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Fri May 13, 2016, 06:55 PM

 

Best shade trees, on the medium to smaller side?

I have an evergreen tree that has shaded my house for decades, but it looks like it is dying. I also have a white mulberry tree and a black walnut tree, both thriving, but WAY too close to the house.

I am torn between the shade they provide, and the energy implications to removing them, but the evergreen is dead, and so I want to replace him first (and hopefully, I will gather the resources (mostly courage) in removing the other two). So, does anyone know of any good shade trees for the yard? I love flowering trees, but don't think I want a fruit tree because the tree will be near my driveway.

I do think I want a peach tree in my back yard. I love the flowers on those, and the peaces. But I digress...

Shade trees?

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2016, 07:33 PM

1. I suggest contacting your local gardening extension service

While I could certainly give you a recommendation for what I use in my local plot, this may not apply all that well to your situation.

Here's some of the variables to consider.

1) How much room do you have?

Consider the plant in its mature state. What are the height and width restrictions?

2) What zone do you live in?

This is part of what determines what kind of plants may thrive in your area.

3) What is the soil like?

Is your soil alkaline, acidic, or somewhere in between? What is the drainage like, or in other words is the soil sandy, clay, or loam, and is the spot on a hill or a valley or flat?

4) What kind of time frame are you looking at?

Do you want something that's going to provide quality shade within a few years, or farther down the road?

5) Do you want another evergreen, or is deciduous OK?

I suggest considering some of these factors before first calling your extension service so they can better assist you.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2016, 10:30 PM

2. People are going to need to know generally where you live.

 

That you are talking peaches means you are not anywhere near Minnesota, so I'll shut up and listen.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Fri May 13, 2016, 11:45 PM

3. I am so sorry. I am in zone 7a...and I am considering a magnolia or a dogwood

 

I want shade asap, as cutting down the evergreen is about to make the house hotter. Not a lot of room...my plot is less than a quarter acre.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Original post)

Sat May 14, 2016, 08:40 AM

4. You live in the same zone as I do! A couple of my neighbors have

fringe trees and they flower beautifully in the spring. The fragrance is divine. They're natives to this area, too.

Check it out: <img class="size-full wp-image-22120" alt="Fringe tree " src="?w=640&h=574" width="640" height="574" title="Fringe Tree The Best Native Tree Nobody Grows">


http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2013/04/28/fringe-tree-the-best-native-nobody-grows/


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Response to japple (Reply #4)

Sat May 14, 2016, 04:02 PM

5. Thank you. I will check it out. I scored some clematis today for 5 bucks

 

I am going to plant them up the mailbox post and the thingy that connects to the telephone pole (wire is not a great word for it, but whatevs. It's getting clematis on it.

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Response to LaydeeBug (Reply #5)

Sat May 14, 2016, 05:23 PM

6. If you can keep clematis watered, it should do well. I want to get

some of that started at our mailbox post, but it is like a desert out there and the neighbor uses herbicide, so I don't think it would live.

Keep us posted on what you decide to plant. A native tree will def. be a plus.

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Response to japple (Reply #6)

Sat May 14, 2016, 09:35 PM

7. try some bone meal for the clematis...

 

I hear they are hungry little buggers. I really want a tree that will provide shade, maybe color in the Spring, and not be too terribly messy.

I am also considering trying to only plant things that were in the common suburban garden circa 1950's, when this house was built. But I am only *thinking* about that. The huge elm tree on the other side of the yard will be a huge factor in the tree's selection.

I really think I want to plant some fruit trees in the back yard. I had a peach tree in my back yard when i was a little girl, and I loved the flowers, and the peach cake, a an Baltimore favorite.

And peach pie...

and peach preserves...

and I was really sick of peaches as a kid, but man! do I miss 'em now... lol

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