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Old 11-08-2019, 01:36 PM   #1
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I'll be planting trees...


Background: close to 5 years ago, we had a 120 year old magnolia in our (small) backyard, it had a 60' canopy. Beautiful. Unfortunately, it's time came. Between lightning strikes and termite damage over the decades, huge limbs began to fall. So we had it removed. The pros of the removal are that Mags are extremely messy, twice a year.


My Climate Hardiness Zone is 9a.

The stump was ground. We have added soil over the years to accommodate the sinkage. Areas of the yard around where the tree trunk was are still a bit spongy, but for the most part have come back. Lots of weeds, too.

We also had a Tallow tree removed in the front a few months ago (it was between the sidewalk and the street...I will replant between the sidewalk and the house).

The space in which I can plant a tree is about 25'x25'. The front yard section is 23' (btwn sidewalk and house) by 28' wide.


Although I'd really like a tree that will keep it's leaves most winters, I haven't found one that I like (and is appropriately sized). I am also conscious of the root system (foundation & plumbing), being so close to the house. I'm pondering Crepe Myrtles but am willing to hear suggestions.

My goals:


  • For both front and back, I would like a tree that's not overly large, but will create a nice 'canopy'.
  • For the spaces in question, is it unrealistic to plant two Crepe Myrtles in both the front and the back (total of 4)?
  • I know there are many varieties of Crepe Myrtle. Any ideas on which variety I should look at?
  • Given the dimensions of the yard, how close can these be planted together.


Am I missing anything?


Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:35 AM   #2
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


I had some Ailanthus altissima...Tree-of-Heaven, growing in Northern CA years ago. Not evergreen but.....I liked them as they leafed out very late in spring and kept their leafs until late fall. They grow fast and not fussy about soils. Female trees preferred.
They sucker easily if you nick the roots. Just a thought.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob... View Post
Background: close to 5 years ago, we had a 120 year old magnolia in our (small) backyard, it had a 60' canopy. Beautiful. Unfortunately, it's time came. Between lightning strikes and termite damage over the decades, huge limbs began to fall. So we had it removed. The pros of the removal are that Mags are extremely messy, twice a year.


My Climate Hardiness Zone is 9a.

The stump was ground. We have added soil over the years to accommodate the sinkage. Areas of the yard around where the tree trunk was are still a bit spongy, but for the most part have come back. Lots of weeds, too.

We also had a Tallow tree removed in the front a few months ago (it was between the sidewalk and the street...I will replant between the sidewalk and the house).

The space in which I can plant a tree is about 25'x25'. The front yard section is 23' (btwn sidewalk and house) by 28' wide.


Although I'd really like a tree that will keep it's leaves most winters, I haven't found one that I like (and is appropriately sized). I am also conscious of the root system (foundation & plumbing), being so close to the house. I'm pondering Crepe Myrtles but am willing to hear suggestions.

My goals:


  • For both front and back, I would like a tree that's not overly large, but will create a nice 'canopy'.
  • For the spaces in question, is it unrealistic to plant two Crepe Myrtles in both the front and the back (total of 4)?
  • I know there are many varieties of Crepe Myrtle. Any ideas on which variety I should look at?
  • Given the dimensions of the yard, how close can these be planted together.


Am I missing anything?


Thanks for any help.
Nice to meet you!

Though I'm in California now, I used to live in Ohio, which is more similar than different from your present climate.

I used to run a garden shop, and a lot of what I did was help people get pretty plants that they would be, and stay, happy with.

A few thoughts:

Where are you? Just city/county is okay. I ask that because some parts of USDA Zone 9a are close to the ocean, and thus have possible problems with hurricanes, while others are more in the mountains. That might make a difference.

Maybe post some general pictures of the area you want to plant in? It's always nice to consider the neighbors, too. Sometimes you can each give your gardens a boost.

Crape myrtles are widely used here in California; I've heard they can be a bit aggressive in the U.S. Southeast. All that said, they're pretty as can be and there are a number of varieties.

Another tree I've seen is Albizzia julibrissin, the "Mimosa" tree, which has feathery leaves and pink fuzzy-balls for flowers. They're tough as nails, though some complain they can seed aggressively.

If I make a suggestion, and a local person near you says it's a bad idea, do as they say (and tell me so I'll know).

Hope we can help make your garden beautiful.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:11 PM   #4
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Thanks Cedrus and DoomsDave for your comments. I live in southeast LA, an hour's drive from the Gulf Coast. I don't have any photos to post ATM. As to the neighbors, they're cooperative. They miss the magnolia, as do I (I don't miss the mess, though). They'll be OK with whatever I decide, but I'll run it past them anyway.


And yes, Crepe Myrtles are everywhere here, in myriad variety. I suppose medium to small variant is what I need. I can also get them from a nursery partly grown (they'll come dig the hole and plant).


But I wonder of there's a better choice? CMs lose their leaves pretty fast once temps drop, but they bloom through much of the summer.



I've looked at the trees y'all mention. Unfortunately, they're considered invasive, which I hope to avoid.



I'm not looking for a 'garden', per se, but more of a shaded, canopied sanctuary. (low maintenance) Landscape plants will come later. I don't really want to go back with a monster, but a tree large enough to meet the stated criteria. Crepes may fit the bill, but I'm interested in perusing the possibilities before committing.



Again, I much appreciate the input.

Last edited by Bob...; 11-11-2019 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:11 AM   #5
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Quote:
I'm pondering Crepe Myrtles but am willing to hear suggestions.
I'm in the South, too, and when asked how to prune Crepe Myrtles, I always tell folks "with a backhoe" They are Rhyzombus meaning they grow from their root shoots, and will take over a yard in a few years. I would have second thoughts on this.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob... View Post
Thanks Cedrus and DoomsDave for your comments. I live in southeast LA, an hour's drive from the Gulf Coast. I don't have any photos to post ATM. As to the neighbors, they're cooperative. They miss the magnolia, as do I (I don't miss the mess, though). They'll be OK with whatever I decide, but I'll run it past them anyway.


And yes, Crepe Myrtles are everywhere here, in myriad variety. I suppose medium to small variant is what I need. I can also get them from a nursery partly grown (they'll come dig the hole and plant).


But I wonder of there's a better choice? CMs lose their leaves pretty fast once temps drop, but they bloom through much of the summer.



I've looked at the trees y'all mention. Unfortunately, they're considered invasive, which I hope to avoid.



I'm not looking for a 'garden', per se, but more of a shaded, canopied sanctuary. (low maintenance) Landscape plants will come later. I don't really want to go back with a monster, but a tree large enough to meet the stated criteria. Crepes may fit the bill, but I'm interested in perusing the possibilities before committing.



Again, I much appreciate the input.
You have the right idea!

Take your time. You're planting for a lifetime, and the lifetimes of others to come.

Sounds like 'cane resistance is a thing, too.

Dogwoods (Cornus) have species and cultivars that might work. They shed, but they're pretty. Up in Ohio they weren't invasive.

Palms might be an option if you were closer to the coast, though I must warn that I'm a palm nut, and my objectivity is in serious question. (Just an honest disclosure.)

Hmm. Have to do a few google searches, and ask a few friends from the SE US. They might have some good thoughts.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:08 AM   #7
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
I'm in the South, too, and when asked how to prune Crepe Myrtles, I always tell folks "with a backhoe" They are Rhyzombus meaning they grow from their root shoots, and will take over a yard in a few years. I would have second thoughts on this.
Dang, you make them sound like the Tree of Hell, er, Tree of Heaven.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:01 PM   #8
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


On my cattle farm last century, I had two in front of my shop. Untended throughout the summer, I had 20 growing by fall, all coming up from root shoots about 2' tall. I cut them down, but they kept coming back, so enter the backhoe. Black walnuts are just as aggressive, but they also poison food crops, so stay away from them, too.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:17 PM   #9
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Also avoid poplars (populneus) and willows (Salix) even pussy willows, and that cool walking stick willow.

Like @chandler48 said. YIKE.
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM   #10
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Check and see what the nurseries in your area actually stock. Not much point in deciding on a couple of possible trees and then find them impossible to buy locally.

With any new plant I would want to know to what diseases they are susceptible and make that a consideration in choosing a particular tree or trees.
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM   #11
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


@Calson raises a good point, but . . .

I've been in the nursery biz, and it's a conservative to the core. There's a very very strong tendency to sell what's always sold, because it's always sold . . . Sometimes something new comes along that no one even thought of.

So, start with your local nurseries, but leave yourself open to other possibilities, too.

And, run screaming if anyone suggests poplars or willows . . . .
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Old Yesterday, 08:19 PM   #12
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Right after we bought our farm, wifey decided to order "plants" from a reputable company to put out over the acreage. I pulled up the order out of curiosity and noted with disdain she had ordered several Japanese Honesuckles. I was on the phone with the supplier within a nanosecond to let them know under no uncertain terms were they to ship those little pricks. She didn't know at the time how invasive Japanese Honeysuckle was. They are akin to Kudzu, and there is no cure.
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Old Yesterday, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Run screaming if someone suggests Mexican Primroses, too.
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 PM   #14
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


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Originally Posted by chandler48 View Post
Right after we bought our farm, wifey decided to order "plants" from a reputable company to put out over the acreage. I pulled up the order out of curiosity and noted with disdain she had ordered several Japanese Honesuckles. I was on the phone with the supplier within a nanosecond to let them know under no uncertain terms were they to ship those little pricks. She didn't know at the time how invasive Japanese Honeysuckle was. They are akin to Kudzu, and there is no cure.
YEAH, you got a point.

We used to sell them here in the land o'La La.

At least they ain't trees . . . .
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Unread Today, 08:42 AM   #15
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Re: I'll be planting trees...


Hmm.

I suspect we're gonna develop a long "scream list" of plants to avoid.

Which will be very useful. I think I did another thread on that subject already.
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