trees or shrubs for poorly drained clay

CLBlakeyMay 24, 2012

I have one spot in my yard by the neighbours down spout that is always wet. Our soil is basically clay or gumbo. Any one with a suggestion on what I could plant there? Would prefer something that produces either flowers or fruit. Thanks

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Red osier dogwood should do well there, and Viburnum trilobum (American highbush cranberry) probably would too although they prefer a more acid soil while wet clay is likely to be alkaline.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
weeper_11(2b SK)

A lilac could probably tolerate it(not a tree lilac, if you do have alkaline soil, they don't like it). A saskatoon might do OK there too, though I don't think they are super attractive ornamentally..they look a bit messy. But you would have flowers in spring and fruit in summer.

I have terrible "gumbo" soil too, that is either a gummy mess or else powdery I'm trying to think of what I have in my yard that would work. I agree that the dogwood would probably do fine, they seem to grow just about anywhere. I don't know anything about the cranberry, so I'll take northspruce's word on it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

As for trees, I'm thinking of a Birch would do well.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How big is your spot, and how tall do you want?

I bought a Nannyberry (Not the tree form) for a spot like that, although I haven't gotten it planted yet. There's quite a few Willow shrubs that might look nice, although you wouldn't get fruit or blooming.

If you do a search for "nannyberry" there's a thread from May 14, 2011 titled "Anybody have a Tree Form Nannyberry?" North53 posted a picture of a beautiful Nannyberry.

Oh, and Yes, if you have plenty of sun, a lilac would most likely survive there, too.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

If you go with a saskatoon, you will need more than one for cross pollination or you will get only very few berries. I had one saskatoon in my old yard and it made maybe 2-3 berries a year.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 9:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A dogwood would be a good decision. I think a smaller viburnum is what you are after.

For a larger space I'd try a basswood if you think the space won't dry out. Ours loved the clay and was one of the healthiest specimens in the city before we were forced to cut it down. For birch you don't want them to dry out. If it is a shady spot it would be easier than if it was an exposed spot. If the spot is prone to dry spells you might want to consider a green or black ash tree. Lots of selection to choose from.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 1:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Look up pagoda might fit the spot nicely.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow thanks everyone---I love the look of the Nannyberry I hope it likes water as the lilac I had there did not do well also drown a blueberry there and one other shrub I got from a neighbor also was lost there. If it wasn't for the clay I might have tried a cranberry for the fruit of course. If the Nannyberry does not work or if I can't find one I will have to resort to Saskatoons (not my favorite but at least edible) I suppose not all Saskatoon bushes look like the ones at Saskatoon Island provincial park.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 12:35AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
So How Many?
Yeah, its winter and I am bored being stuck inside...
SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC
Has anyone tried bale gardens?
Due to my rampant quack grass this summer I took out...
Mature spruce with double leader
Hi everyone, I have a question that I can't find the...
Violetjune Zone 3
Canada's Quest to Breed Super Hardy Roses Article
I came across this interesting article on the rose...
prairie_northrose (3a north of Calgary, AB, Canada)
Muckle Plum
This is an interesting ornamental landscaping tree...
Sponsored Products
Florida State Kitchen Towel
$11.99 | zulily
Kitty Mansions New York Cat Tree - NEW YORK-BEIGE
$139.92 | Hayneedle
15731BBR Bronzed Brass 4.5 Watts Narrow Kichler LED Landscape Light
Area Rug: Grace Stone 7' 8" x 10'
Home Depot
New Original Hand Knotted Wool Pakistan Sepia Brown Chobi Area Rug H5994
BH Sun Inc
Bijou Silver Leaf Wall Sconce
Grand Fir Artificial Christmas Tree with Wheeled Stand - 7-1/2'
Grandin Road
'Field and Stream' Nature Scene Accent Pillow
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™