When I walked at Percy Warner Park in the early morning during our recent heat wave and rainless spell, I noticed one small tree over and over. Hard not to notice the lustrous leaves and the healthy crop of berries. No die back. No dead wood anywhere. What a contrast to wilted dogwoods and the droop of short-lived redbuds.
This is the Carolina Buckthorn-Rhamnus caroliniana-, native to the Southeast. If I needed a small tree (15-20 feet) for my garden I would walk past the showy spring flowering trees and choose this.
There are any number of trees, large and small, that are mistakes. In a year,two, or five ,we regret planting them.
Not this tree.
* There are two memorial trees honoring a benefactor ,just recently planted in a field at Edwin Warner Park. They are Carolina Buckthorns.