At this year's Illinois Green Industry Association InVigorateU conference, J. Frank Schmidt's Director of Communications, Nancy Buley gave an informative presentation on what's new in trees.

*Cue excited tree nerds leaning in a bit closer and busting out the pen and paper to take notes!*

Nancy Buley

These trees have proven to stand up to the test of hotter, drier climates all while tolerating more extreme weather from heavy rains, windstorms, flooding, and severe drought. Nancy also emphasized the importance of tree diversity in the landscape and in urban settings. There are many options to choose from when selecting the right tree for the right space.

Here are some of the trees off her list to include in your home landscape, neighborhood parks or community areas

Please note, some of these trees are available now, as well as, this fall but you'll need to be on the lookout for a few of these come spring 2020!

Redpointe® Red Maple

This vigorous grower is top-performing Red Maple! Redpointe® Red Maple is pest and disease resistant, and heat tolerant. It matures with a noticeable symmetrical canopy, a strong central leader that assures sturdiness and uniformity. Its leaves have good resistance to leaf chlorosis, which allows for a more consistent deep/dark green leaf in spring and summer then transitioning to an outstanding brilliant red in fall. 


Crimson Sunset® Maple

Crimson Sunset is a newer more improved version of the popular Crimson King, better leaf quality and more heat tolerant. This tree flourishes in hot weather and alternatively in humid weather. Proven to be heat and drought tolerant while its leaves are tatter and scorch resistant. This trees, rich dark leaf color maintains through summer. Its strong central leader allows for more symmetrical branching and perfectly shaped tree. This is an excellent option for parkway plantings or adding shade to your home's landscape.

crimson sunset maple

Espresso™ Kentucky Coffee Tree

A great Ash Tree alternative, tolerant of heat, drought, and cold. This is a seedless selection as opposed to its original counterpart, the Kentucky Coffee Tree making it an even better choice for the parkway. It's branching is similar to that of an elm tree and its foliage gives it a tropical feel in appearance. This unique tree is perfect for parks, parkways, and open areas of the yard. 

Espresso Kentucky Coffee Tree

Emerald City® Tulip

A new take on the native Tulip Tree, Emerald City is a new cultivar with a more straight and upright form as it matures, including a strong central leader. Its foliage is a deeper more shiny green.

Emerald City Tulip

Royal Raindrops® Crabapple

As the name implies, this tree is superior! Performs exceedingly well in windy climates due to its strong branching structure and upright growth habit. This vigorous grower is disease resistant, and adaptable to heat and drought. More remarkably, are exploding magenta blooms and it's a dark purple, deep cut-leaf foliage that transitions to a bright orange-red in the fall. This is a 3 season accent tree!

Royal Raindrops

American Hophornbeam

This tree is as tough as they come! Considered to be one of Illinois' toughest native hardwood trees. This tree offers ornamental features with its handsome grey bark and golden fall color but also has proven to be pest resistant and is tolerant of ice and snow. 


American Dream® Oak

This dreamboat of a tree is a vigorous grower, which says something because oaks tend to be slower growers. It's beautiful peeling bark and attractive broadly pyramidal form, glossy green foliage make this a stand out choice for your home! Anthracnose and powdery mildew resistant. Turns a beautiful buttery yellow in fall. 

American Dream Oak

Chinkapin Oak

This midwest native does well planted in groups, parks and large open areas of the yard. This is one of the best oaks around for alkaline soils. Resistant to anthracnose, oak wilt, and two-lined chestnut borer. 

Chinkapin Oak

Heritage® Oak

Selected for its proven performance and resistance to mildew. This tree's broadly pyramidal form allows it to be the perfect parkway tree!


Streetspire® Oak

Dark Green leaves are mildew resistant held more tightly on branches and turn a bright red in the fall. They will not hold through winter like the similar Crimson Spire™. This tree's upward sweeping branching creates a more storm-resistant structure. 

Streetspire Oak

Green Whisper® Bald Cypress

The brightest, greenest and most fluffy cypress award goes to this tree!

Green Whisper

Shawnee Brave™ Bald Cypress

Shawnee Brave has proven to be adaptable in urban settings, it will grow in just about any a variety of soil conditions including standing water and well-drained soil. 


Jefferson Elm

This National Arboretum and National Park Service introduction has proven the test of time, showing to be Dutch Elm Disease resistant. The original tree is on the National Mall in D.C.

Jefferson Elm

Triumph™ Elm

Triumph™ Elm is definitely one of our top picks! It's not only on Nancy's list but also a Chicagoland Grows® Pick, Grower Pick, and a Morton Arboretum Pick! This tree has proven time and time again to be the right tree for that perfect place! Dutch Elm Disease resistant, resistant to Elm Yellows, Elm Leaf Beetle and is a large lustrous tree with deep green leaves in spring and summer, turning yellow in the fall. 

Triumph Elm