Trees that Don't Work in New England

edlincoln(6A)August 18, 2014

The problem with the internet is it is location-agnostic. You get lots of advice from people in very different conditions. Catalogs, of course, are selling to people across the country. I suspect Big Box stores make decisions as to what to carry at a national (or at least regional) level.

I think it would be useful to compile a list of popular or common trees that just don't work in New England. Anyone have any ideas? Trees that collapse under ice storm, trees the are being devastated by a local disease, trees that can't take our humid summers, etc. In theory looking at Zone tolerances should tell you if the tree can survive our winters, but Zones aren't perfect, so if you can think of some cases where the states zone tolerance is deceptive, that's useful. Also, trees that are considered invasive species in some New England State. I'm particularly interested in the local disease aspect...that's harder to find information on then climate. Every tree that is studied enough will be found to be subject to some pest, and if you look at a reference for serious gardeners you will find looong lists of problems...but in some cases those are pests that discolor the leaves a little, while in others those are pests that make the tree completely impractical in certain areas.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

your state forestry division should be able to provide a lits of good trees...

who would take the time to make a list of bad ones... well??? ... i dont know ... everything not on the good list???

crikey.. cant remember your state ... to google your state forestry site ...

new england is a rather broad definition ...


    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 6:27PM
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'New England' though ranges from gardening zones 3 to 7! Big box stores usually use the cold tolerance zones to determine what they sell. Obviously, this is only a very crude measure, as it leaves out precipitation amount (and type), its annual distribution, heat tolerances, etc.. Take the latter factor, a tree may be cold tolerant to New England zone 7 (Cape Cod), but lack adequate summer heat for the proper maturation of its wood (which actually does relate to it Winter hardiness). 'Hardiness ' is a fairly complex notion (so many factors), and given New England really is diverse as a region, I won't know where to start in compiling such a list of problem trees. (Maybe avoid trees which have a relatively high summer heat requirement for starters.)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:34AM
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If you can think of any trees carried by your local Big Box store that you find aren't cold hardy in your area, that would be helpful. If you know of trees that frequently don't survive because of summer heat requirements even though they are growing in an area that in theory should be in their zone, that would be useful to know.

I was thinking more about humidity and disease...Zone tolerance doesn't tell you that Massachusetts is afflicted with turpentine beetles and Emerald Ash Borer.

I recognize that many of these things won't apply to the whole region...

The use of this is it might tell us when NOT to pick up that tree on sale, and help us recognize when a landscaper or garden center employee doesn't know what he is talking about.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:31AM
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Edlincoln, check the Chestnut oak acorn post, i posted my email for you. Poaky1.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:49PM
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