ATJaguarX
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TheLorax wrote:Would you be able to share how deep your lot is and where your home is situated on the lot. Also too, is your home a ranch or a two story/tri-level and do you have an attached garage or a detached garage.
1) My lot is 180 feet deep by 81 feet wide
2) House is about 10 feet on each side from property line, 30 feet from front side walk and 115 feet from back property line
3) 2 story, 3 car attached garage

ATJaguarX
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Prunus virginiana 'Shubert Select'

For the "tree" close to the house (10 feet off of corner), what about a Prunus virginiana (Shubert Select)?

ATJaguarX
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Another note about the 4 trees that I want to line the property in the back yard...

Since I have kids running around playing baseball, volleyball and any other sport that involves a ball, I would prefer a tree that isn't low branching.

So far, in my list of 44 trees, I have come up with the following that I like the best:

Prairie Fire Crabapple
White Flowering Dogwood
Tulip Poplar
Catalpa
Eastern Redbud
Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry
Fringe
Sawtooth Oak (seems it might have too low of a canopy though)
Sugar Maple
Japanese Zelkova

I really want one one good maple, one good oak and various others.

MaineDesigner
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You can always limb up almost any tree but you don't want to rush to do as it will adversely affect trunk development. Dogwoods, crabs, serviceberry, redbuds and fringe tree are all naturally low branching. In the case of the redbud and fringe tree especially a limbed up example is likely to be brutally ugly.

Tulip poplar become huge (over 100' tall eventually) and drop branches. Nice trees but I wouldn't put one any closer than 50' to a structure. IMO this is a tree exclusively for acre plus properties.

Zelkova has been promoted as an elm substitute by it is a sorry substitute. It rivals maples for bad crotch angles and congested growth. There is also some evidence that it is less disease and insect pest resistant than it was originally thought to be. I would take chance on one of the Dutch Elm Disease resistant elms long before I'd plant one of these.

Sugar maples are nice trees but finicky about growing conditions. The Lorax will frown but I think you ought to consider maples of a more manageable size like Acer triflorum or Acer pseudosieboldianum. The former I know to have zero chance of becoming invasive as seed viability is in the low single digit percent range.

I've never worked with Quercus acutissima. I have to refer you to The Lorax who doubtless knows more about this tree than I do but I've rarely met a bad oak (although I'm not overly fond of Quercus pallustris)

Praire Fire is a good crab apple cultivar but a little too visually noisy for my tastes.

What is it that attracts you to Catalpa speciosa over Gymnocladus dioicus?

TheLorax
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Quercus acutissima (Sawtooth Oak) is going to be banned in this state because it has become a cause for concern. I do have personal experience with this species. Many personal experiences with it actually. Could not suggest it.

I've not known Acer triflorum to be invasive however it is susceptible to verticillium wilt but even then I haven't seen much of that around here. Can't say as I've ever even seen an Acer pseudosieboldianum anywhere out in natural areas but I know like zip nadda nothing about the tree as I've not even tried to propagate this one. Should I try to propagate one for sport with a single digit germination rate? Got seed? That might be one to play with. I so love to bang my head against the wall every once in a while.

Chionanthus virginicus (White Fringetree) would be an excellent choice.

I personally like Prunus virginiana. Not all that familiar with the 'Shubert Select' but presume it's a chip off the old block and will sucker. Which isn't a problem in the right location. You could end up with five plants for the price of one.

I personally love the White Flowered Dogwood... Cornus alternifolia. The shapes of those are marvelous.

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry is nothing more than a fancy Amelanchier arborea x A. laevis. Nice enough. I'd try one here.

I always love an Eastern Redbud! Get two! No get three ;)

The thing I don't particularly care for with many crabapples is those fruits that don't seem to be desirable to critters until everything palatable is stripped from other trees and shrubs. Those things are like stepping on marbles. Ouch. Barring that, 'Praire Fire' is a very loud tree color wise. It can be somewhat overpowering but I know people who love it!

I'll still stand behind a DED resistant Elm. Love em love em love em! Want more more more!

ATJaguarX
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Thanks for the tips! I'm going to have to look up all these scientific names. :wink:

TheLorax
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Well then, we're even. I'm always stuck looking up the common names. There are so darn many different common names I get confused and frustrated. Figure if I always use both I will lessen somebody else's stress level.

Tip- cut and paste the scientific name into some search engine and then click on images and see if you even like the looks of the suggested plant before you start getting into more technical information. Everybody has different tastes and some trees may make you want to stick your finger down your throat so no point in wasting any more time on the ones that make you scratch your head wondering why it was even suggested.

MaineDesigner
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I'm a complete dunce when it comes to common names. Early in my career it was drummed into me that we never use common names and occasionally I find myself scratching my head trying to figure out what plant the client is referring to. White Flowered Dogwood was completely new to me, I've always heard them called Pagoda Dogwoods when common names are used.

Many understory trees are relatively short lived. This would include Cornus alternifolia (wonderful tree but it really hates dry conditions), Cercis canadensis (ditto) and to a a slightly lesser extent Amelanchiers and Chionanthus. I very rarely see a Redbud or a Pagoda Dogwood much more than 20 to 30 years old. Under ideal circumstances they can get much older but the really old specimens are more the exception than the rule. Amelanchiers usually did very well in Minnesota and Wisconsin but here in Northern New England where they are much more common in the wild they suffer severely from foliage diseases and borers. 'Autumn Brilliance' is a very nice selection if your local disease and insect pressures are low. If you are really concerned about low branching get a single trunked specimen rather than a clump. That would go for all the trees although I've never seen Chionanthus in anything other than clump/multi-trunked form.

ATJaguarX
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MaineDesigner wrote:Many understory trees are relatively short lived.
What... do they just die and you have dig them up and start over?
MaineDesigner wrote:That would go for all the trees although I've never seen Chionanthus in anything other than clump/multi-trunked form.
I went to see what this tree looked like. Isn't this a single trunk?

[url]https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/100658/[/url]
TheLorax wrote:Tip- cut and paste the scientific name into some search engine and then click on images
You've read my mind... this is what I've been doing since I do not know the scientific names of any of the trees that have been discussed.

MaineDesigner
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Yes, many understory trees subscribe to the "live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" model. Canker is one common cause of death but not the only one.

The tree you linked to, Chionanthus retusus, is the Asian species which is only fully hardy into Zone 6. The Lorax and I were referring to the native North American Fringe Tree, Chionanthus virginicus, which is hardy into Zone 4, possibly even Zone 3. The photos on your link posted by "ViburnumValley" are closer to the form I usually see.

TheLorax
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This is what mine look like-
https://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/dbpages/images/309a.jpg

The American Fringetree can withstand our zone easily. The Asian can't.

Both use the common name fringe tree which is very confusing since they sell the Asian one around here far more than they sell the American one, why I don't know but they do. Have a mild winter with lots of snow cover and the Asian plant will make it. Have one normal winter and they're toast and people do ultimately end up watching them die before removing them. I've seen parts of the Asian fringe trees bloom with over half that never leafs out. Some people do get them to live if they're in Southern Illinois or if they have a microclimate on their property but you don't have a microclimate on your property.

Native Fringe Tree- Chionanthus virginicus
Asian Fringe Tree- Chionanthus retusus
South American Fringe Tree- Chionanthus pubescens (makes a great patio plant during the summer but you have to bring it in or it's deader than a doornail after one frost.

And to add insult to injury:
Another Asian Fringe Tree that isn't hardy in this area- Chionanthus pygmaeus

The common name of all of these different plants is... Fringetree.

And they sell all kinds of very attractive cultivars at nurseries around us and they frequently don't add in the full scientific name when selling the trees so you see a lot of tags like this that are nothing more than the Asian Fringe Tree "in cognito"-
'Serrulatus' Fringe Tree
Taiwan Fringe Tree
'China Snow' Fringe Tree or Chionanthus 'China Snow'
White Lace Fringe Tree or Chionanthus 'White Lace'

I wish we had some truth in selling laws on the books regarding plants but seems as if every time some public interest group raises the issue the nursery industry shoots it down faster than you can sing the ABC's.

If you are going to be plant shopping in the near future, take the scientific names of the plants you want to buy with you so that you don't end up being separated from your money by accident. If in doubt, ask them what it is exactly that they are selling you. That generally flushes out the ones that will die on you. If they don't know what they're selling you or claim to not know, don't buy it or ask them to order the one you want.

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applestar
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This is a great thread and worth bumping in any case. I was referring to it to get some ideas about planting distances. But I'm still a little confused.:?

I have a volunteer Acer rubrum that grew up next to a tiny bog swale I made this year -- actually this seedling was there already and I had to accommodate it or the swale would've been a bit bigger. Anyway, it's a very healthy looking whip, about 3 ft tall. But it was about 6' from the house so I decided to dig it up after a good soaking rain we had yesterday. I stuck it in a big wide/shallow black tub that a Kalmia came in -- the root ball was surprisingly shallow... I hope I didn't cut off too much roots if it was growing wider -- dug about a 15" circle.

I want to plant it in the front yard downslope from where I planted some apples for espalier 7" inside of the fence so there will be moisture even during the drought. And I'll dig a swale for it upslope of where I'll plant. So my question is, how much distance away from the fence should I give it? It's so hard to judge when the Maple is just a little ol' whip, but I don't want it to shade or root-compete with the apples.
I also plan to plant a Paw Paw tree on the Front yard side of the fence, although the Paw Paw can stand light shade. So I guess the proper question is how far from the Paw Paw?

Today, I'd positioned it about 14' away (this is why I put it in a tub -- so I can move it around while I try to figure out where to put it) but that doesn't seem enough after reading this:
MaineDesigner wrote:10' from the house is awfully close for most trees, even small ones. I think if you were my client and you really wanted a tree in that location I'd be trying to steer you towards Viburnum prunifolium in a single trunk, tree form (normally it is a big, multi-trunked shrub but single trunk specimens usually aren't hard to find). This makes a really lovely small (15' tall by 8' to 12' wide) tree.
[url]https://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/v/vibpru/vibpru1.html[/url]
(click on the thumbnails on the left and they enlarge on the main screen - the initial photos when the page opens are just placeholders, not the Viburnum)

Given your sandy soils (I'm trusting the builder/contractor - often a mistake) I would really encourage you to plant an oak if you want big shade tree, but give it room. For most oaks (and large shade trees in general) I like the tree to be planted a minimum of 40' from the house and 50' - 70' from most other trees.
Where it is positioned now, it's about 1/3 of the distance from the fence to the sidewalk (I think the fence is about 42' from the sidewalk). I don't want it close enough to the sidewalk for the roots to affect it, but otherwise, I think I have enough room. I just didn't want to put it too far away or the water from the Apple tree watering won't reach it. Hm. I'd better make sure it's at least 40' from the NEIGHBOR's house. Any other thoughts? :?:

Ed: Forgot to mention the location for the Acer is directly NORTH of the fence.

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