Wet/Drainage Area question

SarabethersNovember 3, 2011

Hi there,

I'm a newbie, though I lurk from time to time to soak up knowledge from the forums. I just planted my very first tree (!!) and I think I did a pretty good job with the help of the Trees forum.

I have a blank slate of a backyard, except for the new maple I planted a few days ago. The yard is rectangular, a typical suburban square shall we say. It slopes nicely from north to south, with excess water flowing to the southeast corner of the property. There it has eroded a bit of the soil underneath our neighbor's fence.

Would it be unwise to plant a shrub or two that don't mind 'wet feet' in this area? I would love a few Winterberries there, or some other variety that would attract birds in for yummy snacks. Plus it would be less yard to mow!

Thoughts, suggestions? I'm not looking to plant now...just planning for the future.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hi newbie ...

you plant shrubs just like trees ...

in clay or dampness.. you plant high.. regardless of the plants mature ability to cope ...

planting high.. allows the plant.. to put its roots where it needs too.. so as to cope with excess water..

with a new planting.. i would be worried that i was creating a caldron ... especially in clay soil.. that would trap and retain water.. causing the roots to rot ...

by planting half the root mass in the ground.. and half above.. and creating a mound with good draining soil above .. we create a situation.. where the plant can get 'established' ... getting over the stresses of planting.. before it has to worry about the deluge ...

so whether or not.. a fully est'd plant can handle the water.. is not really as important as PROPER PLANTING of a babe ...

make any sense???


    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Yes, but I was worrying more about the use of the drainage area causing a backflow into my yard. There isn't a ton of water back there, only evident when we have a nice downpour. We have standing water then, but only a few inches in a very local spot. Just didn't know if planting a few shrubs there would make the drainage less efficient..

Fortunately, I have been planting all of my shrubs high and with ample area for lateral root development. Thank you again for the reminder. :)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 3:57PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

at my old house.. about 1/4 of the yard.. was completely under a foot of water at snow thaw.. for about 2 weeks ... otherwise i had good drainage ...

absolutely nothing cared ... nothing failed for such ...

if you are worried only about short term.. storm related issues.. i think you are worrying too much ... i THINK you are thinking you are dealing with a bog or marsh.. and that doesnt seem like what you describe as temporary inundations

but all this is going to be impossible for any of us to give you a precise answer ... you are just going to have to keep planting.. and see what happens ....

good luck ...

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:02AM
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Ya, I figure I should just plant it--if it doesn't work, I'll move it or move it to my parents' farm. :)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 9:13AM
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nick_b79(4/5 Southeast MN)

There are a ton of berry-bearing shrubs you could plant there:

-Shrub Dogwoods
-Highbush cranberry
-American Hazelnut
-American Plum

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 1:53AM
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