I’m collecting trees. I’m collecting them but not planting them in my yard or writing them into books. I’m creating a small forest in my mind, a woodland edge of heart shaped leaves and twisty curly needles. This collection that is slowly growing is my list of all-time favorite trees. As time goes by I announce my favorites ‘I’m only happy under a Snowbell’ or ‘The Dove tree is the best because it blooms on my birthday’. And as the years go by my interests change and grow. It usually begins with an unexpected encounter such as a vision of loveliness or a soft fragrance. It’s also the timing, such as finding the Dove tree blooming on my birthday in May. Or a tree might suddenly appear just when its needed, like the Coast Redwood with its thick, huggable bark. A new friend! The Dove tree is definitely in my collection and this year I had the opportunity to watch its new spring growth, to see the unfolding of the leaves and the unfurling of the bracts. Like baby doves, the leaves and bracts slowly opened in April and were fully fledged in May. This year was earlier than usual, perhaps by two weeks. Here are the early stages of Davidia involucrata, just one of the favorites in my collection. What are your favorites?
Just the Facts
Davidia involucrata Dove Tree, Handkerchief Tree
Size 20-40 ft. (6-12m) High and Wide
Hardy to zone 6
Slow to medium growth Rate
Deciduous, Blooms white bracts in May
Prefers light shade