Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Posted by Sarah80 5/6 OH (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 25, 14 at 16:42

My parents live in the Pittsburgh area. Zone 6. They want to plant a row of trees along the edge of their property, but the area is in a floodplain, and by floodplain, I mean, any time an inch or more of rain falls, it's underwater at least for a few hours, and in a big rain event it can flood for a few days.

They are looking for what species are good for that, both evergreen and deciduous. They aren't as concerned about screening as just having "something there" as my father says, he hates having open spaces that go from his yard into someone else's.

I don't know much about the soil, but it seems to be a typical clayish type Western PA soil, probably fairly acidic.

Bald Cypress comes to mind, but I am drawing a blank otherwise.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

There are quite a few, actually, especially if it really doesn't sit under water more than a few days.

Deciduous:

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)
Nuttall Oak (Quercus nuttallii)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Just about any Willow (Salix spp.) but I personally hate them...
Maybe Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Evergreen:

About the only one that comes to mind is Chamaecyparis thyoides for your zone - Atlantic Whitecedar (but not actually a Cedar)


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Also:
Northern pecan
Shellbark hickory
Black walnut
Overcup oak
Swamp chestnut oak

Understory trees/plants that they could mix in, if desired:
American hornbeam
Serviceberries
Pawpaw
Elderberry
Spicebush

All of the above are present in the riparian areas along the creek on our farm, and we do get periodic, short-term flooding/inundation - usually less than a day at a time, but all of those could handle a few days with no problems.
Boxelders and green ash are also a predominant tree in this setting, but the ash are likely goners when EAB moves in, and boxelders don't offer much for me to like, other than holding the creekbanks in place.


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Boxelders line most of the creeks here in MD, pretty much any bottomland or periodically flooded area has some, but yeah, they don't do much for me either.

Your suggestions are also all good. I forgot Shellbark Hickory is a riparian tree.

Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) would do OK if the crown itself could sit high enough to avoid flooding, but I wouldn't recommend it in the case above. They are common creekside trees here in MD, although the crowns are usually high enough uphill from the water to avoid most flooding.


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

crikey ...

every county in the USA has a soil conservation office ..

contact them ... they have specific information on get this.. soil conservation.... which is EXACTLY what you intend to do ...

many such states... thru these offices.. sell small... cheap ... APPROPRIATE plants for your state ..

get the lists they provide.. and then bring them back here.. and we can discuss the pros and cons of such..

and most importantly.. HOW TO PLANT THEM.. that will be the real trick to success ... especially if you have that famous OH clay ... that romans could have used to pave the world.. lol ...

and with OSU .. farm college of the world .. lol .. i am sure you need look no further than OH for lists...

i love my peeps here.. but recommendations from MD.. KY ... may or may not be appropriate ... especially with planting near water ... yet i would NOT be surprised.. if they are spot on ... so lets test them..

i will start you at the link .. add the words PLANT SALE ... to the search ... to follow that lead ...

ken

ps: i reread.. PA eh .. lol .. change all my OHs to PAs ... lol ... and at the link ....but you can still buy the plants in OH.. and take them to PA ... if they remain appropriate ....

pps: who needs actual facts.. lol.. just start typing....

Here is a link that might be useful: link


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

My first thought is birch. River birch (Betula nigra), Gray birch Gray Birch (Betula populifolia). Maybe White spruce (Picea glauca)? Pin Oak? Swamp White Oak? Green Ash (Fraxinus
pennsylvanica)?

This post was edited by edlincoln on Tue, Aug 26, 14 at 12:47


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Metasequoia probably is a good one they seem to live in all of Ohio.

Nyssa sylvatica or Nyssa aquatica maybe. Check nyssa aquatica cold hardiness.


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Might recommend Gopher wood. LOL!


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

I think N. aquatica is good to zone 6 - might be marginal in Ohio in a very cold winter.


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Perfect place for a wingnut tree (pterocarya sp.)


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Two of our best native floodplain species are no more-or at least, are not usable at this time......American elm, the quintessential floodplain tree, and green ash, perhaps not quite so majestic, but still a key player in such sites. Either gone, going away in the case of the green ash, or thankfully, one of the many other good suggestions found above.

Don't know how "native" these two would be in your neck of the woods, but around here, such a site may well have species Thuja occidentalis present, as well as Larix laricina-tamarack. Maybe in the Pittsburgh area these two would be a bit of a stretch, I'm not sure.

Then too, many shrub species are well-adapted to just such sites. Too many to list, but the term "shrub-carr" is used by ecologists to describe this type of plant community. Can also be a fascinating setup[.

+oM


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Well, except for the DED-resistant U. americana cultivars - 'Princeton', 'Valley Forge' etc.

Elm Yellows are still a concern, though.

Pittsburgh summers might be a bit too steamy for L. laricina to thrive, but I'm not sure.


 o
RE: good trees (deciduous or evergreen) for flood plain?

Sarah,
Sweetbay magnolia.
Look up online. They live in your area.
They can easily live in an inch of water, used for the purpose you need. Perfect tree for you.
It is semi evergreen in your area, but still, very nice NATIVE tree that requires little care.
The first growing season, mulch it up good, if you can, or when you can, and try to keep it wet its first summer.
Once it gets established, your good to go.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here