1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Tree recomendation

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by brian89gp, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    Urban lot, so space is small. I am wanting to plant a tree in my front yard which consists of a rough 10x10 grass area with a 4' stone retaining wall on three sides (sidewalk, driveway, stairs from sidewalk). Yard is raised 4-5' above the sidewalk. Basement wall is 20' away on the 4th side. Wanting something that grows quick and needing something that can be encouraged to have a tap root since there is very little lateral support. It is a fairly dry location.

    I was considering a thornless/seedless honeylocust as I have heard that if you cut the top/bottom off of a barrel, bury it, and plant the tree in it that it will greatly contain the ground suckers. But I would definately prefer any other tree if possible.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    448
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    Bradford pear? Grow quickly, pretty tolerant of adverse weather conditions. Not the strongest wood, and can break down as they get older. Great flowers in the spring, nice glossy dark green leaves through the summer.

    Why do you want a quick growing tree? Shade? Quick growing trees also tend to be "dirty" and break down easier as they get bigger.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  3. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    Impatience... I have zero shade anywhere in my yard.
  4. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,906
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    10 x 10 is a very small area. Maybe a shrub would be better. Larger trees will exceed your area and you will have neighbors to consider. Big trees need attention. Proper pruning so they don't grow weak limbs that brake and damage everything they fall on. I would take a picture of the area and go to a local nursery and ask for recommendations. Get a couple before you commit. I can't tell you how many trees I planted that got so big I had to take them down.
  5. festerw

    festerw Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    173
    Loc:
    Cambridge Springs, PA
  6. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    615
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
  7. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    Most of them miss the 100' tall Elm tree's that used to be shoved in these tiny spots that got cut down 50 years ago.

    I agree it is a tough situation. I was looking for a taller tree, the first floor porch is 7-8ft above lawn level so a shrub or a 20' tree won't do much good except block off the view of the house. The other streets in the area that don't have overhead wiring have these nice 100yr old oak tree's in these tiny spots. Its an old neighborhood with close together houses so oversized tree's right next the houses are expected and a lot of times preferred. I know, its not the generally recommended method but if you follow the generally recommended method of only planting tree's so far from houses and only planting tall ones even farther away there would be zero tree's in a several square mile radius. If you are lucky around here you got 20' from house to lot line, usually it is less then 10'.

    I will take a picture to a nursury and ask, thank you for the suggestion.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,419
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    Japanese Maple?
    The redder varieties are beautiful.
    Seem to grow at a moderate rate but worth the wait.
    [​IMG]
  9. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,518
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    'Cleveland Select' cultivar of Callery pear (bradford pear)
    I have one in my front yard in a tight-ish spot. Quite upright growth. The flowers don't "stink".
    Only complaint is root suckers - there's supposed to be something you can spray on them to curb them beyond just cutting them back.
    Might just be just mine.
    about 35 feet tall in 10 years
  10. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Do I understand this correctly that the entire yard is essentially a 10x10x4 raised bed? If that's the case I'd get something very small and hard to kill. That yard sounds like it will be relatively dry and won't be able to support much of a root ball. Crab apple tree fits the description very well.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    6,443
    Loc:
    S.NH- Mass's smoking section
    I'd consider a dogwood of some sort. Japanese maples are gorgeous, but not fast growers
    midwestcoast and ScotO like this.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    Walnuts make beautiful shade trees, and have a strong taproot, if you don't mind dealing with walnut clean-up. You'll be clear for the first 15'ish years of the trees life, and then the walnuts start. Expect fairly few walnuts for the first 20 - 30 years of the tree's life, but when the tree reaches maturity... watch out below!

    They're relatively clean and very beautiful trees. The only down side of the Walnut tree (aside from picking up / tripping on walnuts) is juglone. Any shrubs / plants you put below a walnut tree must be resistant to juglone.
  13. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    More or less. It is more like a 10x30 raised bed with stairs cutting it in half. All of the runoff from the side and back of the house soak these two spots but you are right that it does and will get dry in the middle of summer. One of the reasons I was looking for a tap root tree, there is plenty of exposed area's in the general area to provide good soil moisture.

    Got a few 5 gallon pails of black walnuts in my garage actually. Really like the tree, but my god are they messy. I got roses planted in the area now and they are juglone tolerant.

    Attached Files:

  14. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    Pecan tree perhaps? Tap root and moderate growth rate.

    As far as both pecan and black walnut, most places say that if it is a lone tree that the nut crop will be minimal. Can't think of another black walnut within a few blocks of here, it is a majority oak and mulberry neighborhood with a smattering of silver maple.
  15. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,680
    Loc:
    NW Indiana
    I'd be going for a Crabapple, Dogwood or Bradford Pear. they'll LOOK plenty big in your yard.
    Big shade trees are really nice, but I just don't see how growing one in that spot would be smart.
  16. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    615
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
    Please don't plant one of those nasty pears. They are an invasive weed and stink like dead fish in the Spring. They have poor branching structure and crotch angles leading to severe damage in any high winds.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana

    I don't think that's a one size fits all description. I have two at my house that were planted by the previous owner. They don't smell at all have have survived many storms with 60+ MPH winds.

    They wouldn't have been my first choice to plant, but they are worth keeping. Not much of a shade tree though.
  18. brian89gp

    brian89gp Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    My parents have a Bradford Pear and they loose about 1/4 of the tree every 2-3 years due to ice/wind/snow. Very weak crotch structure. Fortunately it grows fast.

    One thing to keep in mind is eye level on that first story porch is roughly 16-18 ft above ground level where the tree would be planted. Any of those 20' tree's being recommended all you would see is the top of the tree from the house. The peak of the house that is just out of the frame of the picture is 50' above street level, 45' above yard level.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Messages:
    6,521
    Loc:
    Philadelphia
    I have several 15+ year old pear trees, in the wide-open on the highest part of my property. They survived hurricanes Irene and Sandy, without losing so much as a branch, and several 30"+ snowstorms in their lives. This is much more than I can say for the Walnuts or Ash, as I lost 4 in Sandy and 3 in Irene.

    They do smell, though. Many around here call them Semen trees.
  20. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    615
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
    Guess you guys have been lucky. When Ike came through Ohio a few years back, pear trees were snapping all up and down our neighborhoods. They are an invasive none the less and stink
  21. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,419
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    After most of the Bradford Pears in our town fell apart in an ice storm our town replaced every one of them with something else.
    Our neighbors just took a bunch that lined their driveway down after they broke up in a wind storm.
    I'd never plant them in our area.

    Edit: the neighbor offered me the wood from the Bradfords he took down. I'm hoping its worth burning.
  22. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Messages:
    615
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio

    It burns good and hot like Silver Maple I would say. Burnt some last Winter for the first time.
    semipro likes this.
  23. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    937
    Loc:
    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    I have no idea if Crape Myrtle will grow in your region, but it fits that space perfectly. I believe there are cultivars good to zone 5.
    They are very tolerant of heavy pruning, have an interesting paper peeling bark, and multiple colors of blooms - most common is pink to purple.
  24. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,518
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    The bradfords planted here stood up well until they got closer to 30 /40- years old
    Just about every single one planted in a developement here in the late 70ies have now been replaced due to huge broken branches.

    Cut it down and start over in25 years, some do that with arborvitaes
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,610
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    A golden locust would be nice. Maybe a redbud? There are varieties that would fit this area. Maybe a forest pansy if this spot is not sunny all day?

Share This Page