Do you find yourself living in a wet environment, either looking for new trees to plant in your yard or seeking suggestions on how to keep your trees healthier? Your local garden shop or tree farm will have experts there to guide you through the best options for any scenario. However, following are a quick set of guidelines to making your best selections, as well as tips for a more arid environment:
Determine: Wet Environment or Poor Soil Drainage
First, determine whether you just live in a wet environment that rains a lot, or if you are actually trying to plant a tree in an area with poor soil drainage. Review the USDA climate zone maps to identify which zone you live in. These zones were designed to assist planters and farmers in selecting the best trees and plants for survivability in a given environment based on coldest average temperatures, and how many hours of cold or hot time during the winter or summer. If you have any pre-selected tree favorites, you can research those particular trees against the local resources and the zone tolerances to see if they are good matches to where you live. There are options for you with both evergreen and deciduous trees for nearly every zone. However, no matter the choice you make, you will need to make sure you prepare the soil or that you select the best trees.
Most evergreens prefer soil that isn’t always wet, but a few options you can consider are one of the spruce varieties, or check out the white cedars. Deciduous trees are more plentiful for the wet climates, but check out the pH levels of your soil to give your tree the best shot.
Two types of deciduous trees that do well in wet areas are the Bald Cypress and various willow trees. However, like most trees that do well in wet areas of extensive flooding or with poorly drained soils, they tend to have really long root systems. These long roots sometimes prove to be problematic to sewer systems or other pipes, especially if planted close to a house. So plan your planting with care in these areas. The Bald Cypress does well throughout the United States, as far south as Florida, or as far north as Wisconsin. They do well in cities, in windy environments, in swampy areas and other wet zones. One key item to note is that since these are deciduous tree, they will “drop” their leaves during the winter, but these leaves are also needle-like, which may confuse you in to thinking it is diseased. However, this is not the case, so don’t be surprised when your tree is bald like all its neighbors in the Fall.
As with trees in a more arid environment, you’ll want to make sure there is enough space for your tree to be happy, even if the water level of the area is already ideal for your tree. If you find that your yard cannot easily accommodate a lot of trees, you can also supplement the trees in the area with water tolerant shrubs and ground covers. Research these while seeking the best tree options for you, and you may be able to incorporate these important additions to your overall landscaping plan as they provide additional protection, fill in around empty spaces in your yard, and assist in addressing an area bogged down by excessive water.
What’s more, if you can’t find all the answers you need from the ever-expanding knowledge storehouse of the Internet, remember the local tree farm or garden center can guide you in to making the best choices for your wet environment landscape decisions. These professionals enjoy sharing their knowledge and are experts in the care of plants and trees.
Stewart Scott is a certified arborist and is the owner of Cevet Tree Care, where he offers the best tree service Columbia MO has to offer. Cevet has provided tree trimming and other tree care services to mid-Missouri for almost 20 years.