something similar to weeping willow please

kimbra8May 9, 2010

I have a pond garden and need a light green, lacy leafed, wispy, willowy type tree that loves a mostly wet soil (when it rains water lays for longer then the rest of the yard).. there is a pond in the garden where I want to plant a smaller sized tree. We had mistakenly put a weeping willow in and now want to replace it since obviously a weeping willow near a pond is just plain nuts. It was bought for the look. the backdrop of this tree is darker green evergreen, hence wanting the contrast light green color. I need the wispyness to contrast with the surrounding foilage.. Anyone have any suggestions.. I am in Lancaster County Pa and the location is pretty much full sun all day.. Thanks for any help I can get

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What kind of weeping willow did you try? There are quite small-growing ones on the market.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 11:37AM
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kimbra8

Not sure.. there was no tag on it saying what it was.. In the reading I have been doing putting any weeping willow near our pond is a mistake.. It is only a small backyard pond that we made ourselves.. So I want to find something that is very similar looking in color and shape (wispy)..

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 12:44PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Near water is a classic, naturalistic use. What particular problem are you referring to? Most other weeping trees will not grow in as wet a place as a willow.

There is a weeping bald cypress cultivar on the market.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 2:24PM
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kimbra8

The problem I was referring to is that the roots might interfer with the pond liner in it's search for the water source. While the bald cyprus is an awesome tree we were thinking more of a shade tree type of tree.. but thanks for the suggestion

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 7:35PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Roots aren't going to be able to tell there is water on the other side of the line unless it is breached and leaking anyway.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:58PM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

The weeping Taxodium - T. distichum 'Cascade Falls' is a really useful small weeping tree. It looks great next to small ponds. Betula nigra 'Summer Cascade' is nice. Also, some of the dwarf willows would be good - look for Salix purpurea 'Pendula', S. capea 'Pendula', S. repens 'Boyd's Pendulous' etc.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:11AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Roots aren't going to be able to tell there is water on the other side of the line unless it is breached and leaking anyway.

There should be additional moisture on the other side of the liner that the roots will go for - condensation caused by the temp gradient.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:22AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

My point was the roots aren't going to burst through an intact, non-leaking liner so that they can get at the water inside the pond.

The commonly sold Salix caprea cultivar is 'Kilmarnock', a male clone with showier catkins. The previously circulated, less ornamental (in flower) female clone eventually came to be named 'Weeping Sally', so as to distinguish it. The two of them together (and whatever, not generally known other weeping forms may happen to exist*) make up S. caprea f. pendula, a botanical designation indicating only that plants have weeping branches.

S. caprea 'Pendula', as often used in North American commerce at this time is a synonym of S. caprea 'Kilmarnock'.

*A weeping male form I purchased and planted as being contorted (and having kinky branching at first) soon straightened out to become like 'Kilmarnock'

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:27PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

My point was the roots aren't going to burst through an intact, non-leaking liner so that they can get at the water inside the pond.

True, but their expanding roots may puncture the lining.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If that thin tree chosen too elephantine, liner chosen too thin for job whether tree present or not - or both.

Roots would have to be so big liner is lifted and stretched to point of developing leaks, same as when roots of larger specimens lift and crack pavement. Root tips have no way of knowing water is on other side of intact liner, no reason to poke into it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 4:31PM
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calliope(6)

I have a thread-leaf Japanese maple near my pond and it is just awesome. It has a rather pendulous habit and even is pretty in winter, bare.

Here's a link to some pretty selections. Don't know this nursery and they don't mail order anyway, but you can see what variety there is as far as size and grown habit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese maples

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:54PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Root tips have no way of knowing water is on other side of intact liner, no reason to poke into it.

As stated above, the temp gradient creates condensation, which fine roots seem to like. Same as with concrete sidewalks, streets, etc. Eventually something sharp will poke the pond liner (which is why most prefer concrete ponds who can afford the choice).

Dan

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 12:53AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The poking being the cause of any ensuing difficulty, and not the condensation. Roots being attracted to moisture outside the liner really has no bearing on the fact that they will not grow through a solid pond lining to get at water on the other side, that they do not "know" is there.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 1:16AM
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suel41452

The japanese maple "Omurayama" is said to be like a small weeping willow when it matures. I don't know if your site is too wet for one, though. I used to have a pic of a mature one, but I don't see it online now. Here's alink to some info:
http://www.japanesemaples.com/catalog/index.php?id=2&page=7#22

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:29AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

they will not grow through a solid pond lining to get at water on the other side,

Yes.

Roots being attracted to moisture outside the liner really has no bearing

No.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 10:00AM
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musicalperson

What about lacebark elm? Most of the ones I see are very weepy.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 7:09PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Here's a few too:
Cercidiphyllum japonicum 'Amazing Grace'
Larix decidua

Dax

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 9:37PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Dan, you state, "As stated above, the temp gradient creates condensation, which fine roots seem to like. Same as with concrete sidewalks, streets, etc. Eventually something sharp will poke the pond liner (which is why most prefer concrete ponds who can afford the choice)".

That's why you use an underlayment and a sand base with a quality liner, not a painter's drop cloth. Where is this 'something sharp' coming from? A properly installed pond has no sharp objects in the vicinity of the liner.
I'm with bboy on this one all the way.
I've installed a lot of ponds with liners over the years (30) and have had no problems with roots...ever. No call backs with liner problems and I have had the same telephone number and address for all that time. Not many Landscapers can make that claim.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 6:23AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

botann, I used to have a landscaping business as well, for 14 years. I understand about a fabric then sand base under the liner. I preferred concrete for various reasons, one of them being integrity of material.

I agree that properly installed liners can work just fine. There is zero information given that indicates proper installation of the subject pond, and basic physics tells us condensation occurs on the liner on the soil side; fine roots like this condition a lot. Eventually fine roots form large roots that expand in diameter and may create a condition that punctures the liner.

I am not saying that the liner will definitely be punctured, but rather 1. the assertions made above that I responded to were not germane/problematic to the issues in the OP (and I should have stated "may poke the pond liner" @ May 11, 10 at 0:53) and 2. large roots near a pond liner - botanically and physically - have the potential to eventually put the liner at risk.

Will it happen? Not guaranteed, but why do something over if the proper choice can be made the first time? Small pond, match the scale with a smallish specimen plant for design and botanical reasons.

Best regards,

Dan

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 6:47AM
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musicalperson

Little king river birch would be another idea but roots can be aggressive on birches too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:05AM
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suel41452

One good thing about Japanese maples - I've read they don't invade water lines like other trees, so they may be safer around ponds as well. The Omure Yama (I got the spelling wrong) I mentioned above has awesome red-orange fall color as well, if that's important to you.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:13PM
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musicalperson

Trident maple or paperpark maple would be some other nice choices.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:41PM
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