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New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Posted by bobmarley753 7a (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 14:32

Hi everyone :) I'm looking for some input/ideas relating to landscaping the mostly blank canvas of a yard at my new place. My main goal in starting this thread is to educate myself in what to plant, how to plant it, and to generally gain somewhat of a background so I can better judge the knowledge level of the local nurseries (and if I think they are giving me good advice, or just trying to move stock that might not be the best fit for my situation). I'll try to do research on the common questions outside of this thread to avoid duplicating questions that have already been answered many times before.

A little background:
I recently moved up from a townhouse to a single family home in Forest Hill, MD. My experience level with gardening is moderate, but with planting trees is low, having spent most of my time reducing the over planting that was done by the previous owner of my townhouse. In my 18' x 40' yard I was the proud owner of a Bradford Pear (one of the last 2 standing in the neighborhood of about 40), 5 bush type pink flowering crepe myrtles, and one white flowering tree type crepe myrtle.

Anyway, back to the new place. By the time we were moved in and had sold the townhouse, it was into December and (I had thought) it was too late to do any tree planting. My effort now is focused on getting ready to start planting ASAP this spring when it is warm enough, and when the trees are available to purchase. I don't have a good handle on the stock or the quality of local nurseries, or which "online" nurseries are good choices. I have never mail ordered a tree or plant before.

I have some rough goals for what I'd like to do with the yard, but I think I will start by posting some pictures, and talking about my yard. Thanks for reading!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Well what about a pic of the overall yard? Any trees? I would do a few oaks/maples as over story trees then a few redbuds, dogwoods, maybe some other flowering trees as under story trees. There are a great variety of oaks. I wouldn't want to go for a hybrid because I rather something like a Red Oak. I don't want to reccomend any fruit trees since most people don't know how to properly take care of them and watch out for the diseases.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Site Bird's Eye

My lot is 3+ acres of gentle sloping grass, in which very little was planted by the previous owners of 10 years. The land on which my lot sits was at one time a farm, but the quality of grass I have leads me to believe that the soil is not that great. The shape/position of my lot on the street means I have a HUGE amount of curb (and this is something I would like to take advantage of). I am working on a drawing of the lot to use for planning purposes, so I'll throw that up here as well.

Site Plan

The one thing that the previous owners did plant was some type of fast growing evergreen in a double row on one end and a single row on another. They look similar to leyland cypress, and based on satellite imagery it looks like they were planted in spring 2010. I'll provide some close up pictures in the next post. The double row of trees to the west of the house seem to be mostly growing well, while the single row to the east never really grew at all, it seems. Of course this is all guesswork, as I do not know how big they were when they were planted, and how much (if any) water they got that first 2 years.

In general, the "wall of green" concept is not really our style- the houses are spaced out far enough that we don't feel like growing a 20ft high barrier is either necessary, or appealing. As to leaving some or none of them, I'm not sure. Figuring out what they are and how big they could get will help I suppose.

Pictures, and some discussion of my goals to follow :)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Here are a few pics I took this morning of the front/side yard:

The Bare Canvas
The land to the east (left) of this is a 75+ acre farm, which will likely be developed eventually. Note the size of the small line of trees at the far edge.

The Bare Canvas
The driveway. 110' long or so. I'd like to do some variation of a tree lined driveway, though I haven't a clue on what to plant yet. I could be happy with a more formal row of the same tree on both sides, or a less formal mixture of trees in some fashion.

The Bare Canvas
Did I mention that I have a lot of curb...and that I like tree-lined roads :) The possibilities are nearly endless here.

The Bare Canvas
Double row of trees looking away from the road. They look pretty sorry now, though that is likely due to the week of sub freezing temps we have had...they looked pretty healthy all summer and fall.

The Bare Canvas
And finally, here is a closeup of the "green wall" trees. Is this a plain old Leyland or something else?

Thanks for reading :)

This post was edited by bobmarley753 on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 15:35


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Yikes! That's a lot of grass to cover up! I'm a bit envious on my 1/4 acre lot.

If it were me, I'd start as gardenapprentice said by putting in some carefully placed over-story trees relatively close to the house. This will give you some shade on your home in the coming summers. You can fill in with under-story trees/shrubs as they grow. I'm a fan of maples, oaks and chinese elms for larger trees. You may also want to consider some kind of evergreens as a windbreak on the northern side of the home.

As those items get bigger, I'd work my way out into the vast expanse that you have. With that much land, I'd be tempted to pick 3/4 of an acre and randomly plant native saplings to created a wooded area.

FYI, I'd stick with smaller, container grown plant for your over-story trees. While I've had some success in the past with balled and burlaped larger trees, they seem to be hit or miss. The smaller container trees will probably catch up within a few years anyway, particularly if it's a fast growing species like maple.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

This is a great time to get your soil tested to see the nutritional and textural composition of your soil as well as the ph for starters.

Woowee! You have some serious research ahead of you! Tons of things you can plant in your climate that will greatly beautify your landscape!

If I were you, I would start by looking up the following trees and pick our which you like the most for form, leaf shape, flowering, and fall color:

White oak group (bur, white, swamp white, swamp chestnut, etc)
Red oak group (northern red, shumard, pin, nuttall, etc)
Magnolias (trees and shrubs)
Maples non-native (asian - palmatum, shirasawanum, griseum, triflorum, etc)
Maples - native (saccharum, leucoderme, etc)
Blackgum
Silverbell
Yellowwood
Camellias
Rhododendron
Serviceberries
Crabapples
Ornamental Cherries
Smoketrees
Redbud
Beech (sylvatica and grandiflora)
Persian Ironwood
Dogwoods
Sourwood
Beautyberry
Ninebark
Viburnums

and on and on...

Actually, you might be better served visiting your local library and finding an illustrated book about native trees/north american trees.

You can design your black slate and then select trees to fit the design like many do. Or you can pick trees you like that will grow in your zone and start planting, letting the design take shape as things grow(and die!) and wing it as you go. I also have some land like you, and I chose to leave some of it blank so the kids can play ball/chase whatever. Point being not all of the yard has to have something planted nearby.

I love these blank slate topics and can't wait to see what you decide!

As far as planting goes, DO NOT amend any of your planting holes and ONLY use the native soil when possible.

John

ps - welcome to GW tree forum! You have found just about the most helpful forum on the internet :) and your topic is by far a favorite for most of the members here!

Edit: As dirtman said, if you can start with small potted stock (think 1-5 gallon), there is simply no better option to get healthy trees established than this. Also, a good mulch ring around the tree (but not up against the trunk) will greatly aid in establishing any kind of tree you plant.

And I forgot to include in my list conifers both big and small, if that is your thing. Some people spend a small fortune on little ugly ones that would naturally be nature's rejects without human intervention ;)

This post was edited by j0nd03 on Fri, Jan 25, 13 at 15:48


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Garden, dirtman, j0nd- thanks for the replies. Already some things I didn't know, and some good ideas for me to think about. I will certainly be doing research on native trees, and those mentioned will be a good place for me to start. I totally agree about leaving some open space- I've got a almost 2yr old, and one on the way in April...I will need some good space for them to run:)

I had honestly not thought about planting close to the house...most of my thoughts had been focused on planting the borders for whatever reason. How close to the house should I be looking at for the full size shade trees?


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

i used my mortgage map.. made about 20 copies.. and started drawing ...

the first thing you need.. is water ... i would run a one inch water supply line around the yard ... like they have at a cemetery ... and put spigots all over the yard ... so that in no circumstance.. will you ever need to pull more than a 75 foot section of hose ... or even better 50 foot section ... i spent about $250 for parts.. and paid some guy $500 to drag in the supply line.. and mad all the connections myself .. saving about $3000 ....

the number one.. and only really important rule.. is 2 years of deep watering for most trees ... plus proper mulch .. after which they are mostly care free ..

the only alternative.. would be to buy a 100 gal storage tank.. to pull around with your garden tractor ... which leads us to machinery ...

i would forget about the road.. for a few years ...

and i would NOT line you driveway with trees... unless you are thinking 25 to 50 feet from the drive.. yes.. that is what i said ... i suspect it is going to be hard to get you into COUNTRY thinking.. from your townhouse perspectives ...

below is a former 1.5 acre part of my property ... that 10 years prior was horse pasture ... this is your potential ... if you focus on ONE PART of your very large acreage ...

oh.. and those look like green giants to me .... thuja GG .. with winter color ...

and check out the link below.. it is made for one with your lot size..

one trick.. is to use your mower.. during this summer.. to mow bed ideas ... use the mortgage map.. to ID some bed designs.. and mark them out with landscape paint .. and just dont mow those patches.. so you can 'see' it in person ... and if anyone asks.. you tell them that those are wildflower meadows.. lol ... you will be very surprised at what will come up ... i leave an acre fallow.. and it is one of my best gardens .. lol ..

all that said.. you need to ID about 10 to 20 trees.. that will be the backbone of your future garden.. i favor OAK!!!!! .. in the 6 to 8 foot range.. bare root if you can get them ... and planted at the PRECISELY proper planting time ... they should cost no more than $50 each.. i am guessing .... and do not go any bigger ... ever ...

ken

ps: and draw a one acre lawn around that septic.. and NEVER PLANT ANYTHING THERE ....
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empty 10 years prior to this pic ... except for the giant oaks ..
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green giants
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machines
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with 6 to 8 foot bare root tree
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Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

There are some here that will recognize this advice:

The shade trees should go only straight west. Then east. You want sun in the winter. Conifers to the north to block winter wind. Soon a company will come to you to lease your roof for solar power and should take it, and large trees to the south will prevent you from taking advantage of this opportunity - you should plant small ornamental trees to the south that please you via color, flower, form, something. As to your canopy trees, you may want to walk around an arboretum or two in the area to see how the large maples-oaks-etc look, then go from there. The Extension Agents will help you, and possibly Master Gardeners (not a guarantee), but not retail nurseries, and definitely not bigbox.

BTW, it is rare to get such good information to start with. Thank you.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

well have you also thought about a flower bed? You know perrenials, annuals, bulbs, and then a tree in the center?


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

You have room for a whole lot of trees! Some of the understory shade needing fellas might have to wait like doogwoods unless you use the house for shade.

With that much room you can do alot of things. The big oaks are an excellent idea. My personal favorite is Dawn redwood, Metasequoia. They get tall but do not spread as rapidly as an oak and notice you can limb them up for a more formal appearance.

Winter time interest is something folks sometimes forget. Some of my favorite "bark" trees are a bit faster growing. Sycamore and Silver Maples. They both have a shorter life expectancy but just don't plant em where they'll grow over your house or too many of them.

Both the native and european beeches are stately and have good bark....

American Holly is a hardy broadleaf evergreen with berries for the fall and probably winter.

Can you grow live oak in your area? Thats one I would plant 1st day if I relocated south.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Get a few pines in there too. Maybe Shortleaf or Loblolly.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

also... you should get it in your head.. that you are in farm country ... and farmers do things cheaper than retailers and contractors ... they own big machines that make fast work of things.. like dragging in irrigation pipe ... an afternoon on the john deere is much cheaper than the local upscale landscaper/retailer ...

also.. contact your local county extension office ... AND soil conservation office ... if you have not had a soil test done.. that is a good start.. and my county soil conservation office has an annual tree sale.. they are small.. but usually tip top shape .... do NOT wait until spring.. when these office become very busy .. they are all napping right now.. lol ... link to harford co office .... even if they cant help you directly.. i bet they would be a font of info regarding local contacts ...

and your new favorite store for supplies should be tractor supply ... lol

did you mention your soil type???

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 26, 13 at 8:32

You've come to the right place for tree suggestions! Although its going to be tough to get design advice. With such a big space its going to take some time to think through this one. In fact I'd be tempted to get a designer and then come back here with their tree suggestions or perhaps they just focus on "here is where you need a shade tree with red fall color".

My 2 cents...start with function and specimen/focal points.

Walk from window to window and determine the view you want. Do you need to block something? Do you need a shade tree? Balance that with the advice already given for species conifers on the north and shade to the west and south. Sometimes that doesn't always work given the direction your house faces. For example my house faces west so I only have one specimen shade tree, however I'm able to place multiple shade trees to the south.

Next go to our home improvement store and purchase 6' stakes, green bamboo is likely the least expensive.

After you determine where you want your specimens/focal points put those stakes in those locations and think on the location for a couple weeks and adjust as necessary. You'll also want to see how they look from the outside looking towards the house as well. It will look foolish but will serve as a nice visual as to where plants are and how they overlap.

Much too early to give actual plant suggestions in my opinion until you scope out your vision.

You have what so many would love to have....lots of land with a nice house. Don't screw this up!lol!

Lastly diversify your plantings. The row of Thuja is an absolute mistake. Groupings of a single species is fine but that much repetition is never the way to go. Something as simple as drought could kill off one of them and then you have this hole that you need to fill. Worse off you have the Thuja plague and all of them die.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Walk from window to window and determine the view you want. Do you need to block something? Do you need a shade tree?

==>> same with a lawn chair and your deck/patio .. or plans for such ....

e.g. .. that cement patio of mine.. in the pic way above .... did not exist when i planted some of the stuff.. out in the 'view' .... but i knew that the patio would be there in some form ....

and dont forget.. on acreage ... you really dont need to sit on a deck/patio.. right out the door ... and seating space could be part of the green lawn/meadow out over the septic ... good place for a pergola or bandstand.. lol ...

one of the reasons for so much space out there near teh septic .. is that my neighbors.. 30 to 40 years later.. are finding the septic field has to be rebuilt.. and most do not have a duplicate space nearby ... so by leaving yours basically blank of large plants.. you are 'planning' for the future ...

head spinning yet??.. lol

most counties also have a forester on duty [though these days they ride a circuit of many counties] ... thru the Ext or soil offices ... this is the guy.. who will know of any local tree farms that can sell you the bare root stock that is recommended ...

ken


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Good discussion here, thanks for all of the responses.

Where to begin?

No, the soil has not been tested. I will definitely start by calling the Ext. office and/or soil office and get that taken care of as soon as the ground thaws. I think it's supposed to get up into the 60's later this week, which will feel like summer after week in the teens.

LoL, your references to country thinking vs townhouse thinking are very accurate...here is a picture of the outdoor area at my townhouse before it sold.

238grl

Nice, but definitely very small. As I said earlier, I didn't plant anything there, I just kept removing things until the space was more manageable. Believe it or not, I had removed more than half of the plants in that yard over several years by the time that picture was taken. I really enjoyed the crepe myrtles, and will probably plant them again at the new place.

Regarding water- don't know how I'm going to handle this yet. One way or another, I'm going to have to cross a lot of distance either with hoses or some type of container. A permanent solution as suggested is a great idea, but will likely be a project for the future. I need to do some research on watering bags, as those may be my best option to start.

Regarding shade trees to block the sun- lots of good comments. Trees on the west side are a definite. South side- the closest I am really comfortable with at this point is at the property border. I have several reasons for this. 1) I will be putting in a large patio, and have been told to "reserve" space for a potential pool some day. We'll see about that, but I still won't be planting anything big directly to the south. 2) The comment about solar is a good one. While not something I will likely do soon, it is definitely a possibility for the future. Good news there is that my roof is probably 35' + above the ground level in the back due to it being a walk out basement. 3) There is a nice "low spot" near the property border to the south that gets more water than anywhere else on my lot (based on the grass that grows twice as fast/tall there). I figure this would be a great place to put a couple "feature" trees that could be seen out the back of my house and from the eventual patio. No clue on what specifically to plant there at this point though.

Trees to the north were also mentioned to block wind. I'll have to think about this one. That would be in my front yard. Good news is just across the street from me (behind neighbors house) is a mature forest, which will likely offer some protection without me planting anything directly in front of my house.

At several points, it was recommended that I not start with planting along the driveway and road. What is the reasoning behind this? Far away from a water source? Having to plant trees too far away from the driveway for it to look "good" or a while? I've got to start sometime!

I know there was a lot more that I am forgetting. I'll go back and read the responses again :)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Here is the list of rough goals that I have at this point. They are in no particular order, and will likely not all be taken care of for many years.

- Large trees along the road. Large spacing between them, perhaps 2 or 3 different types alternating. I'm almost afraid to say it for fear of the response, but...I like Elm trees :0 Yes, I've done my research on Elms, and have still not been scared away :)

- Figure out what to do with the "green wall" identified as Thuja. I agree with others that it was a poor decision for many reasons. My current thought is that I could remove many of them, leaving groups of 3 trees (in a triangle) with good spacing in between. Would it be possible for me to sell or give these away to be replanted? I would prefer that to taking the chainsaw to the majority of them. Not sure if nurseries deal with random people trying to sell them trees off their yard :)

-Shade trees on the west side. Like many others, I like Oaks. Perhaps a few Scarlet Oaks.

- One or two feature trees for the "low" spot on the rear border of the lot. Looking for something that will have a lot of visual impact.

- Trees along the driveway. Smaller trees are OK with me- I've thought about tree type crepe myrtles and paper bark maples as a few examples.

- Ornamental trees in the front yard, and close to back patio once it is built (or the plan is solidified for it). I have a nice space on the front corner of the house that would be good for a part shade ornamental.

- Replace the poorly growing line of Thuja on the eastern border on the lot (recall this borders a farm, and the land has already been zoned for rural residential, although no solid plans for a comunity are in place that i know of...yet). This would be a good place for some large size evergreens. Not sure if it being sort of a small "ridge" would eliminate some of the more water loving trees. I wonder if dawn redwoods would work here.

Wow. That's quite a large list. I guess this would be a good time to mention that we bought this house planning to be here for a loooong time. You won't see any "NEED SHADE NOW" posts from me...I'm perfectly fine planning for shade down the road. I also would like to "break up" the yard somewhat, while still maintaining good size open spaces for outdoor activities. Lot's to think about.

My son (almost 2) is starting to empty the kitchen cabinets...my time is up for now!

Thanks for reading :)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Professionally I have designed for owners of large properties over the years. At our first meeting I always begin the planning process with a conversation asking the client about their "me, myself and I". This is a series of questions such as....
1. Do you intend to maintain the property by yourself?
2. How much leaf raking do you enjoy?
3. Do you look forward to the weekly round-about's on your riding mower keeping the grass cut in the heat of summer?
4. Do you enjoy creating garden spaces of perennials and annuals, perhaps specializing in one or more of your plant interests?
5. At the moment does the concept of 'space to be filled with something' override all other thoughts?
6. Would you be better off planning a landscape to be maintained by a professional crew; fully or partially?
7. Do you wish to set up the necessary organic needs to vegetable/fruit tree garden and feed your family?

etc. etc.

Perhaps you would share your answers to these questions. Both you and the respondents here should find it helpful discussing your question.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

1. Do you intend to maintain the property by yourself?

Yes. I'm pretty much a do-it-yourself kind of person.

2. How much leaf raking do you enjoy?

I am OK with dealing with leaves with a combination of the mower, blower and mulcher. The alternative of dealing with no leaves, but having no trees (my current situation) is far less appealing to me.

3. Do you look forward to the weekly round-about's on your riding mower keeping the grass cut in the heat of summer?

For now, yes, but realize I have only cut the grass 4 times (started in late September before I had moved in). Over time, reducing the amount of grass to cut will be a good benefit to planting.

4. Do you enjoy creating garden spaces of perennials and annuals, perhaps specializing in one or more of your plant interests?

Yes, but I'd like to get the "long term" plantings done first before I move on to the more temporary. But eventually, yes.

5. At the moment does the concept of 'space to be filled with something' override all other thoughts?

Not sure how to answer this. I am not in a rush to fill the space. My goal is more to get the yard going in the direction that my wife and I am will be more happy with. My yard right now is just kind of bare and sad. Years down the road I'd like to be able to enjoy some mature shade trees, smaller ornamentals, and ground level gardens at various places around the yard. I can't say that I will ever take gardening to the level of it being my primary hobby, though I am willing to spend the amount of time required to make this yard my own.

6. Would you be better off planning a landscape to be maintained by a professional crew; fully or partially?

Would I be better off :) Maybe. But will I, probably not. Honestly I think I will enjoy the yard a lot more in the future having done the work myself, and I will definitely appreciate the cost savings associated with DIY. Having said that, consulting with a professional about design ideas is something I am thinking about.

7. Do you wish to set up the necessary organic needs to vegetable/fruit tree garden and feed your family?

Not at this time. We are members of a local farm CSA, which provides fresh produce. Perhaps this might be something we could get into someday, but not now with our current time limitations.

Good questions :)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Here is what I would plant:
Burr Oak
Red Oak
White Oak
Tulip Poplar
Sugar Maple
Ginko
DED Resistant American Elms
Sycamore
Bald cypress
-Think Large; you have plenty of room
I also would recommend getting your trees at Cold Stream farms, very resonable prices.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cold Stream Farm


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Your yard is not the blank canvass that has been implied. There are already parts of that design in place.

First you have the septic tank and leach bed area. This will always have to be open yard or may be shallow rooted flowers or flowering bushes. I would avoid planting any thing that will be a big loss if the septic system goes bad and has to be dug up with big machinery.

The area around the well to the house will also have to be maintained as yard as stated above. There are some who say you do not have to worry about roots, but you don't want a situation like my daughter's. She has a beautiful Magnolia tree in her front yard. The previous owner did not think and planted the tree over all of her water and sewer pipes Her sewer connection went bad. In the long run it is best to keep these areas free of large trees and such.

These two areas will give you a great football, or what ever sport you like area. The area in the tree L could be developed into a nice flower garden. flowers like tulips and daffodils, but there are also may flowering bushes like lilacs, azaleas, camellias, forsythia, and etc. depending where you live.

If it were me I would plant the other part of your lot heavily with all kinds of Maples, oaks, etc, arboretum type of area. This will give your house a nice background coming down the street to your house.

To complete the yard a couple of brightly leafed trees in from of the house like red oaks.

Remember Trees have canopies. Each oak, maple, etc, should have about 40 feet clear around it for its future canopy.

You should plan access routes into all points of your yard, as there may be a time when you want to get large equipment into those area. Gardens, garden sheds, swimming pools, leach bed repair, etc. all require large equipment. These access routes must not be over your leach bed and septic tank.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

i am soooo p.o.'d.. i just X'd out 30 mins of typing.. so dont read any 'tone' into my frustration ...

let me summarize ...

1 == forget about the GGiants.. put that on year 5 plan .. by which time i bet you dont care about them.. lol ...

2 == the driveway is a fine plan.. put that on year 3 ... i suggest spacing of 20 to 30 feet ...

3 == you added facts ... sonny boy ... year one plan.. how to secure him.. so you can throw his butt outside.. and not worry that he is hopping the next freight train ... you need to fence in a one acre portion out back.. insert play scape.. and sandbox.. pic below of our sandbox ... this would include the septic field ...

4 == focus on where you will spend your time .. and develop that first .... odds are.. you will NOT be sitting on the front porch.. looking at your tree lined drive.. nor the road .. nor the GG's ... so put those plans out in years ... FOCUS out back ...

i fear.. you are in your minds eye.. trying to landscape the whole ... in one summer.. if you failed to mention you are a millionire.. with a staff of 20 ... you are trying to do TOO MUCH.. FOCUS.. [key word there] ... on what you NEED NOW!! ... and lets worry about 99% of the rest in the next 5 to 10 years ... and dont forget.. there are two planting seasons per year ... early and late ... so break your plan up .....

BTW.. why is your well what looks like 200 feet from the house???

BTW2 .. dont forget about the sucker truck access to your septic tank.. dont plant there ...

link below for PROPER planting .. which can be summed up this way:

PROPER planting
PROPER mulching
and this is the important one==>> PROPER WATERING!!!!!

I FEAR.. YOU ARE PUTTING OFF YOUR WATER SOLUTIONS.. oops... it does no good to plant 100 trees.. if they all die for lack of PROPER watering ... and trust me.. i tried dragging 200 feet of water filled hose around 5 acres for a year ... finding i could NOT do it [it weighs too much].. so walking back to the house 500 feet.. turning the water off.. draining the hose.. attaching the hose back.. walking back out 200 feet to move the hose.. then back 200 feet to turn the water back on .. then 200 feet back to water .. watering ONE SINGLE TREE!!!! [by which time you are getting close to a quarter mile per tree ... which gets old FAST!!!] ...next tree 75 feet away.. walking back to the house.. turning.. etc.. you get the point .. lots of great exercise.. not many trees watered ..

YOU HAVE TO SOLVE THE WATER MOVING ISSUE ... not tomorrow.. not next year.. now!!!!

anyway.. i lived this in 2000 ... i can not impress upon you.. how important the water system is ... well.. [thats a pun].. i tried..

good luck .. i wont be bringing up the water issue again..

all that said.. as a tree collector.. let me suggest one of everything.. obtain tree.. plant it in the right season.. enjoy ... but i NEVER buy a tree with a history of disease or bug.. no matter what the seller/marketer claims.. so no more ash for me [EAB] .. and i would never.. in a million years ... invest in an elm ...

ken

here is what junior needs .. not trees on the driveway .. BTW.. that slide.. they put the hose on it and wallow like pigs for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch .. do you think they play in under the shade.. ohhhh noooo ... and i stand by the theory.. that my kids are healthy from most sickness.. for all the dirt they ate.. growing up.. lol ..
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and since my photobucket is open.. never forget flowering shrubs ... how about a lilac lined drive ... i got most of these from friends.. jsut digging out suckers ... and notice that this is the half fenced acre of the 5 ... and dont do split rail.. they rot too fast ... IMHO ... you cant see but there is a wire fence there also ... attached to the split rail ...

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Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Another thing to do is to go see trees. You are not that far from Ladew Gardens in Monkton (Jarrettsville Pike). Although they are famed for their topiary, they do have lots of mature trees/shrubs to gawk at. They are closed until 1 April, but you will still be needing help after that. I'm about 50 miles away from you as the crow flies, and start planting in early March.

I too started out with an almost blank slate, and one of the biggest differences I note between when I started and now is the tremendous increase in the number of species of birds I find. It takes a few years, but they will come. One thing I also learned. If you plant big trees, you need to dig a bigger hole, haul more water, wait longer for it to become established. Smaller trees cost less, have a better chance of getting established with less trouble.

There is a decent nursery on Fallston Rd just south of the J-ville Pike. Can't think of any others close right now, but you may already know of a bunch. Good luck. You should get a chainsaw and pruning shears and loppers now. You will need them sooner than you think.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I, too, love oaks. Pay attention to whether they retain their leaves in winter (as Shumard oak tends to) or not, in case you have a preference.

If you get a black gum, a cultivar like 'Wildfire' that starts with reddish leaves would be a nice choice for more spring color.

I like Ginkgo, and would have one or two.

I prefer deciduous trees, but like some conifers for winter color to prevent that dead look.

Speaking of color, I'd aim for some choices to give color to the landscape, all year. Also some peeling bark options. I'd consider:

1.) Yes, paperbark maple, but take a long, hard look at trident maple. Very nice, might grow faster, reminds me more of river birch than paperbark maple does.

2.) A red Japanese maple cultivar like Bloodgood, for spring, fall & at least part of summer strong red.

3.) Golden Hinoki False Cypress - yellow-green color plus interesting form to the branching.

4.) Boulevard False Cypress for some blue - not the topiary versions.

5.) One of the yellow cultivars of arborvitae.

6.) Not sure Colorado blue spruce (full size, or the smaller version like Baby Blue Eyes) would do well in your warmer climate; might ask around. To get some blue.

Some of what I suggested are modest in size, but even if a big place, you'll want some smaller things.

Richard.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I think two techniques are helpful. Take pictures of the house from various sides and distances and use tracing paper to rough in trees. Also, do the same from the house looking out.

The most important place for trees is due west to southwest, and east. This will give you morning and afternoon/evening shade (from the hottest sun of the day). You can position small trees closer and the larger trees that will shade the whole house farther out.

I have shade mornings until about 11:00 and after 4:30 P.M. and my house stays very cool without air conditioning, especially if I open windows at night and close them during the day. People are shocked at how cool my house stays. And I have friends with no trees and their homes are like ovens, so hot they never really cool down at night.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Let me reiterate what I wrote upthread:

The shade trees should go only straight west. Then east. You want sun in the winter. Conifers to the north to block winter wind.

Soon a company will come to you to lease your roof for solar power and should take it, and large trees to the south will prevent you from taking advantage of this opportunity - you should plant small ornamental trees to the south that please you via color, flower, form, something.

As to your canopy trees, you may want to walk around an arboretum or two in the area to see how the large maples-oaks-etc look, then go from there. The Extension Agents will help you, and possibly Master Gardeners (not a guarantee), but not retail nurseries, and definitely not bigbox.

It is important to have a landscape plan first, then go about planting trees. Many who have not gone this route are sorry they did so.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I have not read this entire thread as of yet. However, I do have something to add that may not have been covered. Bob provided enough information that I was able to locate soil type. The soil types that are present as indicated by the national soils database are MbD2 and CcB2. The characteristics of importance for this thread are that they are very well draining, have a low water storage capacity (so they tend to be dry and probable part of the reason for the condition of the grass), and any impermeable layer is more than 80" deep. So deep soil on the dry side. Would still be wise to test for nutrients, but also be aware that over fertilizing will likely leach right out as well.

So with this in mind, more deeply rooted, and/or dry tolerant species would seem a good place to start. Also, is there a time of year that tends to be on the dry side?

Arktrees


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Well, now arktrees you are getting into more advanced site design and billable hours. How are you going to collect over the Internets? ;o)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I've got Miss Utility scheduled to come out and mark the underground lines, and some books from the library to research the tree suggestions you all have given me. In the mean-time, I'll respond to some of the posts in the last few days.

@knuttle- Good points...and something I am spending a lot of time thinking on. I've got a drawing of my underground septic components which is supposed to be "to scale" which I'd like to use to locate my leaching area, but who knows if I'll be able to find anything. County documents refer to the pipes being buried 9', which seems pretty low to me, and may lessen the risk of any roots coming into contact with it. I won't be planting anything near that area soon anyway.

@Ken- Also good points. Regarding the Thuja- I agree there are other priorities, seeing as they are far away from the house, and it will be a lot of effort to remove them. Still, the image of my house being hidden behind a green wall as people approach from the street, and being "separated" from my neighbors just doesn't appeal to me. with the taller trees already hitting around the 9' mark, I won't want to wait on doing something with them very long. If I could find a company to remove the majority of them intent on selling them, I would agree to it in an instant.

A containment system for the little guy is a terrific idea...he certainly does love to run, and has no fear of running far away from me :)

The well...yes it's pretty far away. I think the lot was origionally planned to have the house facing West, and closer to the road, which would put the well in the front yard similar to all of my neighbors. For whatever reason, the previous owners decided to put the house near the middle of the lot instead, making the well pretty far away. I'm still trying to get a handle on how close and what I am comfortable planting near that water line.

I hear you on the importance of figuring out how to water everything. I'll need to do a lot more research before I will understand how to put a more permanent solution in place. I will, however take your advice, and my Mom's (she agreed with all of you) that I should start near the house and work out :) If I end up doing the driveway this spring, it will include permanent soaker hoses on both sides which would just need to be hooked up the the house for watering. A more permanent solution there would be more difficult, as it involves crossing sidewalks and driveways.

The point about focusing on the area that we use the most is a good one...I'll just have to see how that works out. The previous owners did zero to the outdoor area in terms of making it functional (no patio, deck, or landscaping of any kind out back) so that's all up to us.

I had a good conversation with the master gardener at the Harford County extension office today, and got some leads on getting my soil tested, and recommended local nurseries. I'll be getting the soil test done asap. For anyone else in the county, I highly recommend giving her a call, her name is Joyce Browning.

@Dzitmoidonc- I definitely will stop by Ladew when it opens...I drive by it at least once a week on the way to my parents house. Will probably also do a trip to Longwood in the Spring. I was not aware of the nursery where you noted, I'll check it out.

@drrich2- I like your suggestions concerning different colors. I'm leaning towards a Japanese maple for a shady spot near the front corner of my house, and will probably look to some of the smaller cypress once some of my landscaped areas become more solidified.

@Laceyvail, WxDano- Getting a few good shade trees on the West/Southwest side first sounds like a good plan. I have gone to the extent of doing a shade analysis that factors in the angle of the sun (both from hour to hour, and through winter, spring, summer), the distance from the house, and the height of the tree. I'm an engineer/analyst by trade, so this was a "fun" exercise for me... This post is already long enough, so I'll keep that separate. The results were interesting though.

@Arktrees- We will see if the soil test agrees with what you have found, once I get that done. In terms of rainfall, we normally have a month with a lot of rain in the spring...it could be march, april, or may really. And we normally have an equally dry spell in the summer of 4 to 6 weeks.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 17:46

Ark, where did you get those codes and where did you get the info pertaining to those codes?

It was a pain to get my soil codes. I spent over an hour on the phone with the soil ext. lab and still had to find it on my own and looking back at my soil test I didn't send an email to myself with the codes!

Marley, it would be interesting to see your shade analysis!


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

@WxDano- Getting a few good shade trees on the West/Southwest side first sounds like a good plan. I have gone to the extent of doing a shade analysis that factors in the angle of the sun (both from hour to hour, and through winter, spring, summer), the distance from the house, and the height of the tree. I'm an engineer/analyst by trade, so this was a "fun" exercise for me... This post is already long enough, so I'll keep that separate. The results were interesting though.

I'm writing a manual on it right now for arborists, PM if you need some help.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

whaas,
I used the National Web Soil Survey (see link below and how to use it). It will give you general boundaries, but don't try to take it down to the foot or anything. Once you have the types, there is a tab that will give you the basic description. The hardest part can be recognizing locations, as the maps and photography can sometimes be very old. I have the advantage of having done this kind of thing for my job before, so I have experience using this tool, and aerial/satellite photography etc. to get site data.

WxDano,
Sometime curiosity makes me look for things just to see if I'm good enough to find them. In this case I was. Then I just wanted to help. :-)

bobmarley,
The info I provided is from the site linked, and is much more about the soils physical characteristics, than it is about chemistry (what the soil test will tell you). Those physical characteristics are every bit or even more important than the chemistry, which is why I looked them up. As stated above I have experience doing this kind of thing, and I decided to go look, and happen to spot the location in just a couple minutes. Don't worry, I'm not stalking. I was curious as to location, so put the town into Google earth, and happen to spot your location inside of three minutes, and since I had that info, I decided to look up soil types to help you (which took a whole 6-7 minutes more because of the slow website). Below is more complete descriptions of the two soil types.

Arktrees

GcB2�Glenelg loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes, moderately eroded
Map Unit Setting
Landscape: Piedmonts
Elevation: 300 to 2,000 feet
Mean annual precipitation: 40 to 55 inches
Mean annual air temperature: 45 to 61 degrees F
Frost-free period: 110 to 235 days
Map Unit Composition
Glenelg and similar soils: 100 percent
Description of Glenelg
Setting
Landform: Hillslopes
Landform position (two-dimensional): Backslope, summit
Landform position (three-dimensional): Interfluve, side slope
Down-slope shape: Convex
Across-slope shape: Linear
Properties and qualities
Slope: 3 to 8 percent
Depth to restrictive feature: More than 80 inches
Drainage class: Well drained
Capacity of the most limiting layer to transmit water (Ksat): Moderately high to high (0.57 to 1.98 in/hr)
Depth to water table: More than 80 inches
Frequency of flooding: None
Frequency of ponding: None
Available water capacity: Very low (about 1.1 inches)
Interpretive groups
Farmland classification: All areas are prime farmland
Land capability (nonirrigated): 2e
Hydrologic Soil Group: B
Typical profile
0 to 6 inches: Loam

MbD2�Manor loam, 15 to 25 percent slopes, moderately eroded
Map Unit Setting
Landscape: Piedmonts
Elevation: 250 to 1,000 feet
Mean annual precipitation: 35 to 50 inches
Mean annual air temperature: 48 to 57 degrees F
Frost-free period: 150 to 220 days
Map Unit Composition
Manor and similar soils: 100 percent
Description of Manor
Setting
Landform: Hillslopes
Landform position (two-dimensional): Backslope
Landform position (three-dimensional): Side slope
Down-slope shape: Convex
Across-slope shape: Linear
Parent material: Loamy residuum weathered from phyllite and/or loamy residuum weathered from schist
Properties and qualities
Slope: 15 to 25 percent
Depth to restrictive feature: More than 80 inches
Drainage class: Well drained
Capacity of the most limiting layer to transmit water (Ksat): Moderately high to high (0.57 to 1.98 in/hr)
Depth to water table: More than 80 inches
Frequency of flooding: None
Frequency of ponding: None
Available water capacity: Very low (about 1.9 inches)
Interpretive groups
Farmland classification: Not prime farmland
Land capability (nonirrigated): 4e
Hydrologic Soil Group: B
Typical profile
0 to 10 inches: Loam

Here is a link that might be useful: National Web Soil Survey


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

@knuttle-....I've got a drawing of my underground septic components which is supposed to be "to scale" which I'd like to use to locate my leaching area,.... County documents refer to the pipes being buried 9', which seems pretty low to me, and may lessen the risk of any roots coming into contact with it. I won't be planting anything near that area soon anyway."

I would not believe the 9 feet, I could believe 9 inches depending on the soil type. Also don't trust that the drawing "to scale". The is what the contractor planned what he did may be something entirely different, though it should be in the same general area. In my drawing "to scale" it says there are 4 X 100 foot leach lines. When we bought the house the man who inspected the system said there were 3 X 130 foot lines.

If you no some with a metal detector or similar piece of equipment he may be able to locate thing for you.

Remember the old axiom "The grass always grows greener over the septic tank." Watch the pattern in the grass this spring to locate the leach bed precisely


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 21:33

Bless it, that only took 2 minutes! Nice site to have bookmarked.

Edit: I created the AOI (area of interest right over my lot)

HmC2�Hochheim loam, 6 to 12 percent slopes, eroded

Map Unit Setting

Elevation: 790 to 1,310 feet
Mean annual precipitation: 32 to 35 inches
Mean annual air temperature: 37 to 55 degrees F
Frost-free period: 145 to 165 days
Map Unit Composition

Hochheim and similar soils: 100 percent
Description of Hochheim

Setting

Landform: Till plains
Landform position (two-dimensional): Backslope
Landform position (three-dimensional): Side slope
Down-slope shape: Convex
Across-slope shape: Linear
Parent material: Fine-loamy till over coarse-loamy till
Properties and qualities

Slope: 6 to 12 percent
Depth to restrictive feature: More than 80 inches
Drainage class: Well drained
Capacity of the most limiting layer to transmit water (Ksat): Moderately high to high (0.57 to 1.98 in/hr)
Depth to water table: About 60 to 80 inches
Frequency of flooding: None
Frequency of ponding: None
Calcium carbonate, maximum content: 20 percent
Available water capacity: Moderate (about 8.1 inches)
Interpretive groups

Farmland classification: Farmland of statewide importance
Land capability (nonirrigated): 3e
Hydrologic Soil Group: B
Typical profile

0 to 7 inches: Loam
7 to 18 inches: Clay loam
18 to 60 inches: Loam

This post was edited by whaas on Mon, Jan 28, 13 at 21:34


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

whaas,
Just curious as to how well it lined up with what you were told before. I know for myself, it lines up with what's on the the local county website, and that data is frequently used in various professions.

Arktrees


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 11:05

Not sure, I've only done a soil ph test. My observations working with the soil...

If it completely dries out its as hard as a rock and requires a pick axe to loosen. Its extremely well drained in most areas. Alot of sand is noticable in the soil. Some areas have quite a bit of field stone. Average size is about the size of a hardball.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Use native trees for bulk of your plantings - more reliable and already adapted. Would probably first plant long-lived hardwoods near each corner of house (ex. : oak, hickory, etc.) for shade and break up starkness of the structure. Plant a few more near house if needed for additional shade/color, etc. Plant one or two to shade parked vehicles, etc. Don't forget to save space for fruit/nut trees if desired.

I like to see green in winter, so 2/3 of my plantings were evergreens that grow in the area. Located a line of trees between house and the highway 600 ft. away and spaced them 30-45' apart. Outlined yard with them and bunched up others here and there. Still have view but it breaks up openess some and affords some privacy and some green to look at in winter. I can see evergreen conifers in whatever direction I look. For some trees I had a specific plan and others were just random spur of the moment plantings.

Don't plant trees too close to house, septic, drive-way, etc. From structures : 18' for smaller/med. trees, 24' minimum for large trees. 1 1/2 acres - 56 trees.

Good luck with yours.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Ark, thanks for providing the soil info. I sure hope I have more of the 'prime farm materiel' and less of the 'not prime.' I am a bit envious of whaas 'farmland of statewide importance!' ;) With this in mind, I'll have to pay extra close attention to the soil moisture around my roots until I can get a feel for how often they need to be watered I suppose.

Caution, the following contains nerd stuff and math!

Many people have suggested planting trees in the east, south, and west to shade the house from the sun. Due to the specific limitations of my site, the East is out for now, until I figure out just where my septic components are buried.

The southern area near the house is being reserved for a patio and/or play area, so I'll either wait until those things are finalized, or plant a few things near the property border (roughly 100' away) that would eventually shade the backyard, but not the house.

So I moved on to the Southwest/West. I walked the area and found some spots that looked good...but I really had no idea how close was good, and how long it might take before the trees actually shaded the house. If you're interested, here is how you can do this for your situation.

Go to sunearthtools dot com (linked below), click on 'solar position' and enter your information. This gives you a few charts for your location that contain the sun's position as it travels across the sky, and how it changes throughout the year. Here is the graph for my location:

solar-diagram-cartesian-1359406393162

The three lines represent Summer (the highest line), Midseason (Orange middle line), and Winter (lowest line). you can see that the sun is 'high in the sky' during the summer in the 60 and 70 degree range, while in the winter it is much closer to the horizon between 10 and 30 degrees.

For my house, the southwestern and western sun is the hottest...hitting me in the period from noon to 5, so this is where I focused. In the summer, the sun's angle for me is:

1300 73°
1400 72°
1500 70°
1600 66°

And in the spring and fall it is:

1300 53°
1400 47°
1500 38°
1600 27°

Finally, in the winter it is:

1300 27°
1400 23°
1500 15°

So now that we know our angles, we need some basic trig to calculate how tall, and how far away our trees will need to be before they start shading the house. Reference the following table:

Shade Table

These values represent the configuration when the shade first starts to hit the wall of the house, at which point each foot of growth shades roughly a foot higher on the house (this is not exactly the case, but for now it's good enough).

So as an example, it will take a 40' tall tree planted 25' away to start shading the summer sun at 1500...kind of a far away goal. In midseason, you'll only need a 15' tree planted at the same spot to begin to get shade.

Well anyway, that's what I came up with real quick, and if anything, it convinced me to plant the trees on the west side closer than I had originally thought...

Let me know if you have any questions or if I screwed something up :)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I went ahead and planted two sugar maples about 17' from the house on the west side because I needed shade faster. IMO, pick very strong wooded trees on the west side since most damaging wind events hit from that side and might break weaker trees then fall onto your house. I also considered q. alba and q. macrocarpa but ended up on two different sugar maples because I was going to get the two particular cultivars I wanted anyways. Might as well put em to some good use

John


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Bob, the solar folks like to have d = 2h to clear an obstruction, but we use d = .404h for the lower angles, and your it will take a 40' tall tree planted 25' away shows the .404 figure to be better. I'll let my wife know. ;o)

Also, it is important to shade the walls, so you will get some benefit, and hopefully the roots will stay out of the foundation.

Now all you have to do is hope you live long enough for your kids to thank you for the shade!


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Dano, the main reason I want to cheat on the distance it because of how incredibly hot the brick walls get with the western exposure. I swear they are still over 100* an hour after sunset!

John


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

bobmarley,
Glad to be of help. Just because it's not prime farmland, does not mean you can't grow some great trees on it. The whole reason for looking it up is to be aware of special needs, and to make wise selections accordingly. There are plenty of species that with a bit of extra care will adapt, even if it might not be their first choice so to speak. I myself have to deal with clay, and soil that is described as "somewhat poorly drained", however, due to changes during property development, it really doesn't work the same as it use to, and I take advantage of that, and curse it at the same time.

So my suggestion would be to start closer to your house, with a few nice sized trees, but no more than 4-5, until you get the hang of your particular conditions (usually the first year), then begin expanding outward from there. Also you might do a tiered type setup. Smaller but faster growing trees closer in to develop shade more quickly (Shantung Maple comes to mind), but the trees wouldn't get large enough to really threaten your house. You can then plant other species out further for the much longer term. Converserly, you could plant very fast growing trees close in (i.e. Lombardy Popular, don't like them, but they could serve a purpose) to be removed 10 years down the road (before they become a threat), after other species get large enough to give you some shade. It is up to you of course what you choose to do.

Whatever your thinking, people here will be glad to help you.

Arktrees


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

@Bob Marley: is that spreadsheet upthread canned output from the solar site or did you create that yourself? thank you!


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

WxDano- it probably exists somewhere already, but I (re)created it myself. The basic formula is tan(solar angle) x Distance from house = Height needed to begin getting shade.

Got some "bad news" this morning in the form of utility markings. As I was leaving for work, I noticed a nice red line running the length of my driveway about 10' away from the road to the house. Well ----. This is the Verizon fiber line, which could be buried anywhere from 2 feet down in orange conduit to just a bare wire laying a few inches under the surface. I won't know until I do some digging. If it really is a few inches from the surface, there is a high probability that I will someday dig it out, put a sleeve around it, plant my trees, and hide the wire under mulch. But I'm getting ahead of myself...and I haven't even seen the rest of the utilities, which should be painted today.

I've narrowed my list of "starter" trees down quite a bit. I'll start near the house, and may get a few here and there when they come available locally, or will mail order if I'm not finding anything local. The list will look quite familiar to many favorite tree lists you see around here.

Oak, Red/Scarlet- W/SW side of the house for long term shade

Oak, White- In a large flat area near the West corner of my yard that will accommodate an enormous spreading tree should it last long enough

Maple, Sugar- not sure yet, perhaps at the southern border to be seen from the back of the house

Maple, Shantung- At least "on paper," I really like this tree. Closer to the house for faster shade than the Oaks. Would love to get a few Fire Dragons eventually, though they seem to be rather hard to get for those not near the grower in TX. Sooner's lists them on their site, but is out of stock on all but the $200 size.

Maple, Japanese- For the part shade spot near the NW corner of the house. Whichever variety the wife likes.

Maple, Paper Bark- Don't know yet. Would like to plant a few of these near the back patio once it is established.

Elm, Princeton/Accolade/Chinese- somewhere where I can enjoy them if they do well, but won't be crushed if they die :)

Some others that I am thinking about once I define some landscaped areas- Black Gum, Ginko, Sourwood, Chinese Dogwood, Various dwarf JM's

Once again, that looks like a pretty big list, but I'll likely just plant a few initially, until I get a handle on my local growing conditions and solve my water problem.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

LOL you are going to end up with so many more trees than that ;) A lot of us started with just a few trees, but when the addiction kicks in full force (usually after watching a few trees grow the first season) the wallet slams open and you find creative new spots for many more. Time will tell... The selections you listed above are all great picks IMO

Just a thought, if I were to plant an elm on that large of a property, I might go with an elm grove and plant several fairly close together. To each his own!

John


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

bob,
For the Shantung Fire Dragon, most likely you will have to contact Sooner Plant Farm to ask for the smaller plant. I believe he gets those directly from Greenleaf Nursery. Also if you have not found them already, I have posted pictures of Fire Dragon Shantung in fall.

Lastly, you might also look at Acer triflorum Three Flowered Maple as a possibility to mix in with Paperbark Maples. They are exfoloating as well, in a manner that much remind me of birch trees. Our is a emerald green in spring, and it leafs out early. Might be a nice variation. Just a thought.

Arktrees


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Thanks @ BobMarley - I have a set of these tables already that I made myself for the handbook I'm writing, but in different format and for roof elevation - just wondering if available on the Webs for the tech-savvy in my audience to do themselves. And the colors are fun. ;o)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

bobmarley753, I noted that you said that your property was at one time a farm. Pictured here is a wholesale nursery in your county. Previously it was a farm, you can see the stone manor house which was built by a Revolutionary patriot, this property was farmed for 250 years easily. Today some of the most beautiful trees and shrubs for the high-end market is grown there. IMO you have a paradise.
Photobucket
Pictured below is what NOT to do. I remember when this lot was an alfalfa field. Now the UPS truck cannot get through.
Photobucket
- I really think that the best advice that I can give is to live there for a while. Is there ATV noise, partying neighbors, 4th of July, barking dogs? Headlights at night?
- the precautions mentioned already are good. Sooner or later the well rig will have to return to your well. The septic truck will have to get back to your septic tank.
- do you have natural gas? If not putting in an underground propane tank is an option that you might want to keep open.
- I'm fond of the expression "Green is a color too" like an earlier poster said, its very pleasing to see the green of broad-leaved evergreens in the winter and we can grow many of them. Avoid the pitfalls of a "one of each" hodgepodge that many fall victim to.
- see link for a neat native tree found in your area.
-When the Bel Air Farmer's Market opens there are some good vendors there. McLean's Nursery, Satyr Hill Road in Parkville is a great resource for Ilex or hollies of all kinds. I would steer you away from buying overpriced, rooted cuttings from the PNW mailorder.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------OT - nice to have another poster from RavensNation. Did you see Jacoby Jones' TD last night? Great to have another Lombardi back in B'more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pawpaw Thread


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

John, the grove thing, I may do that on one corner of the lot, what do you think, like 20' spacing?

Ark, I have seen your pictures of the Fire Dragon...I love the red. I will give Sooner's a call to see whats up with availability for smaller trees...looks like regardless of the size (even the regular shantung) they are a bit more expensive than most.

I think the triflorum idea is great, though it looks like it may not be too easy to find either. No worries though, I think I will take the safe route and start with some cheaper bare root maples/oaks/spruce and see how that goes before going for the more high dollar trees. At least that's the plan...if I were to find any of these at a local nursery, that plan will likely go right out the window:)


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

bob,
See link below if you are will to start some very small one year seed grown trees. Might be the way to start a few while you get your green thumb in order. They have both triflorum and species shantung in these small sizes. While I can speak for you in your climate, our triflorum has grown very fast in some years. It is now about 8' tall, from less than 3' when it arrived. It's been at it's present location for three growing season's. I actually planted it in one location, and moved it the next fall to the current location. It did not grow much the first year, but the second year (the first after I moved it) it took off for 3' of growth. The Fire Dragon Shantung grow ~20-24"/year. Just to give you some ideal of what to expect.

Arktrees


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

I guess including the actually link could possible be beneficial to you. Who would have ever guessed. ;-)

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Reeseville Ridge Nursery


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

If you some trees for closer to your house I would get some hickories. Pignut and Shagbark are my favorites. Very drought tolerant, once established it will not need any further watering ever. Very strong/heavy wood, will not break in storms. Also they live pretty long around 200-300 years.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Just sitting here nodding in agreement with a lot of posts. I think the most important thing at this point is to look at your property and decide the functions you will use it for down the road so you don't ruin the space when you get around to addressing it.

Yes, leave access for getting trucks and machinery to various parts of the property, even on three acres. Especially on three acres you plan to fill generously with trees.

Yes on considering some groves and avoiding onesie-twosies and when the tree bug bites you, and it will, it's very enticing to want 'one of everything' and three of nothing and the visuals on that can be busy and disjointed. You have a big house, and need to consider proportions so that the trees planted near it don't come off looking dwarfed and the house monstrous. We have an epidemic here of mini-mansions festooned with dwarf weeping cherry trees, the branches pruned abruptly like a bowl haircut.

We also found it more logical to start close and move out with our plantings. Although we are not close to any other dwellings, I use plantings as visual blockades to scenes I don't care to see and for privacy, so do look out your windows in the general direction of any tree you consider planting to make sure it DOESN'T block what you want to see, and does what you don't want to see.

Yes I do plant trees to block sun for the shading effect. If they are deciduous, blocking sunlight isn't an issue in winter and it has a tremendous impact in summer to keep our stucco over brick house cool. It sort of amazed me to see someone mention leasing solar panels. You lease from them for your power, or they lease from you for the exposure and buy the power you generate? In our neck of the woods, it would be a company wanting to sink an oil well, instead. LOL. I have a perfect south facing roof area, but any solar panels ever getting there would be self-financed and simply supplemental in their efficiency. I don't have central air, and having a boiler heat am not interested in retrofitting ducts to accomodate it.

Trees size so much more quickly than you think. I have some aerial shots of our property taken fifteen years apart and it's astounding at the amount of canopy we have now, compared to then. Our annual rainfall is adequate for most of our plantings and we have installed some freeze proof spigots away from the house, but I got a chuckle over the remark of 100 gallon tanks for watering. Tried that one year and .........well....despite how large a tractor you have, you'd better have more than a trailer behind it to pull your water tank. The center of gravity shifts in liquid loads. It ain't purty.

Yes on buying small for most trees. They establish more readily and catch up with the bigger, more expensive ones quite quickly. I've had just as good success with B and B, but really the only reason I got the ones I did was I couldn't find them container. This is going to take years and it never really gets done. That's as it should be and part of the adventure. I can honestly say I've never had to rip a tree out because of poor placement. Nobody shares the exact gardening philosophy and what's right for me might not be right for you as far as pleasing to the senses. Over the years I have found I've been much more pleased with a tree whose needs have been met than one unsuitable for the growing conditions. A healthy and robust, easy care tree is often more beautiful than one which you much struggle to keep happy. Remember it's a lot easier to attend to correcting things like improper branch angles than addressing the problems they cause down the road. Have fun with it and enjoy the journey, too.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Sam- Huge Ravens fans here...the thought had crossed my mind that alternating purple and white crepe myrtles lining the drive were now in order :) Could those pics be from Foxborough Nursery? I was quite happy when I drove by it one day (it's less than 15 min from my house), but then quite sad when I looked them up and saw that they only do wholesale. Would be nice to find a place that sells larger trees to the public like I have seen in other states.

The good thing about my lot is that there is not much I am unhappy with (so far), so I really can almost do whatever I want. Having said that, the comments about planning before planting, and not planting 1 of everything are very good. I'll have to continuously remind myself of that each time I make a trip to a nursery. I'll definitely check out the Farmer's Market, I've driven by it while it was in action, but never stopped. I'll look into the PawPaw as well.

Ark- Thanks for the link. I think starting small is a fine idea for me for many reasons...it will take a few years for us to work the area around the house into a more "hang out" friendly place anyway. Another good thing about starting small (and cheap) is if I underestimate the deer impact, I won't be out nearly as much money. I can tell based on the few plantings I currently have, that the ones near the edges of my mulched beds, where the deer can stay on the grass and munch, are nearly eaten away. I'll have to figure out how to stop that.

Calliope- Thanks for the comments, they are all good to think about. I would like to get some trees established outside of the master bath window...though that is the area where the septic leach field is in question. I read lots of advice about picking out the "greener" spot (looking back at past satellite photos too), or seeing where the snow melts first after taking a shower, etc. and I must say I think mine really is just really deep (listed as 9" deep in county docs). I marked off the location of it based on my "scale" drawing, and we'll see if I notice anything different about the area once spring hits.

I just noticed that my neighbor, who has some rather large veggie gardens, has run a permanent hose connection about 200ft away from their house. I'll have to catch them and gather some information on how they did that.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

So, Bob, it's about time for an update!


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Bob marley, you are zone 7, try the "late drop" Live oak. It is hardier than regular Live oak Quercus Virginiana.


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RE: New year, new house. Tree selection input requested.

Has the OP ever come back?

I'd LOVE to see how his property is going.


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