ZONE 5 flowering trees to put along driveway? need help

italianjeremy(5)May 5, 2010

hey guys . had a question.

me and my girlfriend are looking to add 4 trees along our 120' long driveway (see pic in photobucket link ) .

let me first say that we get pummeled with snow, about 120 inches a year .

im in Northeast Ohio in the snow belt... so i need something hardy .

she likes the flowering pear tree, as i do as well .

we have a dogwood now by the house and it holds its nice white petals for about a week or so .... not really enough time .

we are torn between getting flowering trees like the pear tree ( ) or japanese maples which have their color for much longer into the summer.

what do you recommend for 4 trees to line the driveway? theres a pic of the front of the yard in the link . the trees lining the other side of the driveway are to the north of the trees we will plant, so they will get plenty of east and southern sun . not too much wind either since the yard is only 150x150 feet square .

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I'd plant an assortment of different kinds instead of multiple trees of one variety. Maybe include serviceberry, a natural for cold climates. And a great variety can be had from flowering crabapples.

Here is a link that might be useful: The U.S. National Arboretum presents Malus 'Adirondack', an elegant testament to the versatility and landscape value of the ornamental crabapple

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Two things you should know.

1.) Flowering pear trees are the worst tree you can plant. There isn't a person on here that will suggest them.

2.) Tyty nursery has a extremely low customer and BBB rating.

So then. In summary,
Stay away from pears, they are weak wooded and short lived, not something you want with heavy snow loads 'n that.

Stay away from tyty nursery.

Smallish flowering trees are not my forte so I will defer to those with a passion for those to recommend for your area. However with a 120' driveway it would be a shame if you didn't plant something for future generations. Long lived oaks, disease resistant elms, sugar maples, beeches and things. That's the kind of stuff folks on here go ga ga over.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:14PM
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I really like Crabapples and have two myself but the suckers they send out of the base can be quite intense sometimes. If you don't mind the maintance of that then they are a great flowering tree. Can't go wrong with a Japanese maple either. How large of trees are you looking to get when it hit maturity? Thought about Magnolias trees at all either? One of my personal favorites is a Golden Chain Tree, but are rather small. I am in the Akron area and they do great here. P.S. Redbuds also! LOL

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:23PM
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Stay away from the nursery at TyTy and any of its incarnations(Aaron's anything nursery, etc.) Enjoy the cheesy, creepy online catalog, but regard any of their stupendous descriptions as exceedingly suspect, and NEVER order anything from them. Very little of what they have growing there in south GA would be suitable for planting in northern OH, even if they sent living plant materials.

I'd avoid pears - other than good fruiting cultivars; they're pretty in bloom, and utilitarian, to boot.
Also consider:
Crabs - very nice; some selections produce tasty fruit - some large enough to serve as dessert or 'lunchbox' apples, while others persist far into winter to feed birds - and may give a fall color display, as well.
Redbud - get northern-adapted strains; white-flowered selections are nice as well
Yellowwood - nice small-med tree with multi-season interest
Hawthorns - several selections available; multi-season interest
Tree-type Serviceberries - short-lived bloom, but tasty fruits enjoyed by humans and birds, some have good fall color display, aesthetically-pleasing bark & form.
Kousa dogwoods

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 10:51AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i' d leave her.. if she insists on the pear ... period ...

where are you in OH ... might know some places out cleveland or saybrook way ...


    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:10AM
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LOL. I like Lucky's idea. Plant fruit trees. My fruit trees give my ornamentals a run for the money in spring. I'm in S.E. Ohio zone six and I'm crinkling my nose at the suggestion for Japanese maple in that exposure. I have had to take a dollie and cart too many of them under shelter at a nursery when they'd be leafed out in early spring, so that the freeze wouldn't fry their foliage and deter sales.

" However with a 120' driveway it would be a shame if you didn't plant something for future generations. Long lived oaks, disease resistant elms, sugar maples, beeches and things. That's the kind of stuff folks on here go ga ga over."

I agree completely with that suggestion. I am so sick of dwarf trees, with short lifetimes when they are stuck where a majestic tree could thrive. I see those weeping cherry trees in front of huge houses and think it's like Mutt and Jeff. Open areas need presence.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 12:21AM
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hey everyone , thanks for the replies !! ill try to reply to everyone in small paragraphs :

we are in Chardon , Ohio , 40 minutes east of Cleveland. By Mentor, Kirtland, etc .. all were known for is snow and maple syrup.
the snow usually all melts away by mid to late march though.

were not shopping at tyty , but used them for a pic reference . there are several nurseries by me , just dont know which are the best.

some people have japanese maples around me , they seem to do fine ... but i am no expert . they are nice trees, but expensive by me .

i have a small red oak to the left of the driveway from the picture's view... i could probably just uproot it and replant. ide say its 4' tall and about the diameter of my thumb .

its the ONLY oak on my 2 acres. my woods consist of pignut hickories, black cherries, sugar maples, bigtooth aspens, and a few basswoods. the only 3 elms on my property are all huge and dead.

i have the ability to replant the red oak and i have a ton of sugar maples that are under 8' tall .

crabapples are great. i have been eating them since i was a kid. i will incorporate one of them in the mix for sure.

i see that the bradford pear is a pain in the butt and cracks and splits since its trunks are so close theres no room for expansion i guess.
however, the Cleveland Select pear tree seems to get a better reputation . i wouldnt line the driveway with them , as i do like functioning trees like maples and crabapples, serviceberries , etc. i can respect the notion that those choices are better than ornamental trees that are pretty but probably wont outlive you and dont bear fruit.

i dont plan on living here longer than 5-10 years, so any tree i pick i wont be able to see it in all its glory.
thats ok though .

also , i have a septic system in the middle of the yard so i cant plant them everywhere as i would like . they have to be within 15' of the driveway and they can be as big as i would like . the house is surrounded by 60-120' trees .

here is another link to my layout but shot in the fall . you can see the 2 septic line service covers in the grass painted in green. Middle of the yard and inline with the pine trees in the corner . i need to get a blueprint of the septic drain lines so i can maybe plant a few in the middle of the yard too! from left to right in the pic there is a basswood and a couple pignuts in the front we just love and then a couple white pines.

we have a lot to digest now from all the replies. ill get back to you im sure with more questions once we narrow or selections down . thanks again!!! keep the replies coming . :)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 3:15PM
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check this link out :

when they say scarlet red maple, they dont mean THE red maple do they? the same one i tap to make maple syrup when theyre 60' tall? or is this some small hybrid. i like how these trees grow fast, but on that page i would only be interested in the maples , ash , and maybe that empress tree . i dont want pines, and poplars are junk trees in these parts. i dont like them .

and and look , they have the cleveland select pear :)

also, im ONLY using the site for reference , not buying anything from them . ... no worries

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 7:36AM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Jeremy, I love planting trees in my yard, in my neighbor's yard, where ever.

Plant in your yard with the future in mind. Either because: A, the next residents will appreciate it, really, they might think "that dead old guy sure laid this out well and made some good choices" long after you're gone. or B, the overall or your personal economy may tank and you just might live there a long time.

If you really want a Cleveland Pear, plant one. Its not that superior to the Bradford but I understand the attraction. Just don't go planting a whole row of them. Out in the suburban copy-cat sprawl / white flight area I work in everyone has some combination of about 4 trees one being Cleveland Pear. Boring and they still blow apart like Bradfords.

Then again, one was planted in my yard by the previous owners and my neighbor had two slightly older ones. Sure enough one of his blew apart twice and is now removed, the other has only lost 1/3 of its canopy so he's left it. Mine well, finally flowered pretty well this year and really looks quite good in the spring even if it does smell like diaper pee.

Use the university web sites for reference. These fly by night tree companies sell invasive, weeds like the "royal empress tree" and use fake color pictures of maples to lure you in.

Your property is pretty good looking! Make sure you leave room for service trucks and folks with trailers to do their thing. I have a long driveway and that's always a concern of mine.

That Tulip Polar (Liriodendron tulipifera ) isn't the yellow beacon that nursery web site shows, but its cold hardy, has good fall color some years, grows fast, and does make them interesting flowers after its about 15 to 20 foot tall.

Skip the Fraxinus family white and green ashes for any important spots. There is a chinese bug, Emerald Ash Borer, spreading all over the upper eastern mid-west absolutely destroying them. I dread the day it reaches Missouri as I still have two big white ash I love. If you want to stick a couple in your tree line, go for it, in the yard is inviting problems for someone a decade from now.

Here is a link that might be useful: University Web Site, they don't make money off the description of their trees

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:37PM
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ok , so the future talk got me ... and also a good deal i saw today got me too!

picked up a nice 12' red sunset maple for 20$ at a local discount grocery store. couldnt pass it up . and itll grow up to 50' tall and be around awhile. . . which is nice

so the red sunset will be one of 4 trees lining the driveway ...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:07PM
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also , im curious....

i just read on the net that the red sunset is a RED MAPLE , also known as a swamp maple , so they love water .

i have a spot in the corner of my yard that is sometimes mushy with water . to give you an idea, i dont like mowing over there unless its been dry fro about 3 days or so since the riding mower tires will squish down and leave muddy tire marks for about 10' .
otherwise its somewhat moist all the time.

would this be an ideal spot? seeing how also i heard they can have surface roots too... so this wont bug the driveway if its over in the corner of the yard instead.

just a thought.....

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:23PM
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Yeah it will love that wet spot in your yard a lot better. Don't worry about mowing under there because there wont be any grass beneath your red/scarlet/swamp maple for very long! Grass can't compete with those.

What are you trying to achieve with this planting? Mass flowering effect, to create a formal allee or to have trees draping over the driveway for woodsy feel?
The picture was helpful, personally I would plant some sugar maples there and in front of or inbetween them, plant a hedge of flowering shrubs. Beside the garage, plant a specimen tree or two like purple beech or tricolour beech.

So this way you can have some of each of those goals, it will look more formal, not like you just planted a new tree every time you found one on sale that you like, you can have the flowering effect your GF probably is after, you have the fall foliage effect and you'll have some others in the mix for interest. I agree that empress tree and cleveland pear are trees that people that don't bother to do their homework get suckered into buying. If you want a nice, long lived tree that grows rapidly, sycamore or london planetree, red oak, disease resistant elms, and dawn redwood. Those are the fastest growing trees I can think of that are good trees.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 2:43PM
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well we planted the maple in the wet spot, which is 120' from our buried septic tank . i figured there was no way the leach lines went all the way by the tree since its 120 feet away... but as we were about 2' deep in the hole, the one edge of the hole kept seeping out blackish water. it didnt smell or anything,and when i poked the sidewall where the water was seeping in it filled up the hole in a matter of minutes with black water! weirdest thing ive ever seen . we drained the water with a bucket, but we just had a HUGE downpour the day before, so that didnt help.
there were a bunch of small pea gravel turned black in color where the water was coming out ... it has to be part of the leach field, because i know they lay the plastic pipes on a bed of gravel for drainage.
anyways, i didnt hit a pipe, as theres NO WAY they would run a pipe 120 feet . maybe since that part of the yard gets damp they put some rocks in there to help for drainage? the grass DOES look different in the corner where i put the tree over the wet spot. who knows. anyways, i packed about a foot of clay soil where the water came in , widened the hole 1 foot opposite way of the water leakage, and all is fine . it just baffles me that they would extend drainage gravel that far from the house (120' from house) when our house isnt big enough to constitute a huge drain field (1800 sq ft) .
who knows. i planted the tree safe and sound though. very damp soil so im sure shell like it !

as for what im trying to achieve.... i was talking to the GF yesterday and she really wants trees to line the driveway ... as in 5-7' from the drive and we cant have trees with surface roots coming up on the drive as we are going to lay a concrete drive soon and dont want root cracks. so more a flowering effect with a crabapple in there etc , more so than a huge forest effect since the other side of the drive already has that . preferably all the same height.
thanks for the tips!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 8:57AM
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So what you're looking for is a line of small flowering trees for mass flowering effect. Typically small flowering trees are easy to site but they don't live that long and prone to diseases. Some are high maintenance. Flowering cherries, redbuds, crabapple, hawthorn, dogwood, serviceberry. Those are the common flowering trees. You may be able to find something a little more unique like yellowwood or sourwood which are trees that are a little more appealing to me personally but the blooms are not as reliable or not as showy. If you go this route, you'll be back at this forum in 15 or 20 years asking what to replace your allee of cherries or dedbuds with. You'll look over at the mature red maple that is living large in your brackish sewage water leak whatever and wishing you had done more of those or something like that. Just a disclaimer, I'm a city slicker so don't know diddly about septic systems but it does sound like you've dug somewhere you probably shouldn't have! Ooops.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 9:29AM
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Either aesculus x carnea (hybrid red buckeye) or aesculus flava (yellow buckeye) would be nice. Most flowering trees are too little IMO to be effective in an allee type situation along a drive. Both of these trees are showy in flower and they're both lovely shade trees as well (which the smaller flowering trees aren't). Plus, I just lust after these trees and, alas, don't have a big enough yard for either of them (although I have crammed in a.parviflora and and a. pavia).

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 10:16AM
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found out what the water was . went to local health inspectors office, got a diagram of my drain fields and they dont come anywhere near the tree... so were good there.

what does go around the outer diameter of the property is called a CURTAIN DRAIN . its a bunch of gravel laid underneath the soil about 18" along with a drain pipe that stretches sometimes the entire perimeter of your drain field (in my case the yard perimeter).
so its a good thing i got it . its purpose is to catch surface rainwater so it doesnt interfere with the drainage area that the septic drain field needs to work properly. in other words, it soaks up water before it gets to the middle of my yard.

i must have just nipped the edge of the gravel bed. where the drain water is . they all said the same thing: "youde know if it was waste water" . and this didnt smell, just smelled like dirty rainwater.

so it looks like the sunset maple is gonna get some good water !!!

ill be back with my future picks for the driveway trees .

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 6:24PM
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