The Shade is Always Better Under the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree

Jeana Cadby
July 11, 2019

Ornate natural bark, glossy leaves, and cheerful fall color make this tree the perfect shade tree to brighten up, and bring a bit of shade to any landscape.

Rays of sunlight filter softly and gracefully through the dark, shiny, emerald foliage of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree (Phellodendron lavallei ‘Longenecker’). With a high canopy and upright growth habit, the Eye Stopper blends in well in a colorful fall backdrop, while providing much appreciated shade in the summer months, under a glossy green refuge.

Organic Features

One of the most stunning features that can be found under the shade of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree is an elegant cascade of ash-grey bark. Organic formations develop like hand-knitted patterns, gracefully draping the trunk of the tree. Deeply textured bark provides depth and dimension to the otherwise clean and glossy form of this cork.

Bark of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree at Garden Gate.
Bark of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree at Garden Gate.

Dark, emerald green leaves are shiny throughout spring and summer months, reflecting twinkles of light under the heat of the sun. Leaves are slightly pointed, and plume gracefully along stretching, flexible stems. The Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree does well in direct sunlight, providing the perfect canopy to take cover under, while listening to the leaves flutter like feathers in the breeze.

Perfect Shade

The high canopy of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree makes for an excellent landscape tree, and ground clearance is around 6 feet at maturity. A medium growth rate means steady, predictable upright growth, that is spreading, with a rounded crown when fully grown. The Eye Stopper reaches a mature height of 40 feet, and a spread of 35 feet, for a balanced, sophisticated appearance.  This growth pattern is not ideal for use as a street tree, but can certainly add a natural and refined flair to an open landscape.

Row of Eye Stopper™ Cork Trees at Garden Gate Nursery
Beautiful full foliage in the summertime.

Trees can live over 60 years, leaving a natural legacy to enjoy for years to come. This cork tree is generally seedless, which is ideal for reduced seed or fruit litter. Pruning is best performed in late winter, and younger trees can easily be groomed to allow for more ground clearance throughout early growth. Low maintenance requirements leave nothing but years of enjoyment under the perfect shade tree.

Fabulous in the Fall

The adaptable Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree can tolerate both dry and wet conditions once established. Hardy to zone 4, and able to withstand temperatures as low as -30 to -20 F, this tree is also a wonderful source of fall color. Dark green leaves flourish throughout the spring and summer season, and turn bright, canary yellow in the fall. This pop of color, highlighted in the afternoon sun, mixes in to the fall landscape, just like the perfect blend on a painter’s palette.

Pointy, compound leaves flutter in the autumn wind, as clear yellow foliage fills the landscape with color. Textured bark along the upright trunk is also a winter interest, adding dimension character to the scenery.

Summary

The tall, upright growth with a rounded crown, topped with a glossy dense canopy is the perfect combination for a fabulous shade tree. The ornate, unfinished bark texture of the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree (Phellodendron lavallei ‘Longenecker’) makes this tree one of the most unforgettable specimens out there. Could there be a more beautiful ornamental bark tree out there?

Find the Eye Stopper™ Cork Tree in our catalog here.