- As you see from the pictures, they're absolutely lovely in spring-- one big mass of white blooms.
- Positively perfect in shape, requiring next to no pruning or shaping.
- They usually only grow to around 30 or 40 feet tall.
- They're disease resistant.
- They grow pretty quickly.
- And they are the most vibrant flame red until late in the autumn.
All this making them excellent for landscaping large parking lots, boulevards and walkways. They can be quite dramatic.
But there's a good many cons here, too. The top of my list would be the stank factor. One tree isn't that bad-- in fact, I was only getting a brief whiff of it here and there while I raked Sunday. But when you have a whole town full of them, it ain't pretty. I would describe it as fish meets electrical fire. However, wikipedia describes it as, "a sickly-sweet smell, often compared to the odor of human semen." Um. Ew. Not really how I'd put it, so take that as you will. (Disclaimer: Adam tells me that he does NOT think they smell bad-- merely sweet. I know that I'm not alone in this, though...)
Also, they are really weak trees. "Why do I only see half a tree in the picture on the previous post," you ask? Well, there's only half a tree there. We get tornadoes, ultra high winds during storms, and the odd ice storm. The branches diverge from the trunk quite low and extend so far up and so vertically, that the trees just split with any stress at all. And these trees don't really bear fruit-- they have little berry/acorn-like nobbies. Oh-- and while they are the first to bloom in spring, they are last to lose their leaves, which I would consider a pro AND a con.
So I would say that, overall, I'm thrilled to have mine-- it's just gorgeous in autumn, and the stench won't last that much longer (not to mention the fact that, even if we didn't have one, we'd be smelling them all over town anyway). And I'm clearly sort of late in the game when it comes to raking leaves as it is.
It's just that I would rather have, I don't know, another dogwood. Or a tulip tree-- I DO covet those tulip trees.