CHESTER, Vt. – Tired of snow? Think spring! Chester Townscape’s annual Tree and Shrub Sale helps landowners prepare for the growing season by offering them good-size, proven trees and shrubs at below regular retail prices so people can beautify their properties while supporting a nonprofit’s civic beautification projects. The five specimens offered in 2021 are a Korean Dogwood tree and four shrubs: compact Red Osier Dogwood “Artic Fire,” Dwarf Sweet Pepperbush “Hummingbird,” Azalea “Ribbon Candy,” and Doublefile Viburum “Summer Snowflake.”
All specimens are hardy and low maintenance, sport colorful blossoms, and offer multi-season interest. Most are native, and all appeal to pollinators or birds. Any one of these plants would make a wonderful present for Mother’s or Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, housewarming celebrations, or other special events.
Korean Dogwood is a Zone 4, broad, bushy, reliable, deciduous tree that reaches 15-20 feet tall and wide. Multi-season interest features creamy white, long-lasting flowers in May and June, after most other dogwoods have bloomed; edible, bird-attracting, crimson-red, raspberry-like berries in early to mid fall; and dark green leaves that turn orange-red to scarlet in fall. This tree prefers part shade to full sun, best with protection from hot afternoon sun. It is not draught or heat tolerant, and it prefers richly organic, loamy, well-drained soil. Shallow roots welcome mulch or leaf litter. It is low maintenance, tolerates deer, and attracts birds, bees, and butterflies.
Red Osier Dogwood is a Zone 3, compact, native, deciduous, twiggy shrub that grows 3-5 feet high and 3-4 feet wide, with intense bright red stems for outstanding winter interest – and tiny white flowers in spring. It tolerates good range of soil and light conditions. The stems are reddest with more sun, but it is one of the most shade-tolerant shrubs.
Dwarf Sweet Pepperbush is a Zone 3, compact, native, deciduous, stoloniferous shrub that grows 2-4 feet high and 3-5 feet wide, with fragrant, creamy-white blossoms in mid-late summer. It tolerates good range of soil and light conditions. Full sun to shade, but flowers best in sun or part shade. It is low maintenance and attracts bees and butterflies.
Ribbon Candy Azalea is a Zone 4, dense, deciduous, native, suckering shrub that grows 5-7 feet high and 6-8 feet wide, with horizontal-branching stems. Star-shaped, sweetly fragrant, pink flowers with white stripes bloom mid to late June with multiple buds at the branch ends. Thick, blue-green foliage turns red and orange in fall. It grows in part sun or part shade, but benefits from half day of sun for best blooms and form. It prefers moist or wet, well drained soil and is an excellent choice for wetter or shadier areas or naturalizing in semi-shaded woodland areas. Suggested mass planting for greatest effect. It attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds and is low maintenance.
Doublefile Viburnum is a Zone 5, dense, deciduous, native shrub that grows 6-8 feet high and 8-10 feet wide, with beautiful, horizontal-branching form and three-season interest. Showy, white, lacecap-like flowers late spring into summer attract butterflies. Toothed, deeply veined, dark green leaves turn red to purple-red in fall. Ornamental red berries turn black and are favored by birds. It prefers full sun to part shade and loamy soil, but can do well in any medium-moisture, well drained, slightly acidic soil. It tolerates drought as it matures, but keep it watered until established. It is low maintenance and its beautiful form accents a stone wall, fence, or foundation.
Buyers do not have to be Chester residents, but they do have to preorder and pay before March 29 with a check to tax-exempt Chester Community Alliance. They must pick up the plants, likely in the first week of May, from Sunshine Acres Nursery on Route 11 in Chester.
For an informative and colorful order form that gives details about the plants, their prices, and where to send the check and order form, please visit www.ourchester.org or www.chestervt.gov/chester-townscape.html to download the form. For more information or a form, please contact Lillian Willis at 802-875-1340 or email@example.com.