AUGUST: COLUMNAR OAK
Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’ might be the solution if you have a tight space where you really want a tree? Need to frame the home or an entrance? Columnar Oak make a statement, are elegant, and live a long, long, time! Some Oaks in Europe are 1200-1500 years old. As an ornamental tree, they can grow to 60 ft. but maintain a narrow width of 10-15 feet making them ideal for tight spaces. Found growing in a forest in Germany, the first columnar oaks were propagated from this one tree with a very narrow growth habit. There are several other hybrids to choose from as well. Kindrid Spirit is perhaps the most narrow of the grouping, and Regal Prince both notable in having good resistance to powdery mildew, common among the Oaks, especially in more humid environments. This is less of a problem along the Front Range of Colorado. Skyrocket and Skymaster are two other hybrids worth investigating.
Oaks in general require moderate moisture and prefer acidic soil, but can adapt to many different soil conditions including our more alkaline soils here along the Front Range of Colorado, as well as to our very dry air. An oak prefers fertile and well watered soil, and mature trees can even benefit from occasional flooding. Unique to the Columnar Oaks are the fact that once their leaves turn brown for the winter, they will not fall off for several months, often waiting until the new growth from spring pushes off the old dead leaves from the previous year.
Columnar Oaks really can be quite elegant and formal if placed appropriately in the landscape, especially considering their longevity and size. Placing them at the corners of the home can help frame the architecture of the home and help give the home presence. Plant one as a center piece, or two to frame an entrance. You will enjoy them for years to come.
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