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pinksand
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Replacement Tree Suggestions

I've already received some suggestions in another post, but figured I'd post a photo and create a thread specifically for recommendations.

We're having the black locust removed from our patio garden. The tree is in terrible condition and poses a threat due to its close proximity to the house, not to mention it dropping large limbs on our patio over the past couple years.

This photo was taken when we first moved in a couple years ago...
Image

Unfortunately they won't be able to get a stump grinder to the tree so we'll have a lovely stump forever. I'd still like to put a tree nearby to provide some shade for the patio and just for structural interest. We had a fence put in and it goes along the left side of the existing tree so we'll probably have to plant either a bit up the hill from the tree, or to the right. My top pick for this location was a witch hazel. The only witch hazels I've seen in person however are more like shrubs in size and shape. Do you think a larger variety of witch hazel would provide some shade for the patio? I don't want a large tree like the locust, but I'm not sure if the witch hazel will be quite big enough. I have another black locust I plan on removing next year and want to put a redbud in its place. Would a redbud also work here? Another option I've considered is serviceberry, but I'm a bit nervous about the mess from the berries falling all over the patio. A dogwood is also an option. The tree guy suggested a japanese maple or cherry tree.

Any thoughts or opinions?
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imafan26
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I have no tree suggestions because I can't grow any of the trees you mention, but since I have other trees I do have criteria

1. Unless you don't need a shade tree for about 10 years. I'd opt for a larger tree even though it costs a lot more.
2. I prefer trees with small leaves. They make less rubbish to rake up and small leaves can just be tossed in compost or used as mulch
3. Get a diecious tree preferably a male. They will produce flowers but no berries or fruit and no seedlings to have to pull out. Berry sap can get messy.
4. For a shade tree I like an open not dense canopy to provide dappled light. Dense canopies will make it very shady and cool but nothing will grow beneath the tree and whatever is not pavement will be bare dirt and mud.
5. Get a tree that grows slowly. A slow growing tree will have denser wood and fewer weak branches that break and fall. It will grow slowly so it is easier to prune. Once my tree got more than 20 ft tall, I paid about $300 a year to have it pruned and that was cheap.
6. Get a tree with a naturally round or umbrel shape. It is easier to keep it looking good.
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pinksand
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Thank you for the list of considerations to keep in mind! They're very helpful.

As for #1, I would like to purchase a substantial tree, unlike the 2' tall serviceberry twigs I purchased last year (eventually they'll be beautiful but right now they look silly). I want something that will have more immediate impact, and plan to wait until the fall to make the purchase. I just don't want a tree that gets very tall (nothing much over 30 ft) because I think the location is better suited for more of an ornamental tree, plus if this current tree were to fall it would take out our entire house, so something smaller would have me less worried about something like that.

I also really like the point about the leaf size. The locust leaves are tiny and I usually just rake them up from the patio and toss them in the garden as a fall mulch that either blows away or decomposes in the soil by spring.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

So go over with us what kind if conditions we're talking about.
Full sun? Well drained I imagine if there's a slope.
I wonder if dying black locust would mean plenty of nitrogen -- would that just help the new tree grow or would it interfere with blooming/fruiting?
What kind of soil?

You wouldn't want a fruit or nut tree at all?
If yes to fruit/nut tree, is there room for two trees or for a 2nd tree within 20-30 feet for cross pollination?

-- black locust stump -- you already have a birdhouse on it. If you have to keep the stump, you could have it cut higher so it can be useful. Alternatively, you could try inoculating the stump with culinary mushroom mycelia soon after cutting it down -- dowels in drilled holes method or stacked trunk slice method. It's going to be growing fungi anyway, why not a mushroom of your choice?
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pinksand
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Hm, I've never thought about growing a fruit tree there! Honestly, I know nothing about growing fruit or nut trees. I LOVE pears, how difficult are they to grow? Any positives/negatives? Something with larger fruit like that would be ideal because I tend to walk barefoot and little berries or nuts that were to fall on the patio might hurt but larger fruit wouldn't be as much of a problem. It's actually a pretty good location because it's conveniently right off of our kitchen. I could probably put another tree nearby, towards the top of the hill. How close do trees need to be for pollination?

About the location: I'd probably say full sun. It definitely gets lots of sun in the morning, then has a little break in the afternoon, then some more sun. Overall it probably does end up getting 6-8 hours. Soil is well draining due to the slope and sandy/loamy in quality. The soil is very easy to dig in, the only obstacle is large boulders under the soil that I always seem to find exactly where I want to plant something substantial. I should probably have my soil tested, but I'm assuming it is acidic because acid lovers thrive in my garden. The boulders and roots from existing established shrubs (and the locust) will be the biggest obstacle as far as location goes. I don't know exactly how much of an effect the locust has on fixing the nitrogen in the soil... how long it will fix the nitrogen after the tree is removed... and if it will be enough to impact foliage production over fruit production. I'm definitely new to all of this, but loving the learning process!

As for the stump, I hadn't thought about cutting it higher up. I wonder if I could do something creative with it... dig it out a bit and make it a planter? I'm an oddball in vegetarian world because I really don't like mushrooms. It's a texture thing :(
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I'm going to suggest you look here: https://ediblelandscaping.com/products/t ... sEuropean/

I can't stress enough the importance of selecting cultivars that is resistant to diseases prevalent in your area. I would love to grow Asian pears but so far, have not found one that I might try because would need TWO fireblight resistant varieties for cross pollination.

I have Magness and Seckel grown against the fence in espalier style. Last year was first year for Magness to bear fruits and they were delicious. This year, I think the late freeze blasted the blossoms and I'm seeing only ONE fruit on the lowest branch that was actually hidden by the tansy until I got around to trimming them down.

The neighbor cutting down their callery pear may also have affected pollination. I'm looking at Potomac pear now... I might get that one to replace the Pristine apple that died, though. I was going to get another apple for there.... but Arkansas Black apple espalier seems to have set fruits fine without the 2nd apple tree close by. There's an apple variety I've been wanting to get -- for apples. I need high resistance to both fireblight AND cedar-apple rust. Hmmm decisions, decisions.....

Oh -- there are some self-pollinating varieties of pears, too. Seckel is one of them ( I see a new variety that wasn't there before -- Honey Sweet). I needed to get that because Magness is a princess and can't be bothered to pollinate others, though it can be pollinated by both European and Asian varieties. :roll:

Haha, you got me wondering if I have more room for fruit trees.... :-()
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

That website is overwhelming because now I want them all ;)

I really like juicy sweet Bartlett pears so the more resistant varieties that are compared to Barletts in terms of flavor sound particularly good. At first I was thinking the Honeysweet since it can be grown alone. However, I'm sorry I missed your mention of the trees needing to be within 20-30 feet, I think that should be doable. Another option is a location along the fence further up the hill. I'd like to pretty much redo the entire garden lining the fence pictured on the left (hoping for next spring). Lining the fence with trees or tall shrubs would create a better sense of intimacy. I could probably do 2 pear trees up there and they'd be within 30 feet of the patio tree. I do have some space to work with... it's all just going to take time and $$$

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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

On the topic of rather buying a big tree; sometimes large trees in small containers don't do as well as their smaller counterparts int eh same size container, once transplanted. Either make sure it has a big root ball for it's height or rather just buy the smaller tree. In trials many of the smaller trees outperformed the bigger trees because they were not as damaged and stunted and could grow their roots to support a big tree much faster.

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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Interesting information evtubbergh! Thank you, I'll keep that in mind! I probably can't afford anything too big anyway, just want to start with something bigger than the tiny 2-3' tall trees I've always started with in the past.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I read through this in part hoping to find ideas for replacement trees here. My porch faces north, but front yard sunny. When I moved in there was a dogwood and a redbud in the front, and I was thrilled. Thrill wore off. The dogwoods here don't like full sun, got the cooties, and we took it out. The redbud is short lived, messy, from wind or birds sprouts show up everywhere and then some, got the cooties bad, coming out soon. I put in a crepe myrtle near the old dogwood. If crepe myrtles do in your area, I suggest it. When the redbud comes out, am looking at a couple of options for small specimen trees. Another crepe myrtle a possibility. I am also looking at the Japanese maple, bloodgood. This has dark leaves, can take the sun, mid sized. I also have a gingko in another part of the front, and you might look into that.

Interesting that my son & wife have a small brick bungalow, open very sunny front yard. He wants to put in something, budget major consideration. He came up with the same ideas just from noticing what does well and looks pretty in others yards.

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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

One thing you need to consider with a fruit bearing tree-you are going to have some fruit drop. Squirrels and racoons love to climb them and eat what they want, and drop what they don't. This attracts flies, gnats and sometimes wasps. Crepe Myrtle makes a great shade tree for near a patio (I have 2 by mine), but I don't know how far north they are hardy.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I'm in zone 6 and I think this is about the north end of the crepe myrtle range. My neighbor had a lovely onethat she had for at least the past 15, maybe 20 years. We had an extreme winter this past one and her crepe myrtle nearly died. It is now sending up new shoots from the roots, so not totally dead, but all the tree that used to exist is dead.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Hm funny crepe myrtles were mentioned because I logged on today to ask about fixing years of bad pruning on my crepe myrtle. That will be for another thread, but I actually have one off the patio. They do very well here! Mine is a smaller variety so a larger one is an option. I'm thinking the fruit trees will be better located at the top of the hill and really would like to give them a try so thanks applestar! I really don't know what I'm going to go with but I'll probably post another patio photo once the tree is removed. It might change the space a lot!
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

The job is done! They knocked down sections of the retaining wall in the process, but made their best attempt to put it back together. Also, most of my plants immediately around the tree were completely trampled and then raked out :( Hopefully this will give you a better idea of the space since the photo includes the fence.

Image
Charlie is surveying the damage.

Image

I went back and forth about where to have them cut the stump but just decided to have it cut down since it's a tight space between the stump and fence and made it tough to garden. The tree company recommended a japanese maple or japanese cherry tree. I still have no idea what I want. Hammamelis virginiana witch hazel is said to grow 15-30ft tall. Does anyone have experience with this tree?

Also, I watched the shade move in today and it gets sun from sunrise until about 1pm.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I have a witch hazel and it has never done real well, but it is in a place with very little direct sun and my soil is alkaline. It is another one that prefers at least slightly acid soil. It survives there, so it is not as acid loving as a lot of other shade natives, that just die on my hillside, but it doesn't thrive. It's only a shrub about 6' x 6' and doesn't flower very much. In your situation, it may do a lot better.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

One thing I saw mentioned was that they prefer moist soil. Since this location is very well draining, that has me a bit worried. I noticed one in a garden I pass by often that was absolutely stunning in full bloom... maybe March. It received full sun and was about the size I'd like for the space, however judging by the bloom time I'm guessing it was an Asian variety.

I've also considered not putting a tree there at all because it does get messy, but I love the intimate feeling it creates on the patio. What do you think?
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

How is the fireblight and cedar-apple rust situation in your area? If not terribly rampant, hawthorn might be another option. I bought and planted one before I was fully educated in native vs. non-native plant selections wildlife habitats, and I have the feeling mine is NOT native. It's NOT thorny and it doesn't fruit ( I suspect it's one of those "ornamental" cultivars :roll: ), but I originally wanted one because I read that hummingbirds like to nest in them.

Unfortunately, they have not considered my hawthorn to be worthy. :(
However, cardinals and robins have nested in the upper branches, and I have a birdhouse mounted on it that has been home to house wrens, chickadees, and house sparrows.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

You have a lovely patio. Thanks for sharing the photos. Since it seems you may be concerned with mess, I’d suggest the Japanese Maple. You’ll have limited mess to deal with, and they have lovely color (the Bloodgood variety specifically). The Japanese Maple is hardy, easy to prune and has leaves that I consider ornamental in shape. Most of all though, it’s very colorful—shades of red all the time! Good luck in making your choice. There are certainly lots of trees to choose from!

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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Ah I love both suggestions, although looking online it does sound like fire blight is a problem in our area. I particularly love the wildlife draw the hawthorn provides, although I'm not a fan of thorns.

I'd never considered a hawthorn before, but reading about them I'd really like to give one a try. My side garden where we're removing another tree next year might be a better location. I'd planned on putting a redbud there, but now I wonder if I can swap them. Someone mentioned redbuds being messy. How much mess are we talking about? I don't mind sweeping up some seed pods from the patio and pulling a few seedlings. Do they spread excessively? If so, I might be better off planting one near where we can mow around it.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

It takes a few years, but once a redbud is well established, it drops a lot of seed pods and pops up a lot of seedlings. Redbud seedlings are kind of a weed in my yard.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

In addition to the seed pods, I think the minus with redbud is the unexpectedly large heart shaped leaves.

What about halesia -- Carolina bells? White is the species but there are pink cultivars.

But ...you are in one zone warmer than I am plus the brick patio should provide a bit of protective micro climate -- Are you sure you don't want fig or Japanese persimmon? I'm just north of most winter hardy cultivars for those, though I'm giving Chicago Hardy a try against the Southwest facing house wall, and I'm hoping to get cuttings from a known hardy tree in an area actually to the north of me. I'm also growing an American-Russian hybrid persimmon -- but its fruits are not the nice big ones like a Japanese.
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

I'd never heard of halesia, but it sounds like it would be a really nice fit! There's also something about white flowers that is just to classic! My sister in law is going to take me to a tree farm near her house at some point, so I'll have to see if they have them!

I have a co-worker with a persimmon tree that has done very well here. However, they're highly toxic to dogs and my puppy thinks anything round is a ball to chew and play with. I'd just rather not have to worry, so anything I know is toxic that I think he'd be drawn to, I try to keep outside of the fence. I'll have to look into fig trees to! I love fresh figs in my salad :)
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

how big a tree are you looking for? I think the silverbells are beautiful, but I have never planted one, because they get too big for my yard.

Height: 30.00 to 40.00 feet

Spread: 20.00 to 35.00 feet
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pinksand
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Hm... that's a good point, it might be a bit big for the space. There was a black locust there so the space should accommodate that size, but the height of the locust made me nervous being on a slope with our house so close. Something ornamental might look more appropriate.

Now that you've mentioned the redbuds sprouting like weeds, I see them everywhere in my neighborhood! I've always loved their heart shaped leaves and pretty spring blooms, but now I'm hesitant to plant them anywhere!

I never thought deciding on a tree for this space would be so difficult!
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pinksand
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Re: Replacement Tree Suggestions

Sorry to bring this up again, I feel like my head is spinning with all these options.

Having grown up in Colorado, my absolute favorite tree is the aspen. I had one outside my bedroom window growing up and used to climb it and wiped the bark powder (bloom) on my face as a natural sunscreen when hiking. However, considering I NEVER see them here I'm assuming they don't do well here in MD. I also love Paper birch for that beautiful white peely bark and I'd absolutely love one off the patio, but I don't know that its need for moisture will be met, nor that the size would be appropriate. The peeling bark had me thinking though...

I happened to see a paperbark maple at a nursery the other day and was drawn to the bark for winter interest. Does anyone have any experience with this tree or have any other suggestions for trees with interesting bark? I guess the crepe myrtle would absolutely suit this as well. I just already have one nearby and would like something different.
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