Trees: Plant this not that

Thu. May. 26, 2016

Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show:  Trees: Plant this not that

My favorite arborist, Faith Appelquist, owner of Treequality, recently shared her thoughts on the worst trees for planting. Tree selection is a big deal, they’re an investment in dollars and time.  There are lots of considerations, one of those is the mature size of the tree you select.

This might be a tad extreme!
This might be a tad extreme!

Oftentimes, homeowners just envision this little sapling becoming a 40 foot tree you planted 4 feet from the foundation of your home.  Okay, that said, let’s take a look at some offending trees and why we shouldn’t plant them.

American Elm 'Jefferson'
American Elm ‘Jefferson’

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.  Faith suggests planting the American Elm ‘Jefferson’ instead.

Siberian Elm
Siberian Elm








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.  Faith’s list of disease-resistant varieties include ‘Royal Raindrops’ which I have in my  front yard. Crabapple - Royal Raindrops 2015



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!  It grows fast, has gorgeous fall color and is weak in the crotch.  The first big storm could take it out.So far mine is standing.  Faith says, don’t take it out if it’s healthy, but don’t plant another!  Instead plant gingko biloba.

Gingko Biloba
Gingko Biloba
Maple - Autumn Blaze
Maple – Autumn Blaze






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