Need help in tree selection.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Need help in tree selection.....
4
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 7:05am
Hi all! I usually spend my time on the sporting dogs board, however, I have come here before and you all are so helpful!

Here is my situation....I live in Central West New Jersey (Zone 8 I think), we have a spot in our yard that stays very soggy after it rains (the water lays on top of the grass for awhile)...so I thought it would be the perfect spot for a tree. And lately, there is a sink hole starting there, so I figured all the more reason to put a tree there because the hole is basically already there.

I need help in my tree selection..I am not all that familiar with trees....I am looking for a shade type tree, no flowers and not a pine tree, just a leafy tree that changes colors in the fall and the leaves fall off. I know that spot would be perfect for a wheeping willow, but out yard is way to small for that (from our back door, our yard is 35 feet back by 75 feet across, the soggy part is the on the right side, about 10 feet from the property line). I was thinking of an oak tree?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Jaci

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 04-12-2003 - 9:50am
Welcome jaci_person! Please don't think I'm just going to bust your bubble, but the only oak tree that will truely survive such wet conditions is known as a water oak.....

May I suggest another water loving tree species though? Look at the maple varieties. The normal hard ones....white and silver, soft one, red maple. Now these put out quite a bit of what I call mud stuff from their tiny flowers as they drop off, then those silly helicopter seeds, then their leaves change off for fall, from yellows to red.

For a small area such as what I picture from your description though, my first selection would be to go look at the japanese maple sub species. Again, they love water, but don't get real tall, and the leaf colors change throughout the year.

Now, if you are looking for a tree that will get some height to is as well, next to weeping willow for loving water is cypress, with it's very small leaves as well. Cypress trees however will put out (knees) as their roots seek air in some areas as well, and mowing around them can become a pain. An added benefit though is that you can cut a few of them off from time to time for decorations and such.

This should give you some ideas, but oaks as a norm are not water lovers, and will actually die along streams and rivers that flood for long periods of years. Not just a long flood one year, then dry as a norm, but wet on a regular basis, year after year.

Final thought: I certainly hope that the sink hole isn't going into a larger area under ground such as an old mine, as anything you put there may end up getting an earthen elevator ride down with it over the years. You might want to do some research into your area for old abandoned mines.

Mitch

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 8:09am
Thank you so much!!! I think I wanted an oak because my house I grew up with had lots of oak trees, but that was on an acre of land and some of it was wooded....so I guess I just couldn't help but want an oak tree in our yard...oh well though, I will certainly take a look at your other suggestions.

The sink hole just started, so we do plan on doing some digging and finding out why there is a sink hole there....I never thought it could be an old mine...does that mean I could be looking at some gold???..LOL!

Thank you so much again...I really appreciate your suggestions.

Jaci

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sun, 04-13-2003 - 12:00pm
And with such a sence of humor too....I just love people with such...to bad I didn't think of that though first....we live over an old dump sight...wonder if I dig around....maybe I could find an old car worth restoring...LOL...there are a few on the outskirts of the property, but they've been looted, and busted up way to far for any restoration....but MAYBEEEEEEEE?

Thank you for your time and questions.

If you find a reason for the sink hole, and can correct the water collection problem there, you would be able to plant an oak tree....and don't forget to look (if oak is what you realy want) for a water oak. You can find them growing wild along wet areas, or ask for one at your local nursery. A lot of timber companies use them for "white oak" logs, so I'm sure there is a way to order one.

Mitch

 
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 04-14-2003 - 8:12pm
LOL! It doesn't hurt to try....you might be living over a fortune! Our house was built on a corn field, so I imagine our sink hole is nothing special...

I am certainly going to try and have an oak...but I also did some research and the maple tree you suggested looks beautiful! I will give it some thought and will certainly let you know what we come up with.

Thanks again!

Jaci