Hawthorn trees.

donna_in_saskMay 14, 2012

Out of all the trees I've bought and grown, I regret planting my hawthorn tree the most. It is a bug magnet - had pear slugs for the first few years and now gets cedar apple rust every summer. It looks good when it's blooming but that doesn't last long. The thorns will attack you, and the tree suckers like crazy. I think the suckering might be a sign of distress, but it's very annoying having them sprout all over my flower bed. Yanking them out at the base (rather than cutting) doesn't seem to be helping.

Are there any other trees that should be on my do-not-grow list? (bear in mind I live in zone 2b)

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In my opinion, I'd stay away from Schubert Chokecherry. I can't for the life of me figure out why so many people are planting them.

They sucker like crazy no matter what you do, and they WILL get black knot. I find my trees almost annoying =:)

I know people seem to love the dark foliage, but I think it's overrated. The leaves aren't anything to look at, it only blooms for a short time and doesn't look all that nice when it does.

I'd take an Amur Maple anyday =:)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:39PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Yeah, you can get the dark foliage look with other trees that have less problems than it sounds like Schubert has! I really like my thunderchild crabapple(for dark foliage).

I don't have experience with a wide variety of trees, but I would say just be careful when you are shopping for trees in city greenhouses...they often have stuff that is only borderline hardy, but they list it as being hardy for our zone. While it might do OK in the city(most years) I think some of the sugar maple and also norway maple crosses might disappoint and die back a lot if we get a nasty winter. Some people think the "challenge" is worth it, but I like sticking with trees that will thrive and look good every year.

I saw a amur cork tree in a nursery in Saskatoon this year; I've read that they are so invasive that they often escape into the wild. Maybe they are less invasive in this climate, though, I'm not sure.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 4:03PM
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There's a Schubert chokecherry right next door with an advanced case of blackknot. The former neighbours were aware of the problem but decided to leave the tree alone because they were selling the house and didn't want a big pit right next to the deck.

The new neighbours are clueless. They know nothing about gardening and have let their yard go to weeds. I can see the suckers growing at the base of their chokecherry from my kitchen window! I wouldn't care so much if the blackknot just stayed in their yard, but I know it will eventually spread into mine and everywhere else.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 12:43AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Donna, your hawthorn might be the right candidate for using as a rootstock on pears and apples etc, might be worse a try.

I have several hawthorns, some are about 7 foot tall and have no problem, never seen them sucker either.

Have one Schubert, ..I know what your'e talking about, high maintenance cutting these suckers around the trunk, [have the same with a chokecherry] other than that they haven't suckered away from the tree like Evans cherry does.

This tree at the right place & maintained can be a inspiring tree.
Several years back when visiting the Drumheller museum, I still remember they had a couple in the front against a wall, it looked awesome!

So far,.. I don't like poplars near me where I work the garden.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:16AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

My neighbor grew some, ...years ago, I had to fight them in my greenhouse! One year he finally cut them down and gave them a drink of poison, that was the end of it.
It should be outlawed to have these in town!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 2:08AM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Yes, I like Poplar's as an outside row on a farm shelterbelt, they are vigorous enough to withstand some deer browsing..but they are so big, have weak branches, and spread all over the place..not meant for the city!

I would only plant an amur maple if you don't have alkaline soil at all...NAF, I think I read that you treat yours with iron chelate, but that is a fair bit of ongoing work to keep it going OK. Tatarian maple would probably be a good subsitiute if you like the shape and fall color.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 8:43AM
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What can go wrong with Amur Maples? I have two in the front yard that are shared with the next door neighbour. They are well-behaved, look nice and aren't bothered by pests.

The people who built the house next door planted several poplars along their back fence. When it shot up ten feet in one year, they got alarmed and yanked them out. Not sure how many years they spent yanking out suckers. If you want to make an enemy of your neighbour, plant some poplars along the property line.

I have to say, some people are either inconsiderate or clueless when it comes to plant selection and placement. We have several trees next to us that are planted WAY too close to our fence.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 11:58AM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

Donna, I think amur maples are beautiful, well behaved trees, BUT they hate alkaline soil and get iron chlorosis. If you don't treat the chlorosis the tree doesn't do very well and will eventually die from it.

I wanted one so much that I planted one anyway, even though we have quite alkaline soil. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth it, though, it is difficult to permanently change your soil's pH, so I'll be giving it iron chelate from now until one of us are dead ha ha.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 3:05PM
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