need a showcase tree

hello, we're in zone 7-8 (DC area) and are landscaping around our pool this year. at the far end, we'd like to put something that would be our showcase tree (slow growing and not too large(20ft max)) and are looking for ideas. the area would receive full sun and we plan to install sprinkler. would appreciate any thoughts to research on.
thanks!
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Presuming they fit in with the overall design theme, here are some possibilities:
Parrotia persica 'Vanessa' Stewertia pseudocamillia Styrax japonicus 'Pendula' Rhus typhina 'Dissecta' Pyrus callereyana 'Cleveland Select' Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem' Magnolia virginiana 'Henry Hicks'
-- David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7) email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com http://beyondgardening.com/Albums

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Or a Japanese Red Maple that stays red all summer if your other foliage is all green.
John in Houston

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Many people get an allergic reaction from skin contact with rhus, so it's perhaps not a good idea to plant one near a swimming pool.
Janet.
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Good point. No pruning the Rhus while swimming.
Dave
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You missed the point :-) Just brushing their skin against rhus leaves and stems will affect some people.
Janet
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To my knowledge, Rhus typhina contains no Urishiol oil. I found this explanation on the 'net very illuminating:
"All sumachs (sumacs) are members of the Anacardiaceae family, all of which have some common links which are related poisons. However, toxicity varies from very high to very low, the lowest, in which common sumac falls, is an irritant only to hyper-sensitive individuals. Included in this family are cashews, mangoes and pistachios which, in their marketed state are heavenly, but in their raw state can cause severe allergic reactions. You see, the toxin relationship varies with the treatment of the food item. In the genus Rhus, the specific plants which are very toxic are Rhus radicans (poison ivy), Rhus toxicodendron (poison oak) and Rhus vernix (poison sumac). The most virulent is poison sumac; any contact with any part of the plant can cause severe dermatitis. The degree of reaction to any of these toxins varies with the exposure and the individual's sensitivity. Many persons claim they are not allergic to these plants. Not true. These toxins are a cumlative poison; eventually a threshhold is reached and a severe dermatitis will result."
I am hypersensitive to Urishiol oil (for example, I've been hospitalized several times as a child for exposure, before I learned to identify and stay the hell away from it) and I have *never* had even mild skin irritation working with Rhus typhina, aromatica, or trilobata. That's why I recommended it for the intended space and why I (rather rudely, I apologize) made my cheeky remark.
-- David J. Bockman, Fairfax, VA (USDA Hardiness Zone 7) email: snipped-for-privacy@beyondgardening.com http://beyondgardening.com/Albums
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My skin isn't thin enough to have taken offence :-). Thanks, that was interesting...I'd forgotten it's the same family as your poison oak and poison ivy (which we don't have in the UK). R typhina also suckers horribly here, YMMV.
Janet
Janet
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Go to Wayside Gardens (www.waysidegardens.com) and look at thier Japanese Maples. They have a wide variety, with all different types of growth habits.
On 11 Mar 2005 03:01:03 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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Japanese Magnolia perhaps.
Larry

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Although most Japanese maples would prefer semi-shade, several such as the bright red-leafed 'Oshio Beni' suffer no ill consequences of full sun, & their beauty cannot be beat. Here's my full-afternoon-sun Oshio Beni in zone 8: http://www.paghat.com/aceramoenum.html
For something evergreen, a dwarf & perhaps semi-weeping cultivar of a Cedar of Lebanon or Deodor Cedar is hard to match for huge impact in a small tree. You'd have to get to someplace with many to select from because every specimen has such individual character of leaf colors (green, gold-tipped, or blue) & especially of form.
If you can find a grower or nursery for weeping beeches, they're another highly ornamental tree with so much individual character from one specimen to the next that it is ideal to have several to select from. As a lone tree hovering above a garden or shorter things, these twisted weepers are outstanding presences. There are green weepers, black weepers, & purple weepers; they all have spectacular autumn colors then after leaf-fall the strange shape of the trunk & limbs remains impressive. They're not weepers like weeping birches or weeping willows, but have interestingly bent limbs upward-reaching limbs, from which leafy limbs droop, so they look like slim old ladies in long lace gowns. They're among the very finest cultivated trees to hold a landscape together single-handedly.
-paghat the ratgirl
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this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.
--MS_Mac_OE_3193562876_946259_MIME_Part Content-type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding: 7bit
i suggest "golden rain tree" information included in link below; however, i disagree with some of the info for i have seen this tree growing in zone 9 in florida.
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/laburnum_an agyroides.html
my biggest suggestion is DO NOT BUY THIS (or anything) FROM SPRINGHILL NURSERY!!!!

--MS_Mac_OE_3193562876_946259_MIME_Part Content-type: text/html; charset="US-ASCII" Content-transfer-encoding
<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Re: need a showcase tree</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> i suggest &quot;golden rain tree&quot; information included in link below; however, i disagree with some of the info for i have seen this tree growing in zone 9 in florida.<BR> <BR> <B>http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/laburnum_anagyroides.html <BR> </B><BR> my biggest suggestion is DO NOT BUY THIS (or anything) FROM SPRINGHILL NURSERY!!!!<BR> <BR> &gt; From: snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com<BR> &gt; Organization: http://groups.google.com <BR> &gt; Newsgroups: rec.gardens<BR> &gt; Date: 11 Mar 2005 03:01:03 -0800<BR> &gt; Subject: need a showcase tree<BR> &gt; <BR> &gt; hello, we're in zone 7-8 (DC area) and are landscaping around our pool<BR> &gt; this year. &nbsp;at the far end, we'd like to put something that would be<BR> &gt; our showcase tree (slow growing and not too large(20ft max)) and are<BR> &gt; looking for ideas. &nbsp;the area would receive full sun and we plan to<BR> &gt; install sprinkler. &nbsp;would appreciate any thoughts to research on.<BR> &gt; <BR> &gt; thanks!<BR> &gt; <BR> </BODY> </HTML>
--MS_Mac_OE_3193562876_946259_MIME_Part--
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