′ in 30 years with a broad spreading crown. In the wild it often forms a gnarled multi-trunked rounded outline. Its very possible to train this tree to a single trunk/leader to extend the crown skyward. Extraordinarily cold hardy enduring temperatures slightly below 0ºF with no difficulty. The large acorns are born in a showy golden hued furry cups- and are produced profusely in banner years. Water to establish for the first season then none in subsequent years. Full sun. Beautiful, native Oak that we cherish at Xera. Oregon native plant.
Oregon white oak. A monarch of a tree locally native and forming Oak Savanna communities in the Willamette Valley that preceded European development. Slow growing tree of great age and grace. Deep green foliage forms dappled domes in the high rounded canopy. Birds and wildlife adore this completely summer drought adapted tree. To 130′ but not in your lifetime. Our acorn source is local. Whitish bark in patches and it will often develop pure white patches at the base- an outlet for sodium from the constantly saturated Oregon winter soils. Tolerates the most impenetrable clay and shuns summer irrigation. Fall color is russet orange. Grows just 2′-3′ a year in youth -if really happy. This as all oaks has what are referred to as banner years. In certain years huge amounts of acorns are produced. This is thought to overwhelm predators and at least a fair amount can germinate. Famous for its moss covered enormous branches which have been likened to the perfect depiction of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale. Oregon native plant.
Silver Leaf Oak from Arizona is a favorite tree at Xera. Tall, rounded evergreen tree with skinny but thick leaves that are sage green on top and silver white on the underside. Its handsome all the time and even prettier when the gold catkins protrude from the foliage in spring. Naturally develops a straight trunk. Fast growing tree in our climate to 35′ in 12 years. Casts dense shade but tolerates limited summer water. Extraordinarily cold hardy. It has endured subzero readings in Eugene without injury and I even encountered one in a garden in Denver. The leaves were kind of toasted from the previous winters -17ºF(!) but it was obviously thriving. Native to the mountains of SE Arizona at very high elevations and that translates to LOVE for our climate. Exceptional leaf form and shape. Be aware that in time this tree can cast quite dense shade. Wonderful on hot summer days but also inhibiting sun loving gardening. Makes you think. Wonderfully pest and disease resistant foliage- it always looks good.
Photo credit: Amy Campion
This is a remarkable oak whose geographic center is in high elevation Mexico. There are several forms of this evergreen tree with remarkable qualities. Its range extends from the SW U.S. south throughout Mexico into northern Guatemala. This southwest form has shown great cold hardiness and adaptability. These are started from acorns in a garden in Medford. The parent tree was pole straight with a boisterous green rounded crown. It is remarkably tolerant of drought and is cold hardy reliably to 0ºF. Full sun in average soil for a moderately fast growing tree. The outline of its crown is oblong at first and if you remove the lower limbs it will send the crown skyward. As I said the trunk was pole straight on a tree that was 35′ tall (18′ wide) and very pretty. Doing research on this tree it was found in California that this tree literally collects pollutants from the sky with its rough leaves. Its proposed to be planted along intersections and freeways and could be a boon to lower the particulate count. Dark green foliage looks good year round. Water to establish and then none in subsequent years. Grows fast for an oak and it really adores our climate. The bark is rough with gray striations. It makes many acorns and this should be taken into account in siting. Good candidate for a street tree or a garden shade tree. Average soil, including clay soils. Full sun from every direction for the straightest tree. Syn. Quercus reticulata. This would also be a good candidate for a formal large screen. Sometimes called net leaf oak or southwestern net leaf oak. Casts moderately dense shade with time.
Cork oak. The commercial source for high quality cork comes from this evergreen mediterranean native. A large growing tree with a rounded crown. To 35′ tall and half as wide. As the trunk grows (expands) it develops the corky bark very quickly. Harvest correctly and it does not harm the tree. In mid-spring golden tassels eventually become acorns- loved by wild life. Frequently planted as a street tree in the city of Portland. Very, very drought tolerant, in fact it really should not see any water during the summer. Eventually casts a good amount of dark shade. Beautiful tree that is amazingly adaptable to freezing rain and snow. Grows about 2′- 4′ per year when established. Very climate adapted.