If there were ever to be a change to the name of this city it would have to include – ‘Tree Friendly’. Alpharetta Georgia is home to not one or two but three Arboretums! Cogburn Road Park, Webb Bridge Park and Wills Park all provide a walk through amazing native specimens.
Trees have a tendency to provide and support a natural eco-infrastructure. Nesting birds, mischievous squirrels and plant life thriving in the shade of the canopy are a few examples of how trees share their life with their surroundings.
Red Maple – When Red Maples turn brilliant scarlet in the fall, the song lyric “Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls Of Fire” may come to mind. If color explosions are your autumn heart’s desire, this shade tree is a must have on your list.
Red Maples when mature, can reach upwards of 80 feet, but most mature at 50 feet. These specimens have a canopy spread of up to 40 feet, and display the stereotypical range of fall green, yellow and red hues.
This extremely robust tree has been recognized by the US Forest Service for being eastern North America’s most populous native tree. Next to their fall foliage, their resilient qualities to remain healthy through weather and soil severities play a large part in their popularity.
From low to high altitudes and from swamps to arid soil, Red Maples are able to adapt, which makes them an ideal tree to shade your backyard.
Eastern Redbud – The state tree of Oklahoma reaches 20 to 30 feet in height with a canopy diameter of 25 to 30 feet. The Eastern Redbud has beautiful green leaves, turning to bright yellow in the fall before losing them.
The true show is revealed in the spring. This tree flowers before and with emerging leaves, continuing into early summer. The light to dark pink flowers bloom in clusters, eventually giving way to its fruit. The fruit are flat pea-like pods, with maturation occurring from August through October.
With the reds and yellows fighting for your attention, it would be an epic sight to come across a row of alternating Red Maples and Eastern Redbuds in the fall?
Willow Oak – ‘Weeping Willows’, as they are popularly known, have those mesmerizing leaf laden branches draped towards the ground gently waving in the slightest of breezes.
While highly desirable, the Willow Oak is not an ideal tree for all Alpharetta yards. This species should be discussed with your local tree expert before coming to any conclusions.
With a short trunk and broad canopy, mature trees reach 50 feet high and 40 feet across. The most suitable environments for these species are along riverbanks and ponds where the roots can run freely.
In their non-stop hunt for water sources, Willows are known for their invasive root systems potentially interrupting sewer and water lines. Preferring full sun, Willows are the first to produce leaves and last to shed them in the fall.
Red Oak Trees – The Red Oak gallantly reaches upwards of 75 feet with an amazing canopy spread of 50 feet.
As they are fast growing, robust and expansive canopy trees, Red Oaks are a piece of perfection in the land of shade trees.
The bark of a mature Oak looks to have wrinkly ridges running up and down. If your potential was to live to be 500 years old, you might develop a few wrinkles too.
All in all, the iconic Red Oak truly is a perfect fit for Alpharetta yards and a perfectly shaded landscape.
Yellow Poplar – This quick to develop tree can reach 160 feet in height, but is ordinarily about 85 feet. Their development is counter-intuitive in that they grow slower and shorter in full sun, and taller in shaded areas.
The Yellow Poplar is the tallest eastern hardwood tree. Like the Red Oak, this shade thrower lives up to 500 years old as well.
Sitting erect, the flower of this amazing tree is greenish yellow with red and orange dashes, with a striking resemblance to a tulip, thus the nickname, ‘Tulip Tree’.
This specimen tree does better in soil with high amounts of organic matter, due to its fragile and fleshy roots. Likewise, it has a poor tolerance to drought.
Trees partner with surrounding vegetation to halt soil erosion and even provide natural fertilization when their fallen leaves decay. The high temperatures during the summer months make shade trees desirable to Alpharetta residents. Once planted, prune your trees so they grow a nice full canopy. With that in mind, make informed specimen selection decisions leading towards a beautiful, balanced and well-shaded landscape.