Low-Allergen Trees (Less than 4 on the OPALS Scale)

prunuspissardii (300x292)Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ (syn. ‘Pissardii Nigra’, Prunus pissardii) – This Flowering Plum bears pale pink flowers (fading to white) just as the leaves emerge and is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. Summer brings a beautiful display of dark reddish-purple foliage, forming a rounded crown. Occasionally produces small red edible fruits. Grows 20-25′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 5.

koelpanicKoelreuteria paniculata – Golden Rain Tree has emerging leaves that are pink, maturing to green, shifting to yellow in autumn. This native of China and Korea features leaflets that are highly serrated or scalloped. Small yellow flowers borne in large wedge-shaped panicles appear from mid to late summer – these are followed by inflated reddish-pink seedpods. Grows 30′ high. Hardy to zone 6.

acerredsunset (295x300)Acer rubrum RED SUNSET (syn. ‘Franksred’) – This female maple is a very common street tree much in part to to its vigorous growth and adaptability. The glossy green foliage shifts to reddish-orange to bright red autumn tones, usually in early fall. Acer rubrum tolerates heavy soils or flooding, and is quite disease resistant. Grows 40-50′ high by 35′ wide. Hardy to zone 4.

ginkgo (300x287)Ginkgo biloba ‘Autumn Gold’ – A male clone of Maidenhair Tree with none of the messy (or smelly) fruit drop, it has unique green fan-shaped leaves that shift to a golden-yellow in the fall. This species is actually a deciduous conifer that has survived since prehistoric times. Tolerates urban conditions and air pollution. Slowly grows to 50′ high by 30′ wide. Hardy to zone 5.

lager (294x300)Lagerstroemia indica – Crape Myrtle is only marginally hardy in coastal BC but is so incredibly beautiful in bloom that is worth trying in a sheltered site. It bears showy panicles of crimped-petaled red, purple, white or pink flowers in summer. It is native to Japan, China and Korea, has yellow to orange autumn tones and exfoliating bark. Grows 25′ high and wide. Hardy to zone 7.

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