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Hickory color

Written by Doug Oster on .

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Fall is not my favorite season, because winter is next. Yes, I enjoy the break, but I've got a long steep driveway with a switchback in the middle that makes for a lot of work during snow and ice. But over the years I've learned to embrace fall by enjoying the colors of my favorite trees as they head for dormancy. I'm often asked for suggestions for tree planting in the landscape and if you've got room for a 60 to 80 foot tree consider the shagbark hickory.  As the name indicates, it's got a cool looking bark, produces lots of nuts that you can eat or leave for the squirrels. But the show starts late in fall when the large leaves turn yellow. The light is different in the fall, lower in the sky and that backlit hickory leaves almost make fall worth it.
The most important thing to consider when planting a tree of this type is how big it will eventually get. I hate looking at all the new construction landscaping with trees planted in such a way they'll have to be cut down in 10 or 20 years. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is today. Maybe you'll leave a legacy of color to help others enjoy fall.

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