Outdoor ornamental potted trees provide prominence to a patio or balcony. They are attractive additions to entranceways, courtyards and poolsides. However, not all trees can tolerate being potted for any length of time. Speciality trees such as dwarf maples, rose standards, and fruits such as cherry or pear, lend themselves to long-term pot cultivation.
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Japanese Maple Tree
The Japanese maple tree, or Acer palmatum, is an attractive, hardy tree. Container varieties include Red Dragon, Abagail Rose, Ao hici gosan, Golden Pond and Shaina. Deeply-lobed leaves symmetrically spread outward from the midpoint of the stem on the Japanese maple. Its leaves are graceful and delicate with a trunk that has a moderately smooth bark. Bright red foliage changes to deep maroon in the spring and fall. The Japanese maple requires morning or late afternoon sun with partial shade. Its soil should be slightly acidic, moist and well-drained. The tree grows in most climates such as west, east and southern areas from zones 5 through 8. Its small root system and slow growth make it suitable for potting.
Chinese Ornamental Lilac
Native to eastern Asia, the Chinese ornamental lilac tree has smooth reddish-brown bark with an irregular, round shape that requires periodic light pruning. Fine, dark green leaves drop away in autumn with no colour change. Panicles of small, fragrant white or ivory flowers blossom along the branch tips in late spring to early summer. The Chinese ornamental lilac tree requires direct daily sunlight and moist, well-drained soil, making it suitable for a northern landscape. However, it is a hardy, adaptable tree that tolerates poor soil, drought, heat and cold, making it appropriate for zones 3 through 8.
Japanese Flowering Quince Bonsai Tree
The Japanese Flowering Quince Bonsai tree, known as Chaenomeles 'toyo-nishiki,' is a deciduous that comes from Asian countries such as Korea, China and Japan. The flowering quince has bright green foliage until autumn. Tiny flowers in a combination of red, white and pink flowers replace the foliage. They blossom in clusters from the thorny, bare branches from late winter until the start of spring. During the summer, the tree produces the fruit quince, which is yellow with a waxy skin and a strong fragrance. This frost-hardy Bonsai is prized in Japan for its quince to make preserves. It grows up to 3 feet tall and is adaptable to various climates and is best suited for zones 8 through 8.
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