Need tree suggestion advice

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by rinzana, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hello,
    My family and I are building a new deck in our yard. However we currently have a 50 foot maple, that we planned to have the deck wrapping around the tree. The plans have been made and the town issued us a building permit. While excavating the 22 holes for the footings, I have to remove most of the root structure for the existing tree. We therefore, for safety sake, decided to remove the tree. All of the roots for the tree are pretty much exposed on the top of the soil, and the kids keep tripping on them while playing in the yard, this is why we figured we could cover the ground with the deck and still retain the tree for shade.
    I am now looking for a replacement tree to occupy the same spot that the old tree resided in. My problems are, the deck will be 30 inches off the ground, figuring in another 5-6 foot for the average human. The lowest branch of the new tree has to be a rough 8 foot off the ground. I would prefer a tree that does not drop any "fruit" for fear of it staining the deck. We would like a flowering ornamental tree, but I hear they are short lived. We want the tree to accent the deck, the look of the yard and more importantly to provide shade for the deck. I would also prefer the tree to not grow any larger then 40 foot and to not have that large of a spread as the tree will be about 13 foot away from the house. I live in southern New Jersey which is considered to be in zone 7.
    I know what I am asking for is an impossobility, but maybe someone out there has a suggestion.
    Thank You,
    Rich Inzana
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    It's not that it's impossible, it's that you so blithely killed the first tree.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    At this point you would have to buy a large specimen trained with a high canopy for street tree use to get the total package you are asking for. There are many comparatively tidy kinds that are suitable for gardens and patios, likewise production of flowers does not automatically translate to lack of longevity. You may need to engage a landscape contractor who can locate a large specimen, get it there and into the hole in the deck. If there is a retail big tree outlet nearby you may be able to find a suitable specimen yourself but that still leaves the problem of getting it to your place and over the deck.
     
  4. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    I don't think this deserves a reply from me!
    Thank You,
    Rich Inzana
     
  5. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Thanks Ron,
    The deck is not currently built yet. I want to get the tree in place first. In fact I may put off installing the deck until the new tree takes off, maybe late next year so it has a year to take root. I do understand,that I will be looking for a 6-8 inch tree about 20 foot in height to replace the one I have. What I am in need of would be the names of a few trees that would fit my criteria, so I can research the specimens and then we can decide to plant to species that would best suit our needs. I did get the idea of the "fruit" tree baing short lived through a professional tree contractor over the phone. He is no where near where I live, so going to his offices is not an option.
    Thanks Again,
    Rich Inzana
     
  6. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    Wow Rich! This is a weird post for me to read as we have exactly the same situation and the decking is being delivered this morning. However, we were able to leave the mature maple and plan to build around it as there is already an old concrete slab in place. We are placing concrete footings that hold a 4x4 on top. Would you be able to post a picture of the site? Sorry to hear about your tree but you still have so many options available depending on your needs. A pic would help. Consider...are you seeking shade in the summer, a wind break, would you appreciate fall winter color, do you want light in the winter? Just some things to think about. Good Luck Deb:)
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Likely the main filter will be finding a tree the desired size. No point in researching multiple possible candidates when perhaps none of them are available in your area in the desired size. Best use of time would be checking with potential sources, big tree outlets or contractors, and then choosing from what is available.

    If somebody told you flowering/fruit trees are short-lived they were probably thinking of certain kinds susceptible to destructive pests or diseases that may kill them in some areas. Proclaiming all flowering/fruit trees short-lived is painting with too broad a brush, I would wonder what other narrow ideas that operator had after that, if they were using modern methods in their handling of plants.
     
  8. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hi Deb,
    You aren't kidding when you said Wow. We also have a concrete patio that is currently between the house foundation and the tree. The roots of the tree have slanted the concrete slab, so now rain water is running down the foundation and puddling in the basement. The slab does not run the entire length of the house, so caulking the joint just caused the water to puddle to the point of where is covers the slab until it runs out of concrete and then runs into the dirt and into the basement. We are hoping the new deck will alleviate the water problem as well. I will try to take a picture over the weekend and upload it, but at this point it is not a pretty site.
    Rich
     
  9. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hello Ron,
    I don't have the guy's name but he was from Prestige Trees, they have a web site. I believe he was giving a general overview of the types of trees, I did mention a flowering pear and he said they are the shortest lived, and would definately not reccomend a pear. He also said a dogwood would branch out too low. He suggested a Zelkova, Japanese - Zelkova serrata. But that is way too wide spreading and will grow way too big. So I figured I would get some other experts involved.
    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  10. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    Zelkova might be a good choice. You can get a variety called 'Musashino' that gets 40-45 feet tall. It is upright and vase shaped and is good for "narrow" areas. Some other Zelkova serrata can get up to 60-70 feet so you would need to make sure to get an appropriate variety.
     
  11. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hi Dixie,
    I checked out this tree and I feel that it is too columnar, not round enought for our purposes. Prestiege also suggested we look into a Zelkova.
    Thank You,
    Rich
     
  12. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hello All,
    The wife and I went tree shopping over the weekend. My wife fell in love with a Purple Plum which the nursery man said would not be available until the spring. I did some research this morning, to find out that the tree only lives for 20 years, he knew we were planning on building a deck around the tree, I can't believe he suggested we plant a tree that has a 20 year life expentancy.
    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  13. Dixie

    Dixie Active Member

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    it sounds like you need a "vase" shaped tree. what about the newer elm varieties that are dutch elm disease resistant like Ulmus 'Frontier' with a pyramidal crown and upright branching. it gets 40-50 tall or Ulmus wilsoniana 'Prospector' that is more vase shaped and get only 40 feet tall. These should be availabe in large sizes too.
     
  14. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hello,
    Adding to the saga, I am now researching the only tree that may be a possobility for us to plant. A pear tree, of course I also heard this is a short lived variety, but I cannot find anything on the Internet that states that in writing. They are apparently very succiptible to slitting, so I have chosen either the Chanticleer or Redspire varities. Does anyone have a ny comments on either of these two varities?
    Thank You,
    Rich
     
  15. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    How did you get to a fruit tree, which you didn't want because it would stain the deck, being the only tree that is a possibility? If you want purple, there are other purple trees, like a beech... but in truth, I think all trees make some sort of mess, and if the fruit doesn't stain the deck, the leaves or nuts or whatever may do so instead.

    Regarding the slab, if your deck is like most others the rain will fall through it onto the slab and the water penetration problem at the house wall will continue. Sounds to me like the slab has to be taken up, or at least broken up.
     
  16. rinzana

    rinzana Member

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    Hi Karin,
    We are looking for a ornamental type of tree, one that has a rounded shape and probably flowering. The pear does have a fruit, but I am told they are very hard and about 1/2 in diameter. The guy at the nursery mentioned that they usually don't fall, which I found hard to believe. The Beech also drops a nut in a spiky pod, probably more painful when you get hit in the head with one.
    The european beech is a beautiful tree, but with a 30-40 foot spread, we will not have the distance from the house, for a tree that size to "look right". I would have to prune most of the one side off the tree.
    The deck will be covering the existing slab, which I plan to add the left over dirt from the footings to "slope" the ground away from the house. Hopefully that will solve the water seepage problem.
    Thanks,
    Rich
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2006
  17. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well if you're happy with the tree you've found then of course the original question doesn't matter so much... but regarding the slab again, I think I would do a lot more than "hope" before I built a deck above that slab. If you are wrong, you'll have to either work under the deck to remove the slab, or remove the deck to remove the slab. I wouldn't want to risk either one, and the risk seems pretty high to me that the slope of the slab will continue to determine the direction of water flow no matter how much dirt is on top of it or how the surface slopes - especially if rain can get through the deck. You might want to get an engineering opinion. Recognizing that it's up to you of course what risks you want to take and how much the seepage bothers you; i'ts just my 2 cents.

    No need to quote each person's comments in your reply, by the way. Since you're so good about responding regularly throughout the thread, it reads easily enough if you just post your remarks. I must say it is really nice when the original poster is clearly still present and paying attention as the responses accumulate.
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    There continues to be a problem here with debatable information being given at your end (and here on this thread) and then being acted upon, moving you quite possibly in entirely the wrong direction. Trees are not as predictable and limited as would be suggested by what you are reporting being told here. Purpleleaf plums do not all live only 20 years and then die, as though monocarpic (dying after maturing and flowering, like a century plant). And the dimensions reported for the other trees here are much too small, especially only 30-40 ft. wide for a beech.

    http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~Linda Chalker-Scott/Horticultural Myths_files/Myths/Tree heights.pdf

    You will have to do more of your own research to come up with a tree that is just right. After becoming more familiar with suitable trees yourself you will have a better idea of what to make of what you are told by others.
     
  19. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    Rich, good luck with your dilemma. I hope all goes well for you. I'm sure you can make up your own mind, but it is nice when people can offer suggestions to get you thinking yes? At least I wont be slamming others on this site as so many seem to do here. It's very rude and getting very old fast. Not to mention very egotistical. Deb
     
  20. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Informing of the reality behind a pursuit is helpful and solicitous, not egotistical. Better informed people get better results. The uncaring approach would be to quietly let someone make possible blunders without trying to give them a heads up.

    People often don't like what their doctors tell them either.
     
  21. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    This is the kind of thing I'm talking about. How helpful is that comment Rima? The tree is cut down already...How about thinking of what RICH wants in his landscape. There is a saying out there....a good one!...."There is more than one way to skin a cat" I think that the more suggestions the better. People shouldn't be afraid to post their suggestions on this site. Lots of people have different experiences in dealing with things and we should investigate all possibilities and choose what works for us. I have belonged to this site for the past 4-5 days and I can't beleive how negative and god-like some people are with their replies.. all I'm asking for folks is a little more supportiveness and kindness. Lets learn for each other! Sincerely Deb.
     
  22. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    and yes.....you academics can still learn something..we learn till the day we die.
     
  23. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I haven't noticed anyone here mentioning an association with an academy--at least not in the body of the thread (I seldom read user profiles).

    The warnings about the slab sound pretty "solid" to me, I would definitely not mess with something like that myself. Needs to be addressed by somebody who knows what is what with such things before being written off. Then the deck and tree combo can be dealt with. If the purpleleaf plum was what struck a chord and stocked in the right size locally then that is the avenue that should be investigated further. There are many kinds, if one kind sounds like a gamble maybe another would do. For instance, two basic types are dominant, the purpleleaf cherry plums like 'Thundercloud' and 'Krauter's Vesuvius', and the purpleleaf American plum hybrids ('Newport' and Mt St Helens). The latter type may have a suitability for your conditions that far exceeds the former. In addition to other kinds of purpleleaf trees that are completely unrelated (beeches, maples...) there are also other purpleleaf Prunus besides plums, including purpleleaf bird cherries (P. padus cultivars) and purpleleaf chokecherries (P. virginiana cultivars). Forms of the latter, such as P. virginiana 'Canada Red' might do quite well in your area. It is a North American native species growing wild in the East.
     
  24. Laurie

    Laurie Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for seeking our assistance, Rich. We understand that you have a lot of different things that you are working on right now and that it can get stressful, but it is critical that you prioritize the issue of runoff to the basement so as not to have to work on the more stressful issues of possible mold and structural damage, as well as any garden redesign to accomplish it. The volunteer, non-UBC-affiliated members participating on the forums have varying expertise and perhaps can give you some alternative ideas for what you are trying to achieve with the concrete patio, deck, and tree when they see those photographs. Alternatively, you could start a new thread with your photos with a link to this thread under Garden Design, where members particularly interested and experienced in that area check in. Please don't hesitate to ask.
    Regarding the pear trees, here is a link to an article on a study in New Jersey of five cultivars, including the two named above. Note that the angle of branching is an issue for storm damage, and the shape is quite narrow. I was wondering if others could comment on whether Pyrus and Prunus typically have an issue with aphids, which would lead to honeydew, a sticky substance that could drip onto the deck.
    It sounds as if you had the maple and stump removed, but not the roots? It is my understanding that it is unusual for maples to have such destructive roots. A maple, even a purple-leaved cultivar if your wife would prefer, could work for you again. With age the leaf litter would be great in the fall just as it was before, but I wouldn’t consider it otherwise messy for the deck. As far as the purple-leaved plums, pears, and cherries, note that they looking stunning with a climbing or rambling white rose or clematis growing through them.
    It seems that your wife would like a beautiful tree, so another idea to consider is Cercidiphyllum japonicum – Katsura, which is hardy to Zone 5, can be trained to a single trunk with branches above 6’ high (as is ours outside of our front door), grows fairly quickly, and does not have any common problems. There are photographs of it under Shade Trees at www.prestigetrees.com, so you could probably take a look at it at their nursery. There is an advantage to shopping this time of year because the autumn colors vary for this species (as they do for other species mentioned) from yellow to apricot to coral, with even an occasional mauve tinge to some of the leaves, and you could choose just the color you prefer.
    You can use some of the various university (e.g. Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon) websites to check on some of the trees mentioned. At Illinois’s treefinder page, I checked the boxes for patio, specimen, shade, and selected medium-sized and Zone 5. I was a bit surprised at the two suggestions, but thought that I would share the Koelreuteria paniculata suggestion for comment (Halesia is too small).
     
  25. Debra Dunaway

    Debra Dunaway Active Member

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    Now that's more like it. Thank-you.
     

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