Shade tree for smaller backyard

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Curtis Riess, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    I would like to plant a deciduous tree in our backyard for shade. The site would be about 18 feet from the house so the tree can not have an invasive root system. I was considering a small to medium size tree ( less than 40 feet max. height ), the soil is partly clay and the tree must be able to withstand wet soil during the winter months here in Victoria,BC. Any ideas?
     
  2. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    Nyssa sylvatica grow well in your area? Around here the commom name is black gum.

    What has me thinking aboit it is:

    Medium growth rate

    Tolerates damp soil (if you are in a warm SWAMP go with nyssa aquatica)

    polite, little fruit or flower mess, medium to small leaves.

    Excellent fall color.

    Negatives:
    Medium growth rate not fast.
    Difficult to transplant. Spring seems best for me.
     
  3. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thank you for the recommendation, I don't know much about the Black Gum tree so I will research it and see if it would be a good fit. Cheers
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Acer circinatum.
     
  5. roneill

    roneill Active Member 10 Years

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    Cornus kousa
     
  6. ryansenechal

    ryansenechal Active Member

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    Nyssa gets quite large. Beware the medium growth category, as more often than not they find their way into the medium-large subcategory.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Spreading habit of typical Kousa could fill a back yard in time. One at Seattle's Laurelhurst playfield had an average crown spread exceeding 48' several years ago.
     
  8. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thanks for the tree size information, I have found that tree size numbers quite often vary from website to website. It appears that the black gum and kousa trees are both too big for me. One tree on my short list is the Discovery Elm but I am having trouble finding a seller here on Vancouver Island. Thanks again everyone and the hunt continues, Curtis.
     
  9. MarkVIIIMarc

    MarkVIIIMarc Active Member

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    Curtis, size in a location will vary as much as listed size on websites. Look at the mighty sequoias. In suburban heat island yards they are not as large as on estates or in the wild where they can dominate.

    Spelling eludes me when typing on the cell.....

    Kanzan cherry grow in your location? To me it is a dainty ornamental.

    Ron B mentioned an Acer. How about Acer gresium (paperbark maple). MOBOT has an excellent collection in their Japanese garden. Got me to plant one.
     
  10. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, the Cherry you mentioned will grow here but I am not too keen on them. The Paperbark Maple is an interesting suggestion, I will research that one next. Cheers, Curtis.
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Doesn't the Acer circinatum you recommend also have a broad, low shrubby shape? Not something I'd think of as good for having a clear stem giving shade underneath it.

    If the request was over here, I'd recommend Silver Birch - slightly taller than wanted eventually, but doesn't take up much lateral space, and has a notably low risk factor for root problems close to foundations. But in BC, it's an invasive alien, so probably not a good idea.

    Maybe one of the rowans would be good, something like Sorbus sargentiana (Sargent's Rowan) or Sorbus glabriuscula (White-berried Rowan; often mislabelled as S. hupehensis).
     
  12. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    You are right about the acer circinatum, they grow wild around here and I always thought of them more as a shrub than tree. I had thought about a river or white birch as I find the bark and yellow fall colour quite striking. I am having some second thoughts because I believe these North American Birches have a aggressive root sysyem. I do not know anything about the Rowans so I will look into them. Thanks for the suggestion, cheers Curtis.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The typical habit of local open-grown vine maples is a vase with elevated branches and foliage, quite suitable for a variety of landscape situations here - for which this tree is much used. It is even grown to form silhouettes against buildings, in comparatively narrow spaces.

    The dogwood also does not like our dry summers. The locally adapted maple responds to locations that develop dry soil at this time of the year by coloring early. The dogwood rolls up and looks quite distressed.

    In this climate birches are about the epitome of trees not to plant in places where a small, tidy, not extra messy or dominating specimen is desired. Silver birch is even an invasive weed in this region.
     
  14. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    How about a persimmon such as Diospyros Lotus? According to Western Garden "has a handsome branch pattern, and is one of the best fruit trees for ornamental use; makes a good small shade tree..."
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  16. ryansenechal

    ryansenechal Active Member

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    With all of those excellent suggestions now on the table, depending on the size stock you intend on sourcing, your space concerns are probably years away on a great variety of species that are readily available in the small to medium category. With a little bit of maintenance you can have your cake and eat it too I might add.
     
  17. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    I just looked up the Rowan, I did not realize it is a Mountain Ash. My neighbour has one across the fence so I will pass on it. I will look up the Persimmon now. I wonder if a Quaking Aspen would be a good fit?
     
  18. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Rowans (Sorbus) are not the same as ashes (Fraxinus, which are mostly much larger trees), though the name ash has sometimes been misapplied to rowans (including in some texts that ought to know better).

    Absolutely don't get an aspen, very invasive roots! Not safe to plant within 40 metres of buildings on clay soils.

    Persimmons don't do well in PNW climates, they survive, but don't thrive (they need a lot more summer heat, June to August over 30°C, to do well).
     
  19. robyn

    robyn Active Member 10 Years

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    Acer griseum - Paper bark maple - if your soil does not drain at all in the winter avoid, but if just get lots of rain and is average Victoria soil it should be fine. Fantastic fall colour.
     
  20. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Well... I have 15 persimmon trees, 11 of them Asian varieties (on kaki and lotus rootstocks). They all grow well (3-4 years from bare root thus far), and put on about a foot- foot and a half of new growth each season. Neighbour has a 20+ year old Jiro, it's big and healthy ( though often chlorotic...) but doesn't ripen its fruit...not that one should expect a Jiro to do so up here. Best bets for ripening fruit in BC woul be Izu or Nishimura Wase...Izu would be a good choice for you: fairly compact, self-fertile, non- astringent and early ripening.

    What about Morus nigra, black mulberry?
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    More recent page from same source, with links to pages with pictures of each.

    We should plant more trees that need little or no watering once established

    http://www.arthurleej.com/drytrees.html
     
  22. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    I have two 6 year old black mulberry trees. They are very attractive trees as well. Their fruit may be a problem as they can stain decks, concrete etc. That is if the owners and the birds don't eat them all first.
     
  23. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    I have one of these in my collection as well. Very attractive tree with peeling birch-like bark. Mine grows in a sandy area and has never complained of me not watering it in the summer droughts. Turns bright red in the fall, which contrasts nicely with the evergreens behind it.
     
  24. rhodogal

    rhodogal Active Member

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    Russell Nursery on Wain Rd in North Saanich has an excellent selection of trees and a very knowledgable staff.
     
  25. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Black fruited Morus alba are being mistaken for M. nigra part of the time. The latter produces dull green, hairy leaves rather than shiny green smooth ones, and is much rarer, less hardy.
     

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