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Need New Tree Recommendation

Posted by oak_park Chicago Suburb (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 17:24


I'm in charge of selecting 2 new tree's to replace 2 Ash tree's that were taken down due to Emerald Ash Bore.

These 2 new tree's will be located at the entrance of 12 story condo building.

A couple of things I'm trying accomplish

1. Area faces north and gets little sunlight.
2. Don't want needles or berries that would fall and people carry them inside the building. No pine cones no sap drippings, etc.
3. Tree will get snow plowed up against it during the winter months so it should be able to handle that.
4. No low branches like on a Xmas tree.
5. Will be placed in a 'rock bed' as shown below.

Our grass cutter is recommending a Red Maple, but I'm not sure, does that have those 'heli-copter' seeds that fall?

Thanks for any input. Photo of the area and old tree below.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need New Tree Recommendation

Contradictory set of requirements. Most plants that tolerate road salt and stone beds seem to not like shade...I think because the trees that tolerate road salt evolved for beaches with plenty of sun, and trees that tolerate being sandwiched between rocks evolved to grow on rocky outcrops. Evergreens drop cones and pine pitch, while most deciduous trees have some sort of nut or fruit at some stage in their life.

An American Persimmon? Since they come in males and females, you could plant a male if you don't want fruit...and you would still get flowers.

Male ginko? A tree that tolerates being a street tree, and unlike most it doesn't mind shade. A male wouldn't drop pods.

If I had to pick a tree that wasn't a conifer and didn't have fruit, I'd probably go with American Beech. A handsome North American tree that is somewhat shade tolerant. Supposedly has tiny nuts but I've never seen any. (Probably birds eat them before they fall). Only catch is it might not like the stone bed.

In the Midwest I'd always consider honeylocust. Not terribly shade tolerant, but thrives in urban conditions, produces leaves so tiny you don't have to rake them, and typically doesn't have branches near the ground. The species has big pods, but cultivars like Sunburst don't. Does well in rock beds.

Not sure which trees would tolerate the snow plow issue.

This post was edited by edlincoln on Wed, Aug 20, 14 at 20:33

RE: Need New Tree Recommendation

Sunlight won't be an issue and you'll be fine with whichever tree(s) you select.

Ulmus x 'Frontier' is an excellent choice: urban tolerance, soil tolerances, water/lack of tolerance, seedless, superb fall color, attractive bark, size is ideal, salt tolerance. It has it all.


RE: Need New Tree Recommendation

Wow-from American beech-a tree lover's tree- all the way to the wildly overplanted honeylocust! Just messing with you, Ed, but that is quite a range. FWIW, American beech-one of my favorite hardwoods-is the single most difficult species to site properly in the landscape, let alone to transplant successfully. Very particular about planting height, drainage, soil characteristics, sheltered location, etc. Go up to N.E. WI-the Nicolet National Forest-and see where Am. beech grows naturally.....quite a different world than suburban Chicagoland.

There, now that that's done, I do agree with Ed that you are at least to some degree setting yourself up with some impossible demands. All trees shed stuff, all trees-if they are successful-grow into large organisms that take up space.

As to "red maple", that is Acer rubrum-a tree adapted to acidic soils. Do you have acidic soils in Oak Park? I very much doubt it. Sounds like I'm yelling at you-maybe I am-but I think you need to do some more homework. There are fastigiate cultivars available, for a number of tree types, and maybe one of these would work for you, though between you and me, most of them are ultimately not that attractive, IMO. But do poke around some more. You can't order trees from Schmidt Nursery out of Oregon, but if you go to their web pages, you will find some nice graphic depictions of a whole bunch of stuff they grow and offer to other nurseries. This could give you some ideas. And if it's got to be a red maple-type of tree, not that you said that, do look into the hybrid Freeman maples, for example 'Autumn Blaze'. That too is being planted all over creation, but at least it is more well adapted to soil alkalinity, and will still offer some great reddish fall color. But they shed leaves, flower bracts, do all trees.


RE: Need New Tree Recommendation

Thanks for your recommendation Dax. I've been reading up on the Ulmus x 'Frontier' and I think it will do just fine.

Now I just have to track a couple down and find a reputable installer.

Thanks again.

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