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Tree choices...

Posted by treetoronto 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 23:59

Hello there, I live in Toronto Canada. I have to decide what tree I should replace my dying ash tree with. Here are my options:

Tulip tree
White oak
Swamp white oak
Basswood (American Linden)
Kentucky Coffee tree

In my yard, I currently have a Red oak, Tri color beech, Harlequin Norway maple, Honey locust and a Ivory silk lilac.

I want something that is very beautiful and hardy.
What would you recommend? Any other suggestions?

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tree choices...

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 9:18

Off the cuff, I'd select White Oak if I'm limited to those choices. To bad you're losing the ash, it was a nice addition to what you already have.

However could you tell us more about the space you have, your goals with this tree, soil type and moisture, exposure, etc.

Might be able to get some nice alternative selections. Overused saying, but right tree for the right place


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RE: Tree choices...

If you aren't subject to heavy wet snows, or severe ice storms, then look into Yellowwood Cladrastis kentukea assuming good draining soil. Excellent yellow fall color, moderate growth rate, and very beautiful and fragrant in the spring flower season. Lastly, the tree tends to take on and umbrella shape as it matures. Very nice. This is all based on local trees, your may vary somewhat due to northern location.

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

Arktrees, since you are familiar with Cladrastis, could you advise on this situation? I have two, both planted bare root about 10 years ago, both have flourished but not bloomed. I now find that I want to move one of them (due to some other landscaping, it is now sort of awkwardly situated). My thoughts are that 1) I should continue to be patient regarding bloom as I believe that they don't bloom readily when young and 2) I should resist the temptation to move the one, as that will just set back the blooming/general development.

Any thoughts?

Sara
ps I think that this qualifies as hijacking…sorry..


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RE: Tree choices...

Forgot to add that the spot in my garden is in the NW corner of my yard, in a large flower bed. My soil is slightly alkaline(a pin oak does poorly, but a red oak is fine). It is well drained soil, a bit clayish, but not bad. My goal is for the for it to be a beautiful specimen trees since it is the first thing you see when you look out the back windows of my house. I would like some nice shade, but not shade that a Norway maple would give, since there is a flower bed below. I have an irrigation system, so the tree will be watered nicely.

@whaa it is very sad that the ash tree is dying, looked into having it treated, in the long run, it was not worth it. Why do you choose white oak? Although it is a serious consideration, I was thinking that I want another species to diversify my tree collection, although I am seriously leaning to a White oak.
What do you think of the Kentucky Coffee tree? My city has planted a few of them in my neighborhood. Love the winter form(looks haunted) and its pinnate leaves in the summer.

@arktrees I have never seen a Yellowood tree in nurseries around where I live. Looks like a nice tree. Maybe if I go out the area, I could fine one.


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RE: Tree choices...

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 8, 13 at 16:26

I chose the white oak to mix up the fall color pallette, and its quite the majestic tree. They tend to like soil more on the acid side but if your red oak looks good (nice and green) you won't have a problem.

If you can find a well branched Kentucky Coffee Tree they are gorgeous. Very drought tolerant and deep roots in which you can garden under. The only draw back is that they leaf out late, have minimal fall color and drop leaves early. Similar to Honey locust but without the fall color.

Yellowwood is a really nice suggestion but they are slow growing in their northern reach when young. They tend to have issues with late freezes and don't always achieve their nice fall color around here because of this.

Sara, yellowwood takes 10-15 to bloom. A co-worker had one for about 11 years now and has happier then a little kid on xmas day when it bloomed for the first time this year. If you ask a legimate question about a plant brought up in a topic I thinks its best to ask in the post to add information within the topic.

Another suggestion from my end would be Nyssa if you're ok with a slower growing tree to keep red in your fall color pallette.

I'm staying away from shallow rooters or fibrous roots since you said you have a flower bed. With the exception of the tulip tree all your original selections are root friendly when it comes to gardening under them.


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RE: Tree choices...

Ok, I'm staying patient. I just looked up the actual dates and I planted them in 2006 so I really need to just sit tight. I have a white one and a pink one, even though I don't like pink I figured I'd try it. It doesn't look too mauvey-pink in the photos and that's the color that I find nasty.

I love Nyssa - have tons of those and they are superb fall color and really nice when green as well with really shiny leaves. Both the upright and weeping forms are attractive.


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RE: Tree choices...

Sara,
Agree with whaas. Got to be patient with them. Since nearly all of them are seed grown, you aren't likely to get early flowering as you would a grafted dogwood, or some other grafted flowering plant. But I will tell you this, a nice sized one in full flower is exceptional, so yes you will have to keep waiting. As far as moving one, they have a reputation of not taking too kindly to such treatment. Therefore I would recommend you think long and hard about that before you do. Don't know what the situation is with that one, but I can tell you a locally park has one about 25' under and Oak canopy, completely happy, does all the nice things this species does.

treetoronto,
They are not at all common in nurseries. A local shopping center has a bunch of them planted in parking lot landscape islands. Planted at 2" caliper trees, but I have not seen any planted like this otherwise. More typically they are planted as young trees You may be able to special order one locally, or a specialty nursery. In a city the size of Toronto, someone will have it, or can get it. It's finding that seller that can be a problem. I was suggesting this one as it is a much under used tree.

Also I agree the Blackgum (Nyssa) is an excellent choice as well. Again, I can't say how they behave there, but here, they grow at a moderate pace. Have seen them occasionally add 3'/yr, which is very fast, but more typically 2'/yr once well established, and with good care (i.e. mulched, grass removed from near tree etc). I personally like the selection "Red Rage", as the ones I have seen have very glossy leaves, and very deep green, followed by extreme red in fall. However, Wildfire reportedly grows faster than species, though some here have had some issues when planting, and overwintering the first year.

Another Oak suggestion would be Scarlet Oak Q. coccinea. These have become much more available as larger trees in the last few years. We had one 2" caliper BnB and 15' tall planted in November 2010, and it has done very well. It added 0.8" caliper this year. I would suggest that you select one in the fall to make sure you get excellent fall color. BTW, White Oak has followed the same pattern. That is larger sized BnB trees have become available the last few years. This is because of changes in production methods that allows these formerly "difficult to transplant" trees, a much much better success rate.

Then I have one more suggestion for you. How about Sassafras Sassafras albidum. NOTHING beats their fall color IMHO, make a goodly sized tree, have interesting bark, very drought resistant, and are fast growers. Female trees have a very attractive blue-black berry as well that are excellent for wildlife. These were also formally considered difficult to transplant, but can be found now BnB. There is one downside. They tend to send up root suckers, but nothing a mower won't take care of easily. But this will bother some people.

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

Thx arktrees and whaas. I am in this for the long haul. I got mine mail-order when I simply couldn't find them around here. The big tree nursery (14 acres of stock!) said that they don't grow or stock them because they don't look attractive in pots and they take too long to bloom.

But sometimes the best things are the ones worth waiting for…

Sara


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RE: Tree choices...

I might suggest Chestnut oak: Quercus prinus....for size/shape and density, fall color, excellent bark young and old, hardiness, soil adaptability, sturdiness. It's a good one! Brings you back into the white's, as well.

Dax


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RE: Tree choices...

Dax reminded me of another that I had not thought of earlier. Swamp White Oak (the other Swamp White Oak) Quercus michauxii, aka Cow Oak. Many have excellent fall color, and these are rather fast growing. Very tolerant of soil conditions.

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

michauxii was my next suggestion......
coccinea and palustris fall into the same ph category while rubra and michauxii are in the same ph category.

I'd also very highly recommend Q.lyrata. Its leaves flush purple at spring & again mid summer - and it too has soil adaptability, form, density, etc- everything the poster is looking for.

It's a genuinely beautiful oak. Love the acorns.

Dax


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RE: Tree choices...

Dax,
For coccinea, I really believe they are more pH tolerant than Pin Oaks. They originate from dry ridges that are frequently compost of limestone, and as such soil pH will tend to be more basic, and alkaline in spots. Not saying fully alkaline everywhere, but the soil will be thin and rocky, with limestone bedrock not far underneath, and since they have a taproot, you can be sure that it will find the limestone in time. I have also seen coccinea in concrete landscape islands (meaning higher pH due to leaching of the concrete), perfectly happy, and that's not something you will see with a Pin Oak.

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

coccinea there is that chance & that would be a bummer. prinus eliminates chance.

enjoy whatever you choose OP,

Regards,

Dax


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RE: Tree choices...

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 9, 13 at 10:47

There is a very large coccinea at the Milwaukee botanic gardens. Its been extremely chlorotic during dry weather. No fall color.

You are rolling the dice with this plant in alkaline soils in my opinion. I wonder if you used a seed source from those growing in alkaline soils if it would be better adapted?

Quercus ellipsoidalis should be used in its place for alkaline sites. Its very similar in my opinion. Comes close to its brilliant fall color as well.


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RE: Tree choices...

i swear i have posted this.. twice prior...

how big is the yard???

in the decades to follow.. will you be shading out other trees..

think outside your box.. do you really need another tree????

especially in the sizes of some of these suggestions ...

ken


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RE: Tree choices...

Are you being limited to those choices by a supplier? In the Toronto area, you should have a much bigger selection...any retail nursery can order from any one of the local wholesale tree growers and they have a very broad selection.

Of the choices you identified, I'd choose the White Oak then the Tulip Tree. Swamp White Oak is nice (but not as nice as White Oak), KCT is also nice but not everyone's cup of tea, and Basswood is probably best left growing in the ravines.

Yellowwood is available in Toronto but you may have to get it ordered (see note above on wholesale tree growers). There will be large ones around the city (York U Glendon campus & Mt. Pleasant Cemetery for example). In Toronto's urban heat island late freezes won't be a concern. Snow & ice loading is usually regular and consistent year to year so breakage is actually less frequent than it is further south. The two large Yellowwood I know of in Kingston suffered virtually no damage from the 1998 ice storm (2" ice accumulation) that brought down many Silver Maple and stripped Carolina Poplar down to the trunks.


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RE: Tree choices...

what about a cucumber magnolia or American smoketree?


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RE: Tree choices...

what about a cucumber magnolia or American smoketree?


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RE: Tree choices...

Thanks everyone! I posted a thank you a while ago but it never posted... weird.

Thanks for all your help


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RE: Tree choices...

Treetoronto, just found this thread while looking for something else. If you are leaning towards cladastris kentuckea (yellowwood), any retailer around you that orders from Connon's can get this, as I have seen it in their catalogue in the past. I believe they simply carry the straight species which has white flowers. For a colour change, if you don't mind the drive, I know for a fact that Yesterday's Garden has some cladastris k. 'perkin's pink' with pink flowers in stock. It would be about a two hour drive. Karen would be happy to answer any questions you may have, and takes the time to be sure you will be happy with what you get. They can be easily found on the web. Their email is info@yesterdaysgarden.ca.


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RE: Tree choices...

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 22:55

Keep in mind Yellowwood take 7-15 years before they bloom. They also tend to bloom every other year after that.

Lots of folks don't know this and wonder whats going on. I had to tell an old timer at my work this and the next year he literally ran into my office like a little kid and said "my yellowwood finally bloomed!". I've never seen someone so excited about a blooming tree, lol.


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RE: Tree choices...

Just an fyi to whaas,
I don't know if it is genetics or climate with a longer growing season or what else, but the Yellowwood here flower yearly, but certainly flower much more profusely every other year. Our Milky Way Dogwood does the same.

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 21:59

Ark, you should have just corrected me. I meant profuse bloom every other year. Similar to what lilac tree does.

They bloom every year here as well.


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RE: Tree choices...

Well considering that I have not been to Wis, and the growing season is considerable shorter, I knew better than to make any assumptions. I simply did not question your assertion. Individual plants often deviate from the species accepted "norm". Our established Acer griseum and triflorum are planted in full sun (supposedly partial shade is better) and each grows 2-3'/yr most years instead of the published 12" or less. "Luck of the draw"? Or are my climate and cultural conditions particularly suited to these species? Or is the accepted "ideal" conditions for these species incorrect? I don't know the answer to that. However a griseum (in full sun and very large highly mulched area) at the local botanical garden is significantly out growing mine. Plus I'm not going to be the person to tell you that you can't believe your own eyes. Much like the person on GW a few years ago that INSISTED Cornus florida can not be grown in full sun despite the fact that probable half of these planted in my area end up in a completely open space in full sun.

Next time your co-workers Yellowwood goes profuse, he needs to post some pics of that. ;-)

Arktrees


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RE: Tree choices...

pick any of the rare trees that used to be more in numbers. IF youre thinking coffee tree maybe a hickory (carya ovata). Tulip tree is a god choice since they are rare now in the wild.

Lindon are gorgeous but up here they are grossly over plated. I think they are using them to replace ash and birtch


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