Trees – Plant this not that

Tue. May. 21, 2019

Click below to listen to my  2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Trees – Plant this not that

My favorite arborist, Faith Appelquist of Treequality, shared her thoughts on the worst trees for planting. Tree selection is a big deal, they’re an investment in dollars and time.  

My hackberry

There are lots of considerations, one of those is the mature size of the tree you select. Oftentimes, homeowners don’t see the 4 ft. sapling they planted 4 feet from the foundation growing to 40 feet tall! That’s NOT a good thing.

This might be a tad extreme!

So, plant for mature size. Now let’s take a look at some offending trees and why we shouldn’t plant them.  The Siberian Elm is, likely, one of the worst to plant in North America. People choose it because it’s a fast grower, it can exceed 50 feet in 20 to 30 years. That also means it’s branches are weak leaving messy, broken appendages.

Siberian Elm

Faith suggests the Jefferson American Elm.

American Elm ‘Jefferson’ – a new cultivar bred to be resistant to dutch elm disease

Flowering crabapples are such a welcome site until July.  While their flowers, foliage and fruit are lovely, the diseases these beauties are prone to make it one to watch out for. I have a list of disease-resistant varieties that will make you much happier.

Crabapple ‘Royal Raindrops’ 2019 at 5 years old

One of those is ‘Royal Raindrops’ which I have in my front yard. 

Faith’s list of best crabapple choices:

  • Adirondack 
  • Beverly 
  • Calocarpa 
  • Dolgo
  • Harvest Gold
  • Lancelot
  • Molten Lava
  • Prairifire 
  • Professor Sprenger 
  • Royal Raindrops 
  • Tina
  • Sugar Tyme

Another tree that I planted many years ago, ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple, Faith calls ‘Autumn Disaster’.  Ouch!

Maple – Autumn Blaze taken in 2009. It’s a LOT bigger now with a crack in it’s crotch…

It grows fast, has gorgeous fall color and is weak in the crotch. The first big storm could take it out. 

Faith says, don’t take it out if it’s healthy, but don’t plant another! Instead plant gingko biloba.

Gingko Biloba

And as for Silver Maple… they get weak too.

Silver maple 4-11-19 – This is one of the trees we tapped in 2008