Trees are cool.
They are natural air conditioners.
The evaporation from a single tree can produce the cooling effect of ten room-sized air conditioners operating twenty hours a day.
In Palo Alto, CA, communities with trees averaged 6-8 degrees cooler temperatures than communities without trees.
Well-placed trees can reduce residential air conditioning costs by 20-50%.
Do the math.
Planting trees is a good investment.
It's not a native as you can tell by the name.
But it's trouble-free. No Dogwood Anthracnose. No Powdery Mildew or leaf spot. No expensive maintenance and yearly spraying. That's more, unfortunately, than you can say about the native Dogwood, the popular Cornus florida.
And it has a jump on spring. It'll be flowering in about two weeks.
Want to liven up the winter?
Landscapes are usually designed and installed during the growing season with little thought to how they will contribute to the winter scene. Here are some tips to help remedy that oversight:
#1 Foliage. Evergreens are the backbone of a winter landscapes. Nothing is more attractive in the winter than a snow-covered conifer. But the conifers are not quite alone. There are some deciduous trees that hold their marcescent foliage through the winter. A young White Oak, for instance, makes a pleasing contrast to evergreens.
#2 Stems. Some trees contribute by texture. A fine-textured plant has small stems closely spaced together. Plants with a bold texture have fewer, larger stems. A variety of texture is a good goal, but keep just enough distance between fine and bold to accent the character of both. If mixed too closely, you will soon produce a disheveled appearance.
#3 Bark. Some trees have ornamental bark that is especially attractive after a fresh snowfall. One of the best is the reddish-colored bark of the Paperbark Maple.
#4 Outline. Think about the plant's overall shape and how that will contribute to the scene. Remember, variety is most pleasing in the landscape. Round shapes, columnar, conical... all can fill their place to produce overall beauty.