Fun Friday! Out Looking at Trees to Fill the “Pit”


We have our very own “pit”  and it is in the middle of our back yard.  No, it’s not some fancy fire pit, it is the traditional pit as described by Webster – a cavity in the ground.   The “pit” is a new feature in our back area and the result of a large Pin Oak finally succumbing to death.  A slow process that we fought for three years, but in the end death prevailed.  My husband dug out the Pin Oak and we inherited the “pit.”

What to do, what to do, what to do with the “pit.”  My thoughts have been focused on planting a showcase, ornamental Cherry (Prunus) tree that would flower in the spring, provide shade in the summer and good red/orange/yellow color in the fall.  So today, I’m out browsing at some local nurseries to see what is available. I’m even visiting some wholesale nurseries thanks to a connection so I hope to see a good range of size, price and quality.

The spring blossoms alone make an ornamental Cherry tree worthy of any setting. My dilemma is what variety to choose? I am debating between prunus x yedoensis ‘ Yoshino’ and prunus serrulata ‘Kanzan’ sometimes spelled ‘Kwanzan.’  Both are suitable for my climate (Zone 6) as they do well in hardiness zones 5-8.  They like full sun and are not picky about the acidity or alkalinity of the soil as long as it is well-drained.   ‘ Yoshino’ and ‘Kanzan’ are the “stars” of the Washington D.C. Cherry festival – they were given to our country as a gift from Japan – and I like that tie with our history.

Cherry Trees around Tidal Basin

The Blossoms of Yoshino

Blossoms of Kanzan or Kwanzan

Back to the “pit” though, it was recently suggested to not plant a tree in it because the tree would block the view of some of the rest of the landscaping over time. And that got me to thinking… is there a better use for the “pit”?

I don’t think there is given its location –  not close to any current seating areas and somewhat in the middle of the backyard with no other structural elements around it.  However, I thought it best to poll all of you!  What are your suggestions for the pit and if you like the idea of the Cherry tree, which one?  ‘ Yoshino’ or ‘Kanzan.’   Share your thoughts on filling the “pit!”

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