|RUBY RED HORSECHESTNUT|
|FORT MCNAIR BUCKEYE|
|PAUL'S SCARLET HAWTHORN|
Monday, 7:45 AM. 55 degrees, wind N, light with stronger gusts. The sky is hazy but mostly clear and the barometer is up, so it looks like it will be a fine day after a spate of cold, wet weather. I have a lot of yard work to do after things dry up.
Several interesting trees are blooming now. The hybrids between the horsechestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum, and the red buckeye, A. pavia are named A. x carnea, the x denoting a hybrid. A number of selections have been made from this pairing, the most popular being the ruby red horsechestnut, A. x carnea ‘Brioti.’ It is a medium sized tree, rounded in form at maturity and very vibrant in flower. Another is A. x carnea ‘Fort McNair’ a US National Arboretum introduction. It is somewhat smaller and more upright and by all accounts is a good smaller street tree. Both are hardy in Zone 4, and seem to be doing well in Bayfield. I planted a half dozen of ‘McNair’ on the S 6th St. entrance to town several years ago and they attract a lot of attention when in bloom. I have a hard time telling ‘Brioti’ and ‘McNair’ apart but I believe the one pictured, growing in a yard on N 4th St. is the former.
Another tree that is spectacular in bloom is the English hawthorn selection Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet,” which was once very popular but is very susceptible to fire blight and not seen much anymore. The one pictured is in a small park on S 6th St. and Old Military, and does not seem to get fire blight.
I am often asked why I do not use only native trees for the city streets, but that is a whole subject in itself which I will address at some time in the future.