Want to plant a tree? Scientists at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) now have recommendations for picking a good one.

The recommendations are based on 10 years of painstaking evaluation of more than 140 species of potential shade and ornamental trees for urban use.Dr. P.C. Kozel, OARDC horticulturist and the project's head, has compiled a list of the trees found to be best.

Bloodgood London planetree (Platanus acerfolia "Bloodgood") is the No. 1-rated tree. It is a rapid growing, pyramidal species widely adaptable to adverse downtown situations. It tolerates soil compaction, heat and drought, as well as severe pruning. It is very resistant to anthracnose, a fungus disease causing leaf drop in the spring.

Red Sunset red maple (Acer rubrum "Red Sunset.") has a bright orange-red colored leaves for one to two weeks in the fall before a killing frost. The tree has an upright oval habit, good crotch development and a medium branch texture. This is the best red maple selection for urban and suburban planting, Kozel says.

Dwarf Korean Callery pear (Pyrus Calleryana "Fauriei") is an excellent small tree of urban and suburban landscapes. Its ultimate height appears to be 20 feet or less, making it suitable for planting under overhead structures such as utility lines. The tree has excellent white flowers, glossy green foliage and outstanding fall color. Its fruit is sparse, it is disease-and insect-free and adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions.

London Planetree (Platanus acerfolia ) is a rapid growing, pyramidal species widely adapted to downtown. It is very similar to Bloodgood London Planetree, which is a cultivar of this species. It is somewhat susceptible to anthracnose, but much less so than the native sycamore (Platanus occidentalis ).

Pallida Common Linden (Tilia europaea "Pallida") appears to be a vigorous pyramidal cultivar. The crotch development is good and it has a mediumfine branch texture.

Snowdrift crabapple (Malus "Snowdrift" ) gets to be about 20 feet tall, produces abundant white flowers in spring, and its small fruits do not create a problem. It is highly scab resistant.

Upright European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus "Fastigiata") has a broad vase-shaped habit, is insectand disease-resistant and will do well in a wide variety of soil conditions.

Columnare European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus "Columnaris") is similar to "Fastigiata" except that it is much denser, ultimately becoming eggshaped.

Chancellor Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata "Chancellor") is quite narrow when young, becoming pyramidal with age, is fast growing, gets to be 35 to 40 feet tall.

Marshall Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica subintegerrima "Marshall Seedless") is expected to reach 55 to 60 feet at maturity, transplants easily and has bright yellow fall color.

Greenspire Linden (Tilia cordata "Greenspire") gets to be about 40 feet tall, has dense dark-green foliage, does very well under difficult conditions.

Tom Stevenson