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My New Favorite Tree

I have been so very pleased with the new redbud tree I bought last year! Even my husband liked the beautiful purple flowers that covered the stems and branches this Spring. Now we’re seeing the mahogany leaves appearing and it makes my heart happy.  If you ever saw my front yard, you would know why: purple leaves everywhere! I have a purple smoke tree, a purple leaf mimosa.* I also have the 40-50 year old Japanese lace leaf maple and two crimson king maples* given to us by my grandfather, Albert Behnke, 32 years ago when we built our home.  Before you think I’m really nuts, I do have other trees and evergreens to help break things up, but this Spring it was the redbud that got me so very excited.

Now, while working at customer service I started paying attention to what was going out on customers’ carts…redbuds!! While Behnke’s will only get a few more of the variety I bought, I have decided to buy a couple more. Maybe even ones with green leaves. But then while talking to my husband about this (since he has to dig the holes), we also decided that a few dogwoods would be in order. I am thinking of a pink one, a white one and a red one. Not sure where they will be planted but you know the saying, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now! I guess you know what we will be doing this Spring. Or should I say, he will be doing.

by Stephanie Fleming, Behnke’s Vice President


*We have since learned that mimosa and crimson king maples (also known as Norway maples) are invasive and Behnke’s no longer sells them.  We mow regularly around the trees at our home and seedlings don’t seem to be an issue.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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