Winter is a great time to take a closer look at the bark of a tree or the vibrant color of the twigs on a deciduous shrub. In the Santa Fe area, Aspens have become quite problematic given their susceptibility to pests, but they still remain one of the strongest options for winter interest, if they can be located on the cooler east or north of the residence with access to excess stormwater flow. Alligator Junipers are a fascinating tree, long lived and heat tolerant and is underutilized in the Santa Fe area. Very few nurseries seem to stock Alligator Juniper, one of the few nurseries in Santa Fe that does periodically is Plants of the Southwest. Birch Bark cherry is another tree that has a gorgeous red, peeling bark, but is susceptible to all manner of pests. Two of my favorite shrubs for winter interest are the Native Red Twig Dogwood shrub and Hardy Broom, both provide four seasons of interest to the garden. Red twig dogwood needs a cool spot in the garden with a bit of extra water, while Hardy Broom will thrive in a hot,exposed location.
Aspens- Populous tremuloides
Alligator Juniper – Juniperus deppeana
Birch Bark Cherry – Prunus serrulata
Red twig Dogwood shrub – Cornus sericea
Hardy Broom- Cytisus scoparius