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Old 10-05-2017, 03:22 PM
 
1,988 posts, read 686,516 times
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I'd seek professional advice, and not at a nursery. Your state must have a cooperative extension service? It would also be a good idea source to go to a good arboretum that labels its trees.

I'm also partial to the Sunset Garden Books, Sunset National Garden Book (out of print but widely available used) or the Sunset Western Garden Book.

I'd also take advice here with a grain of salt. For instance, I think flowering crabs are great yard trees, and sumac is to coarse for anywhere but the back or side of a large yard. You may not agree, though.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:39 PM
Status: "Enjoying a cool fall breeze...finally." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
30,306 posts, read 37,761,053 times
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Iíve lived mostly in zone 5, NE Ohio. I thought that moving south into zone 8 would be wonderful, but alas the gardening where you are is much better.

The trees that I enjoyed are spruce and pine, redbud and dogwood. Of course, every tree needs to be suited to its eventual mature size. We had lovely willow next to our pond, but it was yooouge, so you need to have space.

There is nothing wrong with flowering crab, but you must buy disease free types, otherwise you will need to spray it every spring, and who wants to do that?

Itís true that Bradford Pear are awful, but if they are planted in a place where eventual broken branches wonít damage anything, they are fine.

I guess my main point is there are virtues to most plants, but choose carefully where you put them.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:00 PM
 
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Here's one you do not want: tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima. It's so tough it grows in empty urban lots.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:41 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
18,273 posts, read 21,030,454 times
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I found a list published by my town for acceptable trees for in town, and it includes a list of small trees that can be planted under power lines, so I am looking at those trees. Most of them, I am not familiar with, but once I have a name, I can google.

It really is too close to the house, so maybe I will just remove the trees and plant a nice flowering shrub. At one time I owned a hardy hibiscus that handled the weather OK and was covered in flowers all summer. Something like that would work.

I suspect that the trees planted by developers, like the Bradford Pear, are chosen because they are cheap and they grow fast. I don't think that cheap and fast growing are very good criteria for a plant that has to have good manners because the yard is small. It's my house and I am not buying plants for 40 houses, so I can spend some money to get a good quality suitable plant.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:45 AM
 
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The term "contractor-grade" is not a complimentary one, either inside or outside the home. They tend to go cheap-o, middle-of-the-road, leaving it to buyers to change out anything that doesn't come up to their personal standards. Probably not a bad way to do business, but it won't necessarily work to the advantage of anyone with other than average standards.

On a separate topic, I've kind of gotten away from the planting-to-adult-size rule as the years have gone by. I live here right now, and I want the place to look nice (i.e., not naked) right now. So I violate some of these rules and then cull and thin as may become necessary down the road as things start to get overcrowded or overgrown. Seems like the best of both words to me.

Last edited by 17thAndK; 10-06-2017 at 09:59 AM..
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:47 AM
 
1,988 posts, read 686,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I suspect that the trees planted by developers, like the Bradford Pear, are chosen because they are cheap and they grow fast. I don't think that cheap and fast growing are very good criteria for a plant that has to have good manners because the yard is small. It's my house and I am not buying plants for 40 houses, so I can spend some money to get a good quality suitable plant.
Spot on. At my local garden store, I came across a bag of grass seed called "contractor special". Most of it was annual rye. Can you imagine someone buying the house in summer, and wondering what they did wrong the next spring?

So called landscapers can also be guilty, planting shrubs too close together or wrong for the location because they looked good out of the containers, but would mature into a monster.

Where I used to live, upper NW DC, neighbors had small lots and enormous trees. mature tulip poplars (tallest trees in mid-atlantic forests) feet from their house. Two neighbors planted "living christmas trees " about 25 years ago, only to see them mature into full size firs, raining down needles and branches after ice storms. One had a pronounced lean, to the abuter's house of course, just waiting for that windstorm. Finally they had them removed, which was interesting to watch, as the climber moved up the trunk dropping branches, then took off the trunk one section at a time. Glad I didn't have to pay for it!
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
21,007 posts, read 54,016,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
I suggest you flip to the back of a book called Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy. It goes through the country section by section and describes what trees will do best in your area. Crabapples are nice, but if you're looking for smallish trees that bear fruit, consider the pawpaw. (It's like a glacier banana, native to the US, pest- and disease-free.) I'm not sure if you're too far north for Carolina allspice but the fragrance is heavenly and the plants stay small. Smoke trees (Cotinus) stay small, are beautiful in bloom and they are also native, disease- and pest-free. So is the beautiful flowering Redbud or Judas Tree (Cercis Canadensis) -- very hardy and gorgeous when it flowers in spring.


It's the imported trees that keel over and die because they can't tolerate the conditions. Avoid Bradford pears at all costs. Not only are they short-lived, prone to dropping over sideways and destroying your living-room window, and poisonous to local wildlife, but they smell like feet when they're blooming.
We have a lot of crabapple trees on our property. The flowers are pretty, the trees are a nice size and well formed but they are awful trees.
Thorns everywhere.

Apples are messy when they fall and not even the deer will eat them. That is pretty much the only thing on the planet the deer will not eat. I am pretty sure one was trying to eat out St Bernard mix recently.

The trees exist in a prolonged state of dying. Branches die off, fall and then the next season another branch is dying. Eventually the whole tree dies. I do not know how old our are, but they are big and nearly all of them are dying.

The get a lot of suckers ont he truck that need to be trimmed off.

They attract woodpeckers who then turn your house into Swiss cheese.


I am trying to get some PawPaw trees planted this year. I learned you need more than on variety so they can cross pollinate. A set of three trees from Burpee costs $89 plus $18 for shipping. They are supposedly pretty hardy and best of all deer do not like to eat them.

I planted a plum tree this summer. It died. I took the stalk back to the store and they said I could pick out any tree they had left. The only thing they had with fruit were pear trees (and another dead plum). I hope it was not a Bradford pear. However that might explain why they had so many left over when all the other trees were gone. It was an edible pear though so I doubt it is poisonous to wildlife.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-06-2017 at 11:07 AM..
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
21,007 posts, read 54,016,120 times
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Bartlett hooray
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:07 PM
 
19,104 posts, read 18,231,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
We have a lot of crabapple trees on our property. The flowers are pretty, the trees are a nice size and well formed but they are awful trees.
Thorns everywhere.

Apples are messy when they fall and not even the deer will eat them. That is pretty much the only thing on the planet the deer will not eat. I am pretty sure one was trying to eat out St Bernard mix recently.

The trees exist in a prolonged state of dying. Branches die off, fall and then the next season another branch is dying. Eventually the whole tree dies. I do not know how old our are, but they are big and nearly all of them are dying.

The get a lot of suckers ont he truck that need to be trimmed off.

They attract woodpeckers who then turn your house into Swiss cheese.


I am trying to get some PawPaw trees planted this year. I learned you need more than on variety so they can cross pollinate. A set of three trees from Burpee costs $89 plus $18 for shipping. They are supposedly pretty hardy and best of all deer do not like to eat them.

I planted a plum tree this summer. It died. I took the stalk back to the store and they said I could pick out any tree they had left. The only thing they had with fruit were pear trees (and another dead plum). I hope it was not a Bradford pear. However that might explain why they had so many left over when all the other trees were gone. It was an edible pear though so I doubt it is poisonous to wildlife.
Well, you've sold me.
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Old 10-08-2017, 05:59 PM
 
Location: IN
19,235 posts, read 31,966,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I found a list published by my town for acceptable trees for in town, and it includes a list of small trees that can be planted under power lines, so I am looking at those trees. Most of them, I am not familiar with, but once I have a name, I can google.

It really is too close to the house, so maybe I will just remove the trees and plant a nice flowering shrub. At one time I owned a hardy hibiscus that handled the weather OK and was covered in flowers all summer. Something like that would work.

I suspect that the trees planted by developers, like the Bradford Pear, are chosen because they are cheap and they grow fast. I don't think that cheap and fast growing are very good criteria for a plant that has to have good manners because the yard is small. It's my house and I am not buying plants for 40 houses, so I can spend some money to get a good quality suitable plant.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s in western Missouri, developers tended to pick hardwood varieties for various new construction neighborhoods. Some common trees in that time period were: Red Oak, Pin Oak, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Sycamore, Red Bud, Sweet Gum, White Pine, Ash, etc. You didn't have ornamental varieties, but actual shade trees of decent value compared to the alternatives then.
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