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Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:21 AM

So I thought my elm tree needed pruning and invited some estimates

Take the local guy's offer, because 3 out of 5 were Trump Chumps and i cannot support that...anyway... we get all ready ...because this morning was to be the morning, and...

The tree trimmer explained to me that this tree is dead and needs to come down. Two other estimators told me the same, and I am so sad because it is huge and a big part of my front lawn.

The whole house will look different.

So does anyone have a recommendation of a tree to plant in its stead? I am just coming to terms with this

on edit: I am in zone 7a, Baltimore, Maryland, and right on the Chesapeake bay, but not in a flood zone.

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Reply So I thought my elm tree needed pruning and invited some estimates (Original post)
Baltimike Oct 2020 OP
Cracklin Charlie Oct 2020 #1
StClone Oct 2020 #2
Baltimike Oct 2020 #4
StClone Oct 2020 #18
SamKnause Oct 2020 #3
Baltimike Oct 2020 #5
SamKnause Oct 2020 #10
Botany Oct 2020 #6
Baltimike Oct 2020 #8
Botany Oct 2020 #9
Baltimike Oct 2020 #11
Botany Oct 2020 #12
Baltimike Oct 2020 #15
Botany Oct 2020 #17
Baltimike Oct 2020 #19
Botany Oct 2020 #20
Baltimike Oct 2020 #21
Major Nikon Oct 2020 #22
Baltimike Oct 2020 #23
StClone Oct 2020 #26
Baltimike Oct 2020 #27
StClone Oct 2020 #32
Major Nikon Oct 2020 #31
Baltimike Oct 2020 #35
Major Nikon Oct 2020 #36
Baltimike Oct 2020 #37
Major Nikon Oct 2020 #38
Baltimike Oct 2020 #39
Major Nikon Oct 2020 #40
CrispyQ Oct 2020 #7
OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2020 #14
StClone Oct 2020 #25
OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2020 #28
StClone Oct 2020 #30
wendyb-NC Oct 2020 #13
Baltimike Oct 2020 #16
OAITW r.2.0 Oct 2020 #29
The Velveteen Ocelot Oct 2020 #24
Baltimike Oct 2020 #33
Baltimike Oct 2020 #34

Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:24 AM

1. I have been seeing a lovely tree everywhere lately.

It looks like a columnar oak of some type. I think itís pretty. Sorry, donít know how to add a picture.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:26 AM

2. Well you need to tell me where this is to be planted

What growing zone, soil characteristics, what you want to accomplish (shade tree?), Do you want a flowering tree or a big old elm-like replacement.

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Response to StClone (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:29 AM

4. I am in zone 7a, and am open to suggestions...maybe a flowering tree

or maybe an autumn stunner. I have pretty good soil that has clay, but I am willing to amend

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 12:08 PM

18. I'll give a list here of workable choices

Check out this site for your locale: https://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/MarylandersPlantTrees/Recommended-Tree-List.aspx

You may get other great suggests and I will add mine.


I really like the Fringe Tree, Red Buds, Flowering Dogwood, Magnolias (though drainage may be a problem) for smaller flowering trees.

For a real neat tree the Katsura is wonderful, though not native, is pretty great:https://www.mortonarb.org/trees-plants/tree-plant-descriptions/katsura-tree

Really big trees like the Tulip Tree and Sycamores are standards, native, stately, and I really like. Maybe more fall litter drop which is hard to avoid with many trees.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:28 AM

3. Where do you live ???

We need to know the climate before we can offer suggestions.

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Response to SamKnause (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:30 AM

5. Baltimike is from Baltimore, MD, zone 7a nt

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:37 AM

10. Hybrid Poplar grows 5 to 8 feet per year.

October Glory Red Maple: fast growing, leaves turn bright red in autumn.

The October Glory Red Maple is beautiful.

Hope that helps.

Good luck.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:31 AM

6. "So does anyone have a recommendation of a tree to plant in its stead?"

Sure. I am in the biz. Plant one that is native to your area. Do not plant one that is more than
1.5 to 2" in caliber any bigger is just a waste, they shock in many cases, and the smaller ones will
almost always by pass the bigger ones in a season or two.

Straight species and on their own root stock.

If you can plant 2 or 3 because they really do "talk to each other" through their roots.*

What part of America do you live in?


* The Hidden Life of Trees.

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Response to Botany (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:34 AM

8. I would be happy to plant two or three in Big Elm's stead.

I am in Baltimore, MD and really don't want that "bare front yard" look that happens when you take down a tree

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:36 AM

9. Does the area get plenty of water?

If yes I would recommend a black gum.



If it is drier a shingle or red oak

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Response to Botany (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:38 AM

11. It is a very wet area...humind for sure, but I have good drainage. nt

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #11)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:45 AM

12. Go for a black gum then.

Outstanding fall color, native, nice fruits that our native birds use, and it hosts
many native pollinators and insects.

Plant them about 10' to 12' apart and overtime connect them with a bed of
compost or good hardwood mulch ... fill in these areas with spring ephemerals,
native grasses, and wildflowers such as red milkweed, Asters, cardinal flower,
and coneflowers.
Grasses .... Little Bluestem and or Drop Seed and or VA Wild Rye

If you can find them the native magnolias are really nice .... American Cucumber Tree is the bomb.

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Response to Botany (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:59 AM

15. american cucumber tree?

I've never even heard of it. I think my poor elm tree must have been lonely. There really isn't another tree for his roots to "talk to", which is another reason I am going to miss it so much

So should I plant one black gum or two?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #15)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 12:04 PM

17. Just looked it up but it* is native a little west of you.

* Magnolia accuminata

However there are some other magnolias that are native to your area.

MD native plant society has a list of nurseries that stock native plants.

Plant 2 about 10 to 12' apart. Plant them a little lower then normal ...

dig a hole twice the width and the same depth as the root ball. Back
fill with 1/2 native soil and 1/2 leaf compost ... mulch with a good
hardwood bark mulch work in some espoma plant tone when you plant. (about 2.5 pounds per tree)

Set a hose running @ a slow trickle for about an hour per tree .... water one more time around
thanksgiving ... if no rain or melting snow.

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Response to Botany (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 12:52 PM

19. How long after felling the elm tree do I have to wait to plant others?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #19)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 01:05 PM

20. As long as you have no roots in the way you can plant now

n/t

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Response to Botany (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 01:12 PM

21. roots in the way? Like stump grinding removes them?

How would there not be roots in the way?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 01:45 PM

22. Stump grinding removes the stump

The roots remain. Iíve planted a few trees on top of a ground stump with no issues.

The big thing is how compacted the soil is around the planting. Some trees will do OK with compacted soil, but most do not. If the surrounding soil was well compacted it might have caused the Elm treeís demise and you donít want to repeat that. So it may be worth removing some of the surrounding roots as part of an effort to decompact the surrounding area.

Try to use the surrounding soil as much as possible rather than using a lot of augmented soil like potting soil, bagged topsoil, etc.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:09 PM

23. Ok, I am serious, bc I really don't know

how do you remove the roots from the ground? Cut them out? Dig them out? Does the tree service do this?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 03:01 PM

26. Don't worry too much about old roots-here is what you do

If you are physically capable and have few tools (wheel burrow, tarp, spade, mattock/garden pick or Ax) you can pretty much resolve the"root of the problem." Or, you may hire it out.

Dig into the newly stump-free area about three foot wide hole and go two foot down. Extract only old roots you find within the space of that hole. Roots left farther out in the soil will decay and actually provide nutrients as they decay slowly (assisted by fungi, bacteria, etc.).

Two problems you may encounter in replanting after stump removal:

1). Often stump removal chews up the remnant tree stump and it is incorporated into the soil in which the new tree is to be planted. This saw dust may very rapidly decay and throw the soil PH, nutrients, but especially available nitrogen out of useful balance for a new tree. This can be resolved by removing a reasonable amount of this soil and replacing it (this is called amending) so to get a suitable growing medium.

2) Second problem is the soil is very disturbed and often needs to settle. You may have a problem if you were to plant a new tree without compacting or settling the soil. If unsettled and you plant, a sump area might develop and this may cause issues later in life of a tree as root system may too deep then in the ground. So compact the soil by some means as you layer the amended soil into place.

I will note than depth of planting is very important. Don't plant too deeply or too shallow and depending on species follow some of the on-line guides. My company had nearly a 98% survival rate after five years.


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Response to StClone (Reply #26)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 03:12 PM

27. OMG, thank you for all of this

The roots of this tree are all over my yard. It would be a massive task to remove them all.

But I could amend and carefully plant some new ones (I think)

Would it be easier to plant another elm tree?

what region are you in that you have such a great success rate (or had, as it were)?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #27)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 04:26 PM

32. Friend No need to remove all the roots

Just the ones in a 3-foot diameter circle and 2-foot deep.



There are new disease resistant American Elm cultivars (for Dutch Elm Diseases DED https://extension.umn.edu/trees-and-shrubs/dutch-elm-disease-resistant-elm-trees ). Until recently, I was holding off judgment as the problem of this disease doesn't occur until somewhat mature (thick bark is needed for the beetle to live which transmits the disease). The new varieties may very well work out and I would not hesitate to recommend them now as a good track record seems to be building. Also, Slippery Elm may appeal to you-check it out.

Elms are definitely a treasured Great American tree. It is the tree Baltimore Orioles prefer for nesting.
I live in Central WI and it was attention to details for each tree species, site prep, root pruning (or not), stock selection and followup (watering, supports) etc. which resulted in my success rate. I am semi-retired now and work for the fun of it (not in landscaping-too physical).

I am with those who suggested Black Gum as it has great fall colors, tolerant and widely used. Katsura is pet favorite shade/ornamental of mine as it offers spring, summer, fall interest. It would work well in the situation you described. It should be available in nurseries near you.

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #23)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 04:06 PM

31. I'm sure you could get a tree service to do it

But itís a lot of work and may be unnecessary. The main thing is the soil compaction which is a common cause of urban tree death. If the soil isnít compacted then thereís no reason to worry about the old roots. If the soil is compacted, itís going to be hard to correct with the old roots in the way.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #22)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 10:09 AM

35. Hold up...should I be looking for a tree that grows in compacted soil?

Is that a thing?

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 5, 2020, 11:53 AM

36. Compacted soil will prevent water from reaching the roots

Trees that require a lot of water will do poorly with compacted soil and this may not manage to kill the tree until it gets closer to maturity, or if the soil is compacted after itís mature. Either way the remaining roots can make improving the soil difficult.

Some things you can do to improve the soil is to put a tree ring around the tree and expand it as the tree grows. Periodically add organic material inside the ring (manure/compost) covered with a layer of mulch and keep people from walking on it. The organic material will encourage worms to the area which will keep the soil aerated and the mulch will help to retain moisture and distribute weight when people inevitably walk on it.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #36)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 06:26 PM

37. Not a lot of people walk on it as I have a sidewlk leading to my porch

so that is at least a little encouraging. There is a lot of clay in my soil, and these big elm roots aren't going to help.

I can't go from a 70 ft (?) elm to a 20 ft crepe myrtle, and this decision is really hard.

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #37)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 07:21 PM

38. Crepe myrtle does well in poor soil

If you get a Natchez crepe myrtle they can get to about 25-30í tall. I have two of them. The oldest is about 25í tall and has a trunk thatís about 12Ē across at the base which branches out. It flowers most of the summer.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #38)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 09:15 PM

39. I am looking for something a little bit bigger

Maybe a crepe myrtle near it, but my tree now is 30 feet in circumference.

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Response to Baltimike (Reply #39)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 11:07 PM

40. I have an ash tree that is at least 30x30

It took about 15 years to fully mature, but was a decent shade tree at about 10. It looks incredible now. I don't know how well they do in your area, but there's many different varieties. Best to check with your county extension to inquire about varietals and diseases for your area.

Not only does it make a great shade tree, but there's no mess other than the leaves.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:31 AM

7. I feel for you.

The house next door had a 30+ year old honey locust tree that shaded our entire back yard. Perfectly healthy tree. The new owners ripped it out this year & put up a child's playscape right next to the fence. The birds looked a bit lost for a day or two.

No ideas for a new tree, though. I don't know much about trees, but I love them.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:52 AM

14. I planted a white oak sapling I found growing on my property 20 years ago.

I needed a shade tree on my side lawn to avoid the summer sun baking the house. This sapling was straight and looked very healthy.

Today, it has a 14" diameter butt and is over 40' tall. It's interesting that I have few acorns on the ground because I have all kinds of wildlife feasting on them. Had a turkey the past few days in to feed.

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Response to OAITW r.2.0 (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:27 PM

25. When I hear White Oak I think

Cerulean Warbler! The bird loves mature White Oak in native tree mixes of ash, maples, basswoods.

I have been in Landscape business for over 40 years and have Masters Degree Biology. When you hear Foresters talk about healthy forest for some reason the forest they talk about is never a mature forest. It is based on production. Birds like the Cerulean prefer mature forests with White Oak!

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Response to StClone (Reply #25)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 03:18 PM

28. Interesting....had to look up this bird to see what it looked like.

Can't recall them in my yard/feeders (Central Maine). Lots of chickadees, blue jays, and woodpeckers are in the tree. Crows, too.

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Response to OAITW r.2.0 (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 03:38 PM

30. It's a small but stunning bird.

Kind of obscure reference, but It was pretty common in a park I knew. Now, it is declining.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 11:50 AM

13. That is so sad. Look up, Linden Tree.

Elms are such a revered shade tree. Growing up in NY.S Hudson Valley, in the 50's and 60's Elms were every where. There were two huge ones on our property line that shaded most of our front yard. They were like guardians.

As time passed all in a season say 1968 they both died, and had to be taken down. They helped to us to cool down after running and playing, with my siblings on many a scorching, sweaty summers day. With their lush green, bower of a canopy of leaves.

All the trees in the yard were my friends. Those two elms, though, I still dream about them.

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Response to wendyb-NC (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 12:02 PM

16. Yep. I really love this tree. I would save him if I could

A sapling fell from him along the side of my house, so there is another (albeit much smaller) elm about 30 ft away from him. I will look up a Linden tree.

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Response to wendyb-NC (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 03:26 PM

29. Growing up in So. Maine in the 50/50s, we had beautiful American Elms and Horse Chestnut trees.

The, they started dying out due to disease. There has been some success cross breeding American Elms with disease resistant Chinese Elms. I plannted a few but they never really made it past the first winter.

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 02:19 PM

24. If the catalpa grows in your area, you might consider one.

They get pretty big pretty fast, and they have these cool orchid-like flowers in the spring.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 09:54 PM

33. That's really beautiful.

I notice some of my neighbors have apple trees. I never considered a fruit tree for the front yard, but maybe...

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Response to Baltimike (Original post)

Sat Oct 3, 2020, 10:38 PM

34. I should add that I have cats that like to lounge in the yard.

so i don't want anything that could hurt them. They are mostly indoor, but two use the outside instead of a litter box, and, weather permitting, like to lay in the sun during the day.

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