Oakmont Approved Understory Tree List

Alternate Leaf Pagoda (Dogwood) (Cornus alternifolia). Small tree that can be grown as single or multi trunked specimen. General crown form is oval to round but it has a unique horizontally layered branching structure. Flat clusters of small white flowers in spring. Small blue-black berries readily eaten by birds. Does well in full sun or shade. Does not tolerate hot dry sites.

American Holly (flex opaca). Dense, pyramidal in youth, opening up with age. Plant in moist, well drained soil. Full sun or partial shade. Many cultivars. Foliage provides cover for songbirds and ma mm el 5.

American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana). Also known as blue beech, musciewood, and ironwood. Small, medium to slow growing tree with beechlike leaves and silver bark. Not a showy bloomer. Upright rounded canopy, grows to 20 feet, some grow taller.

American Wild Plum (Prunus Americana). Hundreds of fruiting and non-fruiting varieties available. Rounded vase shape with dense canopy. Flowers appear before leaves, in May.

Crab Apple (Malus). Homeowners should pick a variety that is both upright in form and bred for disease resistance. Gorgeous in bud, flower, and fruit, although dropped fruit can be messy.
Suitable street tree varieties include Adirondack, Autum Glory, Donald Syman, Narrangansett, and Professor Sprenger, all white flowering. Prairifire has magenta flowers. Thunderchild is a 15
footer with pink blossoms.

Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis). Native woodland tree functions nicely as a street tree, growing to 15 to 20 feet when pressed into curbside duty.

Fig (Ficus carica). Flowers are invisible and fruit wasp enters fruit to pollinate it. Trees provide a tropical look in the northern landscape. Large rough textured, bright green leaves. Up to 20 feet in protected location

Flowering Cherry (Prunus). Classic variety around Washington’s Tidal Basin is Yoshino, fine for street use and rarely grows to more than 20 feet. Kwanzan, with magenta-pink double flowers, is another stalwart. Snow Goose is white-flowered and upright, grows to just 20 feet.

Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida). Like the redbud, this native tree is unlikely to reach great spreading age if planted at the roadside. It is particularly suited to front yards near power lines. An alternative is the more upright and larger kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa).

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus). Slow-growing tree (to 20 feet) that prefers moist, fertile soils and full sun. Excellent specimen tree or in groups and borders. Limited wildlife value.

Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulate). Upright, this tree form of lilac blooms in early June with white flowers. Although it isn’t particularly fragrant, it is a sturdy tree suited for street use.

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba). Can grow up to 35 feet, leaves do not do well in strong windy areas. Dark green, oblong, drooping leaf that can grow up to 12 inches long. Flowers mid to late spring.

Persimmon (Diospyros ebenaceae). Can be multi stem or single stem trunk. Glossy, simply, leaves up to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. Flowers mid to late spring.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier). Serviceberries grow as large shrubs or small trees, depending on species and individual form. Select one that has a single trunk. The Autumn Brilliance hybrid is favored for its tree form and red fall color

Silverbell (Halesia Carolina). Clusters of bell shaped white flowers in early spring. Good tree for shady corners or woodland borders. Requires high acidity. Can grow to 40 feet.

Snowbell (Styrax americanus). White bell shaped flowers in late spring and early summer. Narrow leaves. Attracts nectar insects and fruit birds. Needs wet soil.

Sourwood (Oxydendrum aboreum). Can grow to 25 feet. Drooping 10 inch long fragrant white flowers in mid June to late July.

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). This small native magnolia grows to 20 feet with attractive gray-green leaves. White blossoms appear in late spring. It likes moist conditions, but can endure drought once established. An alternative is the Galaxy magnolia, which is stouter and symmetric but still upright and short enough for street use. Its pink blossoms appear in early spring.

Trident maple (Acer buergerianum). This Asian maple grows to about 20 feet with great fall color. An alternative is the paperbark maple (Acer griseum), which is slow-growing with beautiful peeling cinnamon bark but is hard to find and somewhat expensive.

Washington hawthorn (Crataegus phaenopyrum). This heattolerant species of hawthorn grows to about 20 feet in a street setting. Princeton Sentry is an almost thornless variety, A suitable alternative is the Winter King variety of green hawthorn, which is sharply thorny. Dense thorns make excellent nesting sites for songbirds. Should not be used in high traffic areas.

Important Note: 
This list was compiled from several sources that identified understory trees suitable for our location and does not reflect the personal interest of the Citizens’ Committee. Please contact the Citizens’ Committee if you would like further information on the sources relied upon to compile the list. Please choose your trees with care, considering your location, the growth habit shape, consequences of fruiting trees, etc. The Oakmont Special Taxing District is not responsible for the health and maintenance of trees selected from this list. Trees not on this list are not eligible for the Oakmont understory tree reimbursement program.