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Help! Having a hard time finding/deciding on a midsize shade tree

Posted by Rewb801 none (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 27, 14 at 16:47

My location is Ogden, UT. Zone is 5b

Looking for a shade tree with big to medium sized leafs, single tree trunk, tough wood, and planning on keeping it pruned to a height no more than 20-25ft.

Below is a picture of the landscape where i'm planning on planting the tree, off to the left will be 4ft high 2ft wide boxwood shrub hedge. And to the right as you can see there's a underground gas line going through my yard which i'm hoping doesn't cause a problem with the roots from the tree as it matures.
Now I have two trees that i'm really interested in but have a few concerns about em. I'm also open to suggestions to other trees. preferably deciduous.

The first tree is a European Hornbeam (Fastigiata variety) I think this tree will look well in my yard and liking that its strong wood because it tends to get windy in my area and usually get one good wind storm a year. The main concern about this tree is the shallow root sytem, do you think it will cause any interference with the gas line?

The second tree is a American Yellow wood, I pretty much love everything about this tree and it having a tap root system I don't think it will cause any problems with the gas line but the two concerns I have about this tee is the crotches are said to be weak and will break during a wind storm, the other concern is that all the pictures that i've seen on google images seem to all have multi trunk stems, so my question is can this tree be pruned and cut to have a strong crotch system so branches wont break . And can you train it to grow straight up with one trunk.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help! Having a hard time finding/deciding on a midsize shade

crikey man.. no tree is going to break into a gas line.. and steal your gas ...

trees will take advantage of a pre-exisiting problem.. lets say an already crumbling foundation ... but they can not attack something that isnt already a problem ...

if in fact you end up with a gas leak.. then you will have a problem...

but it will not be for any trees to have caused it ...

now ... lets talk about what you mean when you say mid sized ... no tree really ever stops growing.. if it does.. its dead ...

so what you need to key in on.. is annual growth .... if it grows a foot per year.. in 20 years.. it should be 20 feet tall ... if it grows.. like some poplars.. 5 feet per year.. we are talking 100 feet in the 20 ...

so when you are looking to Id any tree... try to find out how much it grows per year.. and work from there ... use of latin names and a search engine can usually get you that info ...

as to either of your choices in UT.. i have no clue ... hopefully others will help you there .. but if not.. try calling your COUNTY extension office.. and asking about good trees for you COUNTY .

good luck


RE: Help! Having a hard time finding/deciding on a midsize shade

Ken has a point. I try not to plant over the gas or other lines still. Someday someone will have to work on it and I'd hate for them to unstabilize my favorite tree.

25 foot single leader tree....I think dominate leaders are over rated on shorter trees. Pruning for reasonable structure always makes sense though. It just seems thay at about 2/3rds of maximum height most shade trees kinda round out if planted in the open. Pin oaks even do in old age.... bald cypress and metasequoia but they hardly fit the height requirements...

Its not really pyramidal by nature but does Acer gresium (paperbark maple) grow in your area? Crabapples probably do but they are more rounded...

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