Trees with flowers, fruit & nuts offered in state, county sales

flowering dogwood
In addition to having showy spring blooms, the flowering dogwood is a good choice if you’re looking for a tree to plant near utility lines. Photo courtesy Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org

Find trees to fit your landscape in the annual seedling sales held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and by local counties.

Each sale has different offerings. In addition to tree seedlings, some counties offer shrubs, wildflower seeds, ferns and supplies for your plants.

See details on the DEC sale here.

See sales in these counties:

Trees with flowers, fruit & nuts

Here are three trees that are being offered in the DEC sale that you might not be familiar with.

The flowering dogwood has showy flowers, the Allegheny chinquapin produces delicious nuts and the American plum has tasty fruit. Each of them also has other features that make it desirable.

See descriptions of all of the trees & shrubs in the DEC sale here.

Flowering dogwood

Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) blooms with showy flowers in April to May. It also provides great fall color, with leaves turning red-purple.

A small tree (25 feet) with a rounded shape, flowering dogwood is a good a good choice for planting near utility lines, patios or larger buildings, according to the DEC.

The glossy red fruit can’t be eaten by humans, but it is eaten by nearly 40 species of birds, including ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail and wild turkey.

Flowering dogwood is versatile and grows in many types of soil: acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay.

chinqapin nuts
The burs on the Allegheny chinquapin (also called dwarf chestnut) each hold a single nut. Photo courtesy John Ruter, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Allegheny chinquapin

Allegheny chinquapin, also known as American chinquapin or dwarf chestnut (Castanea pumila) produces small, delicious nuts. It has potential as a nut crop, according to the DEC.

Female flowers develop into clusters of one-inch burs, each bur containing a single, glossy brown, edible nut that is the size of an acorn. The burs split open when the nuts are ripe.

The nuts provide an outstanding wildlife food for many species of animals.

The chinquapin is less susceptible to chestnut blight than the American chestnut is.

Its small size (10 to 20 feet), dense glossy foliage, clustered burs, and compact form make it an interesting and attractive species suitable for smaller sites.

The chinquapin (Castanea pumila) is a tough and durable species tolerant of drought and poor sandy or rocky soil. It can be planted for land reclamation and wildlife habitat.

American plum

blooms of American plum
The American plum is a native plant with fragrant blossoms and tasty fruit. Photo courtesy Andrew Ciscel

The American plum (Prunus americanus) produces a wild plum that is small, but the fruit’s taste is much more intense than the taste of larger cultivated plums.

The tree blooms in spring before the leaves open. The flowers, which are very fragnant, are white and about one inch across.

It’s an important pollinator plant, especially for native bees.

The tree can reach a height anywhere from 5 to 30 feet and can be used as a native hedge plant or for windbreaks.

It can spread by root suckers, which makes it good for erosion control.

Some gardeners may see its ability to spread by root suckers as a drawback. Its branches may have spines, which could also be a drawback.

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