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Medium shade tree near west side of house?

Posted by lmtryingtodecide 45227 (My Page) on
Tue, May 17, 11 at 22:56

My parents just bought a little house in Cincinnati that needs a full landscaping make-over, particularly with trees. There was a multi-trunked tree in poor condition (maybe a Chinese elm) shading the west side of the house that was removed, and they are looking for a good choice for a replacement. The area is 16 feet wide by 32 feet long, between a brick and white-sided Cape Cod and a small side street without sidewalks. The soil is fairly clay and on a slight slope with full west exposure. It is in the city with near neighbors, so winter winds aren�t much of an issue, but they don�t want a large tree like an oak; more like 30-40 feet high at maturity. My dad is interested in something like a thornless honeylocust, giving light dappled shade. Several other threads on this site have mentioned their invasive roots, so I�m hoping there are similar alternatives which would be safe to put about 10 feet away from the foundation. Thanks for your help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?


so 16 feet wide ... yes???

and you want to plant 8 feet from the house ?????

am i understanding that properly???

and what do they want to do under the tree .. garden.. just grass??? ...

and what is the ultimate use of the tree ... why does it need to be replaced???

and will dad live long enough for any shade it might produce in a decade or two.. or three ....


and why only 16 feet.. property line???? .. any easement or power line issues????

the next proper planting time for cinci ... is probably fall ... unless you will be happy with bigboxstore stuff ...

more info please ...


RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

The earlier tree was dying, but shaded the kitchen and dining room windows while softening the exterior of the house. They are looking for a tree small enough to fit in the space without causing problems, so need ideas of varieties. Their earlier home was a large house with a generous yard and the small lot is a big change. Some other trees that were mentioned are flowering crab and hawthorn. The space is a 16 foot wide side yard between the house and the street, no sidewalk or power line issues.

I'll look into how to load a picture as that might help you see our problem--I'm new to this site. I usually buy from a quality garden center when their trees go on sale in early spring and fall, so this isn't a rush decision. At this point there's one lonely yew next to the porch so they're also planning landscaping around the house, but the tree decision comes first.

RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

Imtryingtodecide's picture linked below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Imtryingtodecide's Picture

RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

A bit smaller than what they had in mind, but not by much...wonder how a paperbark maple tree would do? I don't think their shade is dense, figure growth rate 6 - 8"/year, aiming for ultimate height 20 - 30' from that I've read &/or been told. You can buy them single- or multi-trunk.

In fact, with a somewhat smaller option, you might have a pair of trees instead of one. I'm not sure what works best in your area.


RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

I was going to say Japanese maple but I don't know if they can grow in that area. Maybe Shantung maple or Trident maple since they have better cold tolerance?

RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

I wish all of our requests had so much detail. This should go in the FAQ link.

I like the paperbark and trident ideas.

Nonetheless, that is really a street tree and first you should ensure that the City doesn't have control over an easement in the planting zone. Second, you may want to look over the OH Street Tree Evaluation Project [.pdf], some ideas and good info for you in there as well. First call the City tho and see what they say. Some time should be taken to evaluate, as that is a corner lot and you want to get it right in many ways.


RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

Thanks for the OH Street Tree and City regulation points, Dan. I'll definitely check into that.

The bark and fall color of the paperbark maple looks very striking in the photos. Reading more about it, the paperbark maple is described as coloring late and holding its leaves into winter. Does anyone have experience with this? I'm not sure if that means that the leaves stay on until spring, dropping with the new leaves emerging, or gradually dispersing throughout the winter, or just dropping late so that there's raking to do in December.


RE: Medium shade tree near west side of house?

Paperbark isn't exactly best choice for shade tree as it grows rather slow. Trident or Shantung maples grow faster. My Paperbark maple barely grew for the past 2 years while Shantung maples are really thriving. Use Paperbark maple as a ornamental tree elsewhere for your pleasure viewing.

I don;t think Paperbark maples hold onto leaves into winter.

You don't have to rake. You mulch mow! :)

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