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good trees for wet area of yard

Posted by joeschmoe 6 (Ohio) (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 15:16

I have a long (200', going across the middle back part of my property) depressed area of my yard that is seasonally wet-mucky, from late winter through mid-spring most years.

Most years, it's not true standing water, but due to a high water table and iffy drainage in that area, it gets "muddy" and in high-rainfall years might have some standing water for a short period of time.

In summer it can dry out completely and usually does, this summer especially.

I'm in Central Ohio. Soil pH is about 6.8.

What are some good trees for this environment?

Baldcypress and Dawn Redwood come to mind for interesting landscape plants - what are some others?

I've thought of Red Maple (Acer rubrum) but doesn't it prefer a touch more acidic soil than what I have?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Nuttall Oak Quercus texana. Native to the flood plain regions of the southern Mississippi River valley system. Deals with exactly that circumstances. Grows fast, and has very nice fall color, and many have nice spring color as well. Good to Zone 5 IIRC. Basically a wet tolerant Scarlet\Shumard\Pin Oak.

Arktrees

Here is a link that might be useful: Nuttall Oak


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Also research Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum) for interesting form/branching and unique glossy leaves with outstanding fall color. There are several ornamental shrubs that would like that habitat, too. You could underplant the trees with the shrubs and have nearly year round interest with flowers, fruit and fall color.

John


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 12, 12 at 16:57

Here is a nice little list. Stay away from the ones that are not drought tolerant as it sounds like the area can dry out and is not consistently moist.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees for Wet Locations


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

I have a Nuttal Oak in the front yard. When planted George (another story) was about 3 inches in diameter. While it has been there just over a year, I have been pleased with the growth rate. Right now it has pretty red leaves, though they are not as vibrant red as some oaks.

I personally like Weeping Willow. They are fast growing trees, tolerate wet conditions, and with their lighter green leaves gives good contrast to the dark green trees like pine.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Cottonwood trees are quite comfortable in such conditions.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

You may be able to get away with a sweetbay magnolia. I stuck one in a problem area and it's thriving, but has a more protected exposure.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Nuttalls are related to Shumards? I have one Shumard and it does look like a Nuttals. I have 5 Nuttalls and I can't tell the difference between the 2 either. They all have the same picturesque form even when young.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 15, 12 at 9:20

I have the same situation in a low area -- occasional standing water, but rarely in the warm season. A high water table always accept during the driest periods. All trees there do quite well -- oaks, hybrid chestnut, hazelnut, tuliptree, umbrella magnolia, fringe tree, pond pine, shellbark hickory, pond cypress.

As long as the soil dries out somewhat during the growing season, it's not much of an issue. Trees will just be more shallow rooted.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

There were a few forms that are now considered to be Q. texana (Nuttall's):

QUNU Quercus nuttallii Palmer
QUNUC Quercus nuttallii Palmer var. cachensis Palmer
QURUT Quercus rubra L. var. texana (Buckley) Buckley
QUSHM Quercus shumardii Buckley var. microcarpa (Torr.) Shinners
QUSHT Quercus shumardii Buckley var. texana (Buckley) Ashe


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Beng how long have your trees been planted in that situation?
I figured they'd be shallow rooted to start but might end up having root troubles with age.
But, I hope you are right!


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Beng how long have your trees been planted in that situation?
I figured they'd be shallow rooted to start but might end up having root troubles with age.
But, I hope you are right!


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Some others...

Overcup oak
Swamp Chestnut Oak
Water Hickory
Pond Cypress


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 17, 12 at 9:06

dirtslinger, since spring 2004.

The key is that the soil can get some oxygen in it during the warm season. The roots will "wait it out", even under water during the cold season (except for water-sensitive trees).

Tuliptree is ~36' tall after 9 seasons in that situation, and Shumard oak almost 25'.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Thanks Beng, I do hope the long term prospects of these trees is good. I have something similar happening, but have had some reservations.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

  • Posted by picea 6A Cinci- Oh (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 18, 12 at 0:10

Nyssa Aquatica can take lots of moisture and I have also had good luck with Southern magnolias if its out of winter wind.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

Sycamore is one I forgot to mention too. I've seen them up against puddles and streams around here. They need a bit of non-saturated area to sit up on but I've seen them in really flooded on 3 sides places. Hope that makes sense. As long as there is a little slight mound to sit on, the rest can be pretty saturated. Just thought I'd mention it.


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RE: good trees for wet area of yard

All these bottomland trees are completely adapted to seasonal flooding. That season is winter. If the same degree of flooding occurs during the growing season, some start to have trouble.

+oM


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