• Some like it hot

    These trees can handle the summer heat in Southern Oregon, and don't forget about easy-care plants
  • Our summer temperatures can really soar, sometimes to the point of endangering the health and survival of landscape plants and trees, but some plants don't mind it hot.
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  • Our summer temperatures can really soar, sometimes to the point of endangering the health and survival of landscape plants and trees, but some plants don't mind it hot.
    While summer is not the best time to plant new trees, now — while temps are still relatively mild — is a good time to put a new tree in the ground.
    Here are a few tree species that tolerate high temperatures with the proper care.
    California black oak: This tree features a broad, rounded crown, deeply lobed, dark-green leaves and thin bark that becomes thick, ridged and plate-like with age. Its cavities provide den or nest sites for owls, woodpeckers and squirrels.
    Chinese pistache: This dense shade tree is low-maintenance and exhibits showy red flowers in spring. Although it's susceptible to verticillium (a wilt disease), it resists armillaria (a root fungus). Avoid planting under or near power lines. Provides great fall color and does well in warm climates, but like any tree, should be watered deeply and regularly.
    Red rage tupelo: This tree looks robustly healthy all summer, with high-gloss foliage and showy, corky bark. It resists leaf spot and is popular because it exhibits dependable, brilliant fall color; it reaches a mature height of about 35 feet.
    Adirondack crabapple: This lovely tree grows to just 18 feet tall and features attractive, deep-pink buds that open to pink-edged white blossoms. Most crabapples put on a stunning flower display in spring and are disease and drought-tolerant.
    Crape myrtle: These non-natives generously provide months of spectacular bloom through the heat of summer, followed by enough fall color enough to make New Englanders happy.
    Here are a few ideas for easy-care plants for the landscape:
    Lavender: Popular for its attractive purple blooms, lovely fragrance and easy-to-grow characteristics, lavender is deer-resistant and attracts birds and butterflies.
    Lupine: An Oregon native, lupine is a perennial that will reward you by coming back year after year. Blooms are often blue, purple or pink.
    California poppy: California poppy can be counted on to provide garden color summer after summer. The silky, cup-shaped, four-petal flowers are usually orange but can also be found in yellow and pink.
    Flax: This self-sowing wildflower has delicate, graceful leaves and stems. You can help it continue to bloom by removing spent blossoms.
    Yarrow: These plants feature fernlike foliage in shades of green to gray. Flowers are commonly golden-yellow but also come in orange, pink and white. Yarrow is long-blooming and very drought-tolerant.
    Even if they are considered drought-resistant, all newly planted trees require regular, deep watering the first 2 to 3 years during summer months.
    Apply mulch under trees in a "doughnut" shape, keeping it away from the trunk of the tree. Adding 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the base of trees and shrubs will help reduce weeds and retain soil moisture.
    Cynthia Orlando has a degree in forest management and is a certified arborist with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
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