Medium Deciduous Trees

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Medium Deciduous Trees

Trees can live for an exceptionally long time, especially if they are given the right environment to perform at their best. That is why deciding on a tree species in haste isn’t advised; because they can either provide years of purpose and beauty, or years of continual maintenance and regret. Selecting a tree for the home landscape should be based on growth potential of the tree itself, along with proven hardiness, freedom from pests/diseases, and ornamental value.

Deciduous trees can be found all over the world. Trees that shed or drop their leaves on a annual basis are classified as deciduous. In temperate climates, deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter on account of below freezing temperatures, lower light intensity, and thus, the lack of photosynthetic activity. In more tropical climates, deciduous or the shedding of leaves may be more dependent on the variations of rainfall; ie. the process of abscission allows plants to shed plant parts for increased survival in drought.

Common examples of deciduous trees found throughout the Iowa landscape are oak, maple, linden, hickory, honeylocust, willow and birch. A variety of forms (oval, vase-shaped, pyramidal, etc.), purposes (shade, flowering, fruiting), and sizes (small, medium, and large) of deciduous trees are available in the nursery trade today. The arboretum showcases two separate collections of deciduous trees based on their growing height. In this particular case, medium deciduous trees are those that grow 25 to 40 feet tall. Keep in mind that different hardiness zones, soil conditions, and pest pressure could alter a tree’s growth potential. According to the USDA, Iowa occupies parts of Zone 4b (northeast and northwest sections) and Zone 5b (southeast section), but the majority of Iowa is in Zone 5a (central section, hardy to -20°F).

The Medium Deciduous Trees collection covers a large area in the center of the arboretum’s main campus. These trees are very suitable for home landscapes due to their intermediate size; providing shade and shelter to houses, patios, private yards, streets, and curb-sides. It is important to note that varying tree forms, leaf types, and branching angles provide different levels of shade. A medium deciduous tree such as honeylocust will provide a more filtered, dappled shade effect compared to the dense shade of a three-flowered maple.

Please note that not all trees in this collection are classified as medium deciduous trees. Accession numbers with a asterisk (*) are to mature as large deciduous trees in the Iowa climate. Refer to the following table for a complete list of trees in this collection.


*This page was late updated on January 2, 2019.


Accession # Genus species Cultivar Common Name Family
910026B* Acer x freemanii Jeffersred Autumn Blaze Sapindaceae
830117 Acer miyabei Miyabe Maple Sapindaceae
790015A-C Acer campestre Hedge Maple Sapindaceae
920041* Acer platanoides Norway Maple Sapindaceae
040001* Acer x freemanii Jeffersred Autumn Blaze Maple Sapindaceae
820147A Acer tataricum subsp. ginnala  Amur Maple Sapindaceae
170008A-B* Acer platanoides Variegatum Variegated Norway Maple Sapindaceae
180001 Acer triflorum Three-flowered Maple Sapindaceae
830242A-B Aesculus glabra Ohio Buckeye Sapindaceae
170000 Amelanchier x grandiflora Apple Serviceberry Rosaceae
150012 Amelanchier canadensis Freedom Rainbow Pillar Serviceberry Rosaceae
830252K* Carya species Shagbark Hickory Hybrid Juglandaceae
790042B* Carya hyrbrid Hickory hybrid Juglandacea
850005B* Catalpa ovata Chinese Catalpa Bignoniaceae
810054 Cercis canadensis Eastern Redbud Fabaceae
830232 Cladrastis lutea Yellowwood Fabaceae
830004A-C Crataegus crus-galli var. splendens Showy Cockspur Hawthorn Rosaceae
830048 Crataegus phaenopyrum Washington Hawthorn Rosaceae
070544 Ginkgo biloba Shangri-La Shangri-La Ginkgo Ginkgoaceae
170039A-C Ligustrum vulgare Swift Straight Talk Privet Japonicum
090087 Magnolia x loebneri Leonard Messel Leonard Messel Magnolia Magnoliaceae
810064 Malus species Crabapple Rosaceae
830227 Malus x moerlandsii Liset Liset Crabapple Rosaceae
170005* Nyssa sylvatica Black Tupelo, Black Gum Nyssaceae
850030* Prunus serotina Wild Black Cherry Rosaceae
830022 Pyrus calleryana Bradford Bradford Callery Pear Rosaceae
800047 Pyrus ussuriensis Ussurian Pear, Machurian Pear Rosaceae
880099* Quercus phellos Willow Oak Fagaceae
830256B* Quercus imbricaria Shingle Oak Fagaceae
170034* Quercus dentata Pinnatifida Cutleaf Japanese Emperor Oak Fagaceae
800032A-C Syringa  reticulata subsp. amurensis Chinese Tree Lilac Oleaceae
830064* Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress Taxodiaceae
110035 Taxodium distichum Mickelson Shawnee Brave Bald Cypress Taxodiaceae
050116 Taxodium distichum Peve Minaret Peve Minaret Dwarf Bald Cypress Taxodiaceae
960001 Tilia cordata Glenleven Glenleven Little Leaf Linden Tiliaceae
780057* Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark Elm Ulmaceae
910046 Viburnum lentago Nannyberry Viburnum Caprifoliaceae
880094* Zelkova serrata Japanese Zelkova Ulmaceae

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