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Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Posted by Sarah80 5b Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 19, 12 at 17:42

My husband and I recently inherited a mobile home park in Indiana, S. of Indianapolis. Zone 6 I think. It had belonged to his parents. We wanted to plant a few trees around the park but will only be able to maintain occasionally, not babysit them.

We're fine with smaller trees, even seedlings, but what trees meet these guidelines:

-Fast growing and fast to establish
-Won't have huge water needs after planting
-Tolerates compacted clay that is probably towards the alkaline side
-drought tolerant
-gets big enough to make some shade


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

If far enough from structures and parking I like silver maples. They looked pretty good here this summer.

Can you stagger them with a mix of sugar maples and maybe scarlet or another oak?

Don't say drought and I love metasequoia


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

I think a lot of oak species and their associated hybrids shape up well with minimal pruning. Take off a low branch or three every so often-that's about it. Swamp white is the one I'm most thinking of but I'm sure there's more.

+oM


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Honeylocust and bur oak are top choices. Both very cold and heat tolerant and survive droughts easily.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

"If far enough from structures and parking I like silver maples"

Being a mobile home park, almost certainly not far enough from structures!

I'd go ditto to Bur Oak. Maybe also some fruit trees so the residents can harvest some fruit for themselves and/or for wildlife.

Resin


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

let us be very clear..

ALL trees will need a year or two... of PROPER WATERING.. to grab hold ...

there is NO plant and FORGET .. tree ...

and secondly.. anything marketed as FAST GROWING... read that to include.. fast to breakage.. fast to disease.. and fast to decline.. when talking in terms of tree years ...

so.. no poplar.. nor willow ... among a long list of others ...

ken


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Are you going to be liable for damage from the trees if they break during a storm?

If so, you are probably screwed, since there are few trees which are fast growing but strong-wooded.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Scarlet oak is fairly fast growing with strong wood. I agree there are few, but that is one.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Fast-growing conifers are not subject to Ken's rule ;^) Think I've said that before!

Re honeylocust: I would have a hard time thinking of a less "plant it and forget it" species. True, very tough and able to handle most anything the environment of the site might throw at them, but pruning needs are substantial....if you don't want a stick with a pile of hair pie on top of it!

+oM


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

gee +om..

this was asked in they TREE forum...

hence my Tree answer ...

if they wanted CONIFER options .. well.. they would have posted in the CONIFER FORUM ...

lol

ken

ps: yeah.. yeah.. yeah.. i know.. they are all trees ...


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

No worries bud. I get the feeling that Sarah is after "trees", not "conifers" lol.

+oM


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 20, 12 at 22:17

and secondly.. anything marketed as FAST GROWING... read that to include.. fast to breakage.. fast to disease.. and fast to decline.. when talking in terms of tree years ...

This completely depends on the tree! Poplar is one of them but trees like Yellowwood and Oak are not. I guess fast growing is a relative term.

Ken already eluded to this but you will have to babysit the first couple years. Especially if you have seedlings.

My idiot neighbor put up a row of Arbs early September and NEVER watered them and it was a droughty month! Of course they are now showing quite a bit of dieback.

Swamp Oak is a great choice based on your needs. Some better branching cultivars of Freeman maple are another.

Just mix it up and you'll be happy. A mix of fall color is a blessing.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

I dont think honeylocust needs any pruning whatsoever. Where I live they planted a bunch in the shopping mall parking lots. They are totally fine, of course they are some cultivar that doesn't develop thorns or seed pods. They get baked out there in the parking lot all summer and they dont wilt at all. The ground is the poorest soil ever; compacted clay/gravel and loaded with ice melt salt. They are about 40 feet tall and give dappled shade. Honeylocust 'Shademaster' should do well for you.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

I've seen Honey Locust in similar conditions (parking lot islands). Yes they live... but they certainly don't grow fast! The attached shows some Honey Locust which have been in parking lot islands for about 19 years (at least, as of when the photo was taken). They have perhaps tripled the width of their crowns...which is pretty sad for 19 years.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Oh, and they haven't even doubled their height.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Thanks for all the tips!

BTW Ken, I WOULD be interested in conifers!


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

whaas ... i guess i dont think of any oak as a 'plant and forget' tree ... though i do agree that with a couple years of PROPER watering ... they are indeed completely free range .. rather fast growing ... extremely long lived trees ...

sarah ... get ye to the conifer forum.. we tend to post a lot of pix over there ... though most of us visit both forums... you never know what you might find.. with a second source of info ...

and frankly.. if you want to get anywhere.. you ought to post some pix.. so the peeps can conceptualize what we are talking about ...

ken


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Drive around some new business complex parking lots and see what the commerical landscapers are planting in Ohio. They never come back to water after planting ! ;0)
In PA - they plant a lot of Acer rubrum or swamp maple. They tolerate many kinds of soil, grow pretty fast, dont break branches like Silver maple, surface roots are not bad, and have great fall color . my 2 cents Mike


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

@ famartin now lets not forget you are living in desert. Where I live and where this place is there is much more water. My neighbor's honeylocust was 70 feet tall and was only 40 years old when it was cut down a few years ago. That averages out to nearly 2 feet of growth per year.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Actually that picture is from New Jersey, where it rains ~40 inches a year ;)


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Sarah, check out hybrid elms. While they're not in the same league as American elms for beauty of form, etc, there are getting to be some good ones. I like "Triumph" and the similar "Accolade". These will be fast growers and will need minimal aftercare.

+oM


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

In your zone 5b Ohio if you put some acorns of oaks you like, they shouldn't need any more help than any of the wild oaks in the woods. Just protect the seed beds from critters.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

It's a conifer, but what about a Dawn Redwood? If you can make sure they're well watered for the first year, and you plant small trees, they can tolerate normal Indiana precipitation once established.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

When you say you can't "babysit them" are you concerned about watering for the first year, or pruning down the road?

I've tried this "plant and neglect" strategy before. The only tree I've ever consistently gotten established with absolutely zero watering is Holly.

If you do the "plant and neglect" strategy a lot depends on the "luck of the draw" in terms of rain fall. When you plant is sort of critical as well.

Eastern Redwood requires zero care once it gets established.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

The Southern Pines are commonly plant and forget trees, at least in the south. These trees are planted as seedlings by the thousands in Jan-Mar time frame to reforest cut-over areas. Assume the pines up north would be the same way. Perhaps Eastern White Pine?
Someone from up north will need to chime in.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

  • Posted by beng z6b western MD (My Page) on
    Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 11:41

I don't think Honeylocust needs any pruning (or very little). Mine's pretty much a "plant & neglect" tree, and very fast -- over 30' in 9 seasons. Granted, the shade isn't very dense, but that might be a good characteristic for some.

farmartin, few trees can even survive long in baked, dry parking lots. :)

This post was edited by beng on Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 11:45


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Most years, the South side of Indianapolis and Southward receive 45 - 50 inches of rain a year.


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RE: Good "plant and neglect" trees?

Nutall oak is an oak with high survival in clay soil. Good growth for an oak. Great fall color. Not as much for drooping branches or chlorosis as a pin oak would be.


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