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Guide to trees by height/width/zone ?

Discussion in 'Trees & Shrubs' started by Andrew, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. Mar 18, 2019
    Andrew

    Andrew Attractive To Bees

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    Hi everyone,

    Another springtime and I'm once again planning to do more than I seem able to actually get myself to do during "yard season" :)

    However, picking trees that others are planting is always a bit more... efficient.

    So, a couple things I'm planning:

    1) Trees on part of the open yard to create shade & privacy
    2) New tree next to the deck for shade
    3) Possibly pulling out 18-year-old tree next to deck that's become rootbound :( and replacing it for shade & privacy
    4) Replace shrubs around deck (also 18 years old) that have run their course... (the deck is about 5' above ground level)

    So, I'm not planning on starting with tiny trees (small shrubs probably ok). I've been looking for a guide to help us pick new trees (probably deciduous) by their ultimate average height and canopy width that will thrive in our zone.

    Does anyone know of a guide that might work?

    thanks!
     
  2. Mar 18, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Andrew likes this.
  3. Mar 18, 2019
    Andrew

    Andrew Attractive To Bees

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    Hi Thistlebloom!

    I'll take a look at the Arbor Day site.

    As far as the roots go - yes, girdling roots, unfortunately, and it's a tree that was tilted in a big windstorm a few years ago and has been doing worse each year. I lopped a 3-4" limb that was hitting the side of the house, and it was dry... the saw went right through it.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Do your research. Bald Cypress can grow 70 ft. tall, and that could fall on your own or your neighbor's house in a bad storm. I suggest that you look into dwarf varieties bc they will still grow 15ft or higher but the average homeowner doesn't have enough room for really big trees.
    I have had at least one tree that girdled. I took my reciprocated saw to one of the girdling roots and cut out a chunk. If left alone the tree will choke itself to death. There are as many roots below as above so it doesn't hurt the tree any to do this. You can spot girdling. It doesn't look natural for a root to curl around the base of the tree.
    http://www.arboraesthetics.com/blog/is-your-tree-doomed-5-symptoms-of-a-haunted-tree
    If you have shade you might look into Japanese maple cultivars. Many of these cultivars have leaves that change color with the seasons and they are a great understory tree to own.
    https://www.japanesemaplesonline.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/home.showpage/pageID/6/
     
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  5. Mar 22, 2019
    Carol Dee

    Carol Dee Garden Master

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    Your county extension service is always a good source
     
  6. Mar 23, 2019
    Andrew

    Andrew Attractive To Bees

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    Thanks, but did you read what I wrote? The whole reason for my post was to be able to do some research...
     
  7. Mar 25, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I did read what you wrote, so here is my LONG answer. I was repeating some of the advice that I have heard on Mid American Gardener and on gardening programs, like the fact that you buy a "dwarf" tree and somehow it grows taller than the tag says it will. I live on a 100yo+ old farm property and I have been taking Down trees that are too old or in the process of dying. An old tree in my "Inner Sanctum" area in front of the barn lost a limb and damaged my fencing. I have lost 3 old and established fruit trees. Some of it was bc I didn't know how to prune them, so I have learned and I am sorta pretty good at it now, Still afraid to take too much, although I think that my extreme apple tree pruning last year is hastening the death of that tree. I can now recognize that the 12 inch strip of mushrooms at the bottom of a maple tree 15 ft from my foundation tells me that ASAP it needs to be chopped down. UNlike the volunteer tree that I had chopped down last Fall in my South Pasture, where there was a 90 degree swath for it to fall, this maple Could fall on my house OR my fencing if cut wrong. I need to save up $600 and have a local expert drop it bc I first watched his company take down a 40 ft. tree across the street that was closer to the house. They didn't hit the house, they didn't hit any power lines or hit anybody's car.
    MANY suburban owners plant fruit trees, NEVER really harvest them, and then get angry that they have to add picking up rotten fruit to their lawn chores. Something Else to consider when you plant a tree. I heard recently on Mid American Gardener, a caller asked it there was any innoculation to give their large walnut tree from producing too much fruit. (They said that it exists.) MAYBE the previous owner wanted walnuts. THIS owner doesn't.
    I don't think that you need to do too much research. You can plant certain kinds of crab apples that do not make fruit, but make beautiful flowers and give good shade. Magnolia trees are a southern native, but my neighbors just north of me have a 35 footer that has been there since before I bought the property, and I did minimal research to discover that in the 1950's Magnolia hybreds were bred to survive in Michigan, where it is much colder than Central IL. I even bought MINE on clearance at WM AND I had it in a pot for a whole season before I planted it. I had to call "Julie" to come and check for gas lines. It is 12ft from my foundation, planted 1/2 between the house and the street, and sits on the east side of the house. We get Brutal winds winter and summer and I wanted to protect my Magnolia "Jane". (There is a also a "Magnolia Betty", which is my namesake, and DD's want to plant one of those at their in town property.) They live in an old town and there are huge established trees that are WAY overgrown, and they shed sticks and limbs on a regular basis. Is that part of what you want to do when you work on your yard? There is one dead limb in their back yard threatening their power line and I hope that it won't hit it when it falls, which should be soon.
    HERE IS WHAT I HAVE DISCOVERED, with where I used to keep my horses and where I have lived for 18 years, both OLD farm properties.
    1) People plant trees that will overgrow and OUTLIVE them
    2) People plant invasive plants and then move
    3) People put up fencing that will fall apart LONG after they are dead and gone
    DON'T get me started on my opinion of setting wooden posts/metal fence posts in cement!! :somad
    The previous owners enjoyed these things when they were new and when they were small. I have to deal with cleaning up THEIR messes.
    I did MY research with my excellent Googlefoo. I Thought that you just wanted a couple of suggestions, Not a dissertation. We have many people here with greater knowledge of plants than I will ever have, but your LOCAL services will help you much more bc they KNOW what will be successful on Your property. I am too far north to grow Crepe Mrytle but people in Suburban Chicago are Still trying to grow them, and then watch them die during the winter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  8. Mar 27, 2019
    Andrew

    Andrew Attractive To Bees

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    Thanks for the comprehensive answer! I really do appreciate it and read it twice.

    That said... had I known/been able to do research in the past, I would have made some different choices; for example, I would not plant a Bradford Pear (thanks thistlebloom!) again, because, simply put, they break apart. Sure... the one we had was one of the most beautiful we had, and provided great shade on the lower deck, until it was broken apart by high winds a few years in a row - as were 5 out of 6 of the ones lining my neighbor's property. I will not buy without knowing again...

    I've spoken with a local guy who's done a little work here and I'll likely just describe the spaces and what I want to do, and he'll make recommendations.

    I have this fantastic book (The Perennial Gardener's Design Primer, Stephanie Cohen and Nancy Ondra) that is not only really nicely designed, but has a FANTASTIC "planning chart" that's easily one of the most useful tables I've ever seen (you can scroll through to it near the back of the book, around page 280)

    [edit] Here's a pic:

    chart.jpg

    Anyway - I still have my work cut out for me; also, now planning a small patio, so will be doing some drawings soon...

    cheers
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
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  9. Mar 27, 2019
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    Do you mean Bradford pear? Just curious.

    Bradford pears are non fruiting, ornamental pear trees known for their brittleness. Actually all pears tend to have an upright branching pattern that creates too narrow branch /trunk angles making them susceptible to included bark in the crotch and a tendency to break easily.

    That looks like a great reference book.
     
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  10. Mar 27, 2019
    Andrew

    Andrew Attractive To Bees

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    LOL... yes, typing fast. Plus, I'm hungry...

    Thanks, going to fix it.
     
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