Selection of median plantings explained.

Median trees explained

Three trees were planted in the downtown median, and many persons have asked questions about what types of trees they are, how fast they grow and why they were put where they are.

Each tree is of a different species, and they were chosen for several reasons.

They are all slow to medium growing, about one to one and a half feet per year, and they don’t get too tall. It will take them another 20 years to get 30 feet tall.

They also are tolerant of air pollution and the harsh growing conditions found in the median. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Community Assistance Forester helped select the trees, and each species was approved by Oregon Department of Transportation prior to the trees being planted.

The three trees are the maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata) and Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata).

The maidenhair tree is planted between 10th and 12th avenues. The littleleaf linden is between 12th and 13th., and the Japanese zelkova is between 13th and 15th.

The maidenhair tree has narrow form, and the leaves turn brilliant yellow in the fall. This species has a fascinating history. It is the last survivor of a family of plants more primitive than true conifers. Trees resembling the maidenhair tree were found all over the world 150 million to 200 million years ago. China is now the only place where the tree is found, and all of our maidenhair trees were originally cultivated from the trees in China.

Japanese zelkova has smooth gray bark and a vase-shaped form. The leaves are small and have saw-toothed margins. The leaves turn yellow to bronze red in the fall.

Littleleaf linden has a pyramidal form and fragrant summer flowers. The leaves are round, dark green on top and light green below. The leaves turn yellow in the fall.

These trees help soften the straight lines of roads and buildings, and they reduce the glare from cars, windows and pavement. They help clean the air and improve the looks of the downtown area.

They are living proof that Sweet Home is a Tree City USA.

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