Tag Archives: arbor hills trees

Helpful information about the Royal Star Magnolia Tree

The Royal Star Magnoliaroyal starmagnolia tree


The Royal Star Magnolia is an early blooming tree with large, fragrant, double white flowers. Star Magnolias are interestingly a member of one of the most ancient flowering plant families in the world.

It’s beautiful white flowers begin to appear even before the foliage emerges in spring. This tree produce fragrant blossoms that last throughout the spring and into the summer. Note, due to late frosts, that can stretch into the early spring – damage on blooming flowers on the Royal Star Magnolia is common.

Did you know? The Royal Star Magnolia is considered an open-branched, multi-trunked ‘large shrub’ – but is commonly referred to as a small tree.

What you should know about the Royal Star Magnolia tree

Royal Star Magnolias should be planted in moist soil. However, the magnolia requires well-drained soil. While this tree requires a great deal of water to thrive, it cannot tolerate soaking in soil, as ‘root rot’ is common.

They require shelter from heavy winds to protect it’s developing buds.

Plant your magnolia near other trees or a retaining wall, or on the side of your home.

The magnolia can thrive not only in full sunlight but also in partial shade; it requires six to eight hours of exposure to the sun per day.

Ready for your Royal Star Magnolia?

Contact the experts at Arbor Hills Trees and Landscaping for more information. Click HERE to visit our website.


The Kentucky Coffee Tree


The Gymnocladus dioicus, better known as the Kentucky Coffee tree is a tree in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the pea family Fabaceae, native to the midwest of North America, primarily in southern Michigan and Ohio as well as southwest to Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The Kentucky coffee tree was the state tree of Kentucky from 1976 to 1994.

These trees vary from 18 to 21 meters (60–75 feet) high with a spread of 12–15 meters (40–50 feet) with a trunk up to one meter (3 feet) in diameter. The Kentucky Coffee is a moderately fast-growing tree. With the healthy trees living from 100 to 150 years, this tree is normally long-lived; however for the first six months of the tree’s growth, they often appear dead. This is due to the Kentucky Coffee tree shedding its leaves early during the fall, appearing bare for up to 6 months. When the leaves are attached, they appear bright pink, but turn green to bronze when aged. The bark is similar to black cherry with it’s ash-gray and scaly texture. A Kentucky Coffee tree bears fruit in a hard-shelled bean that is in heavy pods made from wood that are filled with sweet, gooey pulp that is thick. The shape of the pods varies somewhat: pod length ranges from about 5 to 10 inches (130 to 250 mm); unfertilized female trees may bear miniature seedless pods. The seed pods are too difficult for many animals to chew through, and they are too heavy for either wind or water to disperse them. The beans contain the toxin cytisine, which can interfere with breathing, resulting in death in cases of heavy doses. The plant is toxic to some animals.


The Kentucky Coffee is a great landscaping tree for large lawns and parks. The male trees are generally considered more desirable because of the lack of seedpods. However, mature female trees with hanging seedpods can be very attractive in winter.

In the summer and winter, the ascending branches often form a narrow crown. Oval leaflets form in late spring, changing from pinkish to a dark blue-green. The Kentucky Coffee tree tolerates most conditions including drought and pollution. This tree is best grown in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in full sun. However, avoid heavy clays.

For tips and details on the Kentucky Coffee tree, where to plant it, and if it is too toxic for your environment (animals, children, etc) be sure to check with an Arbor Hills Specialist today.

Star Magnolia shrubs and trees


Magnolia stellata, also known as star magnolia, is a shrub or small tree that is slow-growing and native to Japan. These have large, white or pink fragrant flowers with 12-30 thin petals that bloom early in March. Before these flowers bloom, in late winter, this tree begins to grow groups of fuzzy buds waiting to blossom. The flower, once bloomed, requires shelter from frost and wind, which can discolor the blooms.

Star Magnolias grow anywhere from 10 to 20 feet with an 8 to 15 feet spread with a rounded crown shape for a tree or a large oval to rounded shrub. They are best grown in moist, well-drained organic soil in full sun to partial shade, and are intolerant of most urban pollutants. Star Magnolias require medium maintenance of pruning, which should be done after flowering to avoid ridding the tree of its buds that are set for the next season. They grow best when protected from high winds, and it is best to avoid planting these in southern exposures where the buds may open too early in late winter.

Remaining small and compact for several years, Star magnolia is a great flowering tree for a small yard. These can be incorporated with other trees and shrubs into a planted bed for a great look. Try planting near a dark background such as a brick wall or darker trees to show off the flowers. Star Magnolias are great to plant near your patio or deck, where you can enjoy the flowering scents all season long.

For expert advice and the best opinion on where to put your Star Magnolia, consult an Arbor Hills Trees consultant today.

The do’s and don’ts of pruning your trees

Blooming tree and houses

Pruning tips from Arbor Hills – Most pruning should be confined to removal of broken, rubbing, damaged or dead branches. Sometimes pruning is necessary to elevate tree branches over a sidewalk, street, roof, or other structure.

Tree thinning: It is generally not necessary to thin a tree out. Some people believe it is good for the tree because more air passes through the crown. This practice is sometimes known as “lion tailing” and can leave the tree open to stress during the hot Nebraska months.