British Columbia: Persian Walnut Tree for Shade and Free Nuts

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by robray, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. robray

    robray New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    We built a passive house near Langara College and need a shade tree in the south facing back yard. There isn't a lot of space back there with the laneway house, walkways and sump. I like the idea of getting some food from the tree, but if the walnut tree is a maintenance nightmare I can abandon the idea of food.

    The house definitely requires shade. It gets pretty warm in the summer. We are just heading in to fall now and the temperature in the house is nice so it would be good if the tree dropped its leaves earlier in fall.

    The tree must come from COV replacement tree https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/replacement-trees-instructions.pdf

    I have never had to pick a tree, but I think my priorities for the tree are:
    1. Shade
    2. Low maintenance ie. not aggressive roots
    3. Food
    4. Fall colour
    5. Native

    I really don't know much about choosing a tree so my priorities could be easily changed by knowledge and direction for a tree that would work in the space we have.

    Any ideas on choosing the tree?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,732
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Linked to schedule is rather ridiculous as it is peppered with kinds well known to be bad actors in developed settings while leaving out species it is desirable to plant in the local region such as - unless I missed it - Garry oak. (And is not alphabetized, for some reason). Speaking of which how sold are you on planting native only? Because - all the more so when you are restricted to those few that appear on the list - that doesn't leave you a selection that meets all of your criteria. Especially "food", which boils it down to fruit and nut trees only. And the associated maintenance.

    If you can get approval for Garry oak that would make a nice shade canopy in time, and is actually an orchard tree if you are willing to leach and eat acorns, as have First Nations peoples done in our area for probably thousands of years. In fact occurrences of Garry oak on the shores of Lake Washington for instance are interpreted as ancient orchard plantings.

    Of course, as with any other kind of tree that does not grow like a weed you will have to wait a long time for a newly planted Garry oak to produce a significant pool of shade - this is not going to be a project where you plant a tree and then starting from the first summer after planting half the yard is shaded.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  3. robray

    robray New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    I really appreciate you looking at the list of trees from the city. I have to stick to that list. The landscape department was one of the slower areas to give us the permits and approvals. I don't want to go off plan from the list in fear of adding delays to an already very lengthy project.

    Maybe my priorities really should be to pick the best deciduous tree off the COV list of trees. One option I saw out there was a free Katsura tree on craiglist. It is 13ft tall. I know it doesn't provide any food and I can live without that. It is also not native, but it is very pretty in the fall.

    Any thoughts on the Katsura being a good choice? I can provide photos of the lot plan or actual pictures of the lot if that helps.
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    4,825
    Likes Received:
    183
    Location:
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Whether the tree's flowers need to be cross-pollinated should also be taken into account.
    The list appears to be sorted by the type of tree:
    • Ash
    • Basswood
    • Beech
    • Birch
    • Catalpa
    • Cedar
    • ...
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,732
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Alphabetizing by common names depends on these being universal - which they aren't.

    I thought of Katsura tree on my own, although 13' is pretty big - how has the tree been handled, as in was it dug up and containerized some time ago? Long enough ago to look at it now and be able to tell if it is tolerating the digging in good condition? Kept well watered since? Also how are you going to get it to your site and properly installed? You'll probably need a reliable landscape contractor to handle this operation.
     
  6. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    i read the list

    and in the first category, I vote for Katsura --- I think for all the expense and effort - as well as the unknowns posted already here - go and price out a proper nursery-sourced tree with delivery and installation. I don't know how strict the Vancouver summer water use limits are. Prepare to water this tree for at least a couple of summers to get it established. This is a good time of year to put in a shrub or tree and the rain takes care of some of the watering for you.
     
  7. robray

    robray New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Here is a picture of the tree that I could save from being cut down. I would hire my landscaper to transplant it.

    katsura.jpg

    If it seems unlikely to survive the move I am happy to buy a tree.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Is this recent photo? I am surprised it is green foliage.

    I suppose the next step for you is to make a comparison List (not in order here)
    Option 1 - rescue tree
    Option 2 - nursery tree

    And compare prices for every step involved
    ———

    And Time frame —
    I am not an arbor expert - is this a good time to move a decid tree? I would assume this would not work well in the heat of summer so fall winter might be good time.

    Availability: How busy is your contractor and the tree digging truck / crane? Months or days etc?

    Do any major overhead wires need to be turned off or lifted etc ... time frame (ie put in request x days in advance) ... and costs $?

    ———

    Warranty? The rescue tree is probably your risk, as-is ... however a tree purchased fr reputable nursery and planted by professional might have some guarantee for the first year or so.
     
  9. robray

    robray New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Those are all very good points. I am going to contact the landscaper and see if he is in to rescuing the tree. I drove by it last night and it has turned a beautiful yellow colour. I would love to save it, but not if it is too risky and expensive.

    Thanks again for all your input. I will update on the decision.
     
  10. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    Sounds good

    On list B from the city - I am a big fan and always will be of Acer circinatum (vine maple ) which are common in the wild up in Cascades and Manning Park

    No I don’t dig them up fr wild - they are also common in the current naturescape enviro-wise landscape at schools and hospitals etc

    I have several reasons for being a fan ...
    1. Local natural looking
    2. Four season design appeal
    3. Small birds shelter and hop about in the twiggy branches
    4. Easy to self manage ... don’t need big annual groom and prune (i would cringe if you did!)
    5. Suit modern industrial style and cottage style of architecture
    6. Yes they shed leaves in fall but they are not big and slippery - they decompose in my flower bed
    7. I have white LED lights in them for winter solstice magic
    8. Easy to prune back any branches artistically ... or harvest a few for rustic flower arrangements
    9. They don’t seed freely
    10. No roots bulging out of the lawn or hardscape
    11. So far so good about buried utilities and tree roots
    13. I like to grow clematis (a non-vigorous one ) up thru the vine maple - and the little birds like the clematis seed fluff
    14. Mature branches are strong enuf to support a small size shade hanging basket in summer
    15. Once established - very little water
    16. I have never sprayed or treated for any disease or bug

    They are not everyone’s style because they are native rustic however I think they are worth a look in order to add some more texture in your new build environmental friendly garden
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    19,732
    Likes Received:
    176
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    OP wants something that will grow up to shade the house.
     
  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    msg to OP - if you have not already made your choice(s) ---
    note the point that RonB makes on this other thread - liquidambar tree - Oct 12/19 - and this tree is on the City Vancouver official list -

    it has sharp teasel-like fruit (I posted a photo on that thread today) - so while the color is gorgeous - maybe you don't want this on a lawn / sidewalk when the fruit fall off

    link below -

    fall foliage city and country, planted and wild
     

Share This Page