Theodore Klein Plant Awards

Large Deciduous Trees

Below you’ll find the Large Deciduous Trees that have received the honor of “Theodore Klein Plant Award” in alphabetical order based on its Latin name.

Acer miyabei
Miyabei Maple
State Street™, ‘Morton’

A little known but excellent medium sized tree that works well as a garden, lawn or street tree. Upright oval shape and tremendous cultural adaptability allows this plant to work in many different situations. Dark green summer foliage turns brilliant gold in fall.

Acer saccharum
Sugar Maple
Bonfire™, Commemoration®, Fall Fiesta™ 'Bailsta', Green Mountain®, Legacy®

An excellent collection of superior performing sugar maple selections, these will all create upright rounded shade trees with uniform outline, attractive, scaly gray bark and brilliant red/orange fall foliage color. Best on a good quality soil with adequate moisture.

Acer truncatum
Shantung Maple

A durable and adaptable, medium shade tree it emerges in spring with red tinged leaves that mature to a deep, rich green. Fall color can be brilliant yellow, orange and/or red. It tolerates heat and drought and is amazingly free from insect and disease problems.

Avoid the A. truncatum x A. platanoides hybrids due to poor performance.

Carpinus caroliana
American Hornbeam
Native Flame® ('JFS-KW6'), Ball O’Fire™ (‘JN Globe’), FireSpire™ (JN Upright), and ‘JN Strain’

This outstanding small to medium tree makes a long lived, pest resistant specimen that has unique, muscular branching, smooth, dark gray bark and excellent deep green summer foliage. The listed cultivars have been selected for excellent and consistent red fall foliage color.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Katsura Tree
'Amazing Grace'

Katsura is a fine textured, slightly upright medium-sized tree known for uniform shape, bright green summer foliage and glowing apricot fall foliage color. ‘Amazing Grace’ is a Theodore Klein selection with a strongly pendulous growth habit and excellent fall color.

Cladrastis kentukea
American Yellowwood

This medium-sized tree is prized for late spring crops of white, sweetly fragrant and slightly pendulous flower clusters. Bright green summer foliage turns a glowing yellow in fall. The bark is a smooth gray and adds interest all year long. Likes a moist and rich soil.

Diospyros virginiana
Common Persimmon

An adaptable and long lived tree best known for its delicious fall-ripening fruit. Growing to 40’-50’ tall, this Kentucky native tree grows into an upright oval shape and is easily identified by its deeply furrowed, gray bark. Male and female flowers are born on separate trees so both are required for fruit production.

There are many cultivars selected for early fruit ripening, overall fruit quality, pendulous growth (Magic Fountain) and even seedless fruit.

Fagus grandifolia
American Beech

A noble tree if there ever was one! Growing to 60’ tall and wide with strong branching and beautifully smooth gray bark, it loves deep, rich and moist soil and is typically a long lived specimen in the landscape. Avoid extreme drought and soil compaction in the root zone.

Fagus sylvatica
European Beech
'Asplenifolia'or 'Lanciniata'

One of the most magnificent of lawn trees, this will grow into a rounded elegant mass of finely dissected, fern-like leaves. Once the leaves have dropped, the smooth silvery bark makes an outstanding contribution to the fall and winter landscape. Performs best in rich and moist soils in full sun.

Many other selections with foliage of burgundy, gold, red – also weeping, columnar and contorted forms.

Ginko biloba
'Autumn Gold'

A large shade tree with unique, fan-shaped leaves and stunning golden fall color, Ginkgo is considered a living fossil tree remaining virtually unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Vigorous, highly adaptable and pest resistant, it is a reliable and long-lived tree. ‘Autumn Gold’ is a vigorous and uniform male selection that does not produce the seed crop that can be problematic in landscapes.

Gymnocladus dioicus
Kentucky Coffee Tree

Attractive and durable shade tree with unique, scaly gray bark, blue/green summer foliage and clear yellow fall color. Open branching makes trees look a bit sparse in youth but result in strong branching and beautiful shape with age. Female plants produce large, leathery seed pods. Most named cultivars are males.

Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Dawn Redwood

This ancient living fossil species is an amazingly pest resistant and adaptable deciduous conifer. Plants are tightly conical, of uniform outline, bright green needles and shredding bark. It shows wide soil tolerance, rapid growth and is very long lived.

Nyssa sylvatica

An excellent upright growing shade tree with glossy green summer foliage, small blue fruits (on female plants) and gleaming fall foliage in shades of red, orange, yellow and burgundy. Tolerant of heavy soils. Numerous cultivars have been introduced for more consistent fall color and vigor. Excellent Kentucky native tree.

Numerous cultivars have been introduced for leaf spot resistance, consistent fall color and growth rate: Red Rage – large leaves with bright red color some years. Good spot resistance. Wildfire – red new leaves and moderate fall color display with good spot resistance. Green Gable – glossy dark green summer leaves and good vigor.

Platanus x acerifolia
London Planetree

This selection is the most disease-resistant form of Planetree available. This large (60’ tall) and adaptable shade tree offers beautiful exfoliating bark of bright green/white, highlighted with bits of olive and tan. Tolerant of a wide range of soils and exposures and useful as a lawn or street tree.

Quercus alba
White Oak

This long-lived and durable shade tree is among the most attractive of the oaks. Broad-spreading limbs and leathery dark green leaves offer excellent shade and beautiful texture. Adaptable to a wide range of soils.

Quercus bicolor
Swamp White Oak

Swamp White Oak is one of our most outstanding native oaks. Growing to 50-60’ tall with an upright oval outline, it makes an excellent shade tree specimen and is also useful in street tree and parking lot plantings. This long-lived species is tremendously adaptable and once established, it is tolerant of both wet and dry soils. Summer foliage is a dark glossy green with a bit of yellow in the Autumn.

Quercus coccinea
Scarlet Oak

A large, rounded shade tree with fine textured green summer foliage that turns glowing red in fall. Tolerant of slightly dry to slightly wet soils and is a long lived and generally trouble free species.

Quercus x warei
‘Nadler’ Kindred Spirit®

One of the best of the columnar oak hybrids. Growing to 60’ tall, this hybrid of English Oak and Swamp White Oak is adaptable to many soils, rapid growing and highly resistant to powdery mildew that bothers some other columnar oaks.

Syringa reticulata
Japanese Tree Lilac
'Ivory Silk'

This medium -sized tree is grown for its fragrant, ivory-white flowers, attractive bark and wide adaptability. It works well as a garden tree as well in parking lot and street tree situations. This is a long lived, durable species with few pest problems. ‘Ivory Silk’ was selected for a more narrow, upright shape and uniform growth.

Syringa reticulata subsp. pekinensis
Peking Lilac
Great Wall® (‘WFH2’), Beijing Gold™ (‘Zhang Zhiming’)

A tough and durable Asian native that is best known for masses of white, fragrant flowers in early summer, and mahogany-colored, peeling bark. Easy to grow in a wide range of soils. Beijing GoldTM offers creamy yellow flowers while Great Wall® was selected for upright, uniform growth and vigorous bloom set.

Taxodium distichum
Bald Cypress
'Mickelson' Shawnee Brave™

This strongly upright species is fast growing, pest resistant and provides a very fine texture in the landscape. Bald cypress is tolerant of a wide range of soils (even standing water!) and exposures and is unusual in that it is one of the few conifers that looses its needles in the winter. Shawnee Brave was selected for improved cold hardiness, vigor and uniform growth.

Zelkova serrata
Japanese Zelkova
'Village Green'

This 40′-60′ tall shade tree creates a strong, vase-shaped specimen with deep green summer foliage and brick red fall color. It is a widely adaptable and long lived tree for use as a lawn specimen or street tree.

Explore the other categories of plants that have been named recipients of the Theodore Klein Plant Awards:

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