Bye bye to Showy Mountain Ash... sob!

ostrich(3a AB)July 4, 2014

My poor Showy Mountain Ash!!! It was planted 2 years ago as a 70mm caliper tree and it has not done well since. The area was at the bottom of a gentle slope so the soil is pretty moist. Ever since the Calgary flood in 2013, when we had tons of rains coming down over a relatively short period of time, this poor thing dropped tons of leaves and has not recovered. I gave it another year, and sadly, this year it is just the same. Right now, it has lots of bare branches and already, some leaves are starting to turn yellow after the heavier rain last week.

So, I am going to have to replace it.... sigh! I feel so sad for this poor thing, but I just cannot stand looking at bare branches and a few leaves year after year....

Since this is a more moist area, I probably had the wrong tree planted at the wrong place..... my fault!!! SIGH!

Anyway, if I am to replace it, what should I put there instead? Given that it's in a city lot (i.e. SMALL!) the tree size cannot be huge. Ideally, it is going to be about 15 ft wide and 20-25 ft tall. It is in a fairly sunny location.

What would thrive there please? I am considering an Amur Maple or Tartarian Maple. I was told to think about some kind of birch but they probably will get too big for this location. If I want a flowering tree, what are my choices please?

I also think that something with multiple stems would give it that architectural statement during winter, which is most of the year here! LOL! What are my choices for a multi-stem clump there please? Oh no, no aspen please! Everybody and their cousin has an aspen around me! LOL I need something more different.... how about an Amelanchier Autumn Brilliance? Or would that be too big for this area?

If I don't go with the multi-stem route, how about a Japanese Silk Lilac? Would that tolerate moist soil well? What other flowering trees would do well in this location please?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

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An amur maple would be a good choice, but maybe give the mountain ash another year before you get out the saw.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 4:50AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, Don! The only thing is, the 2 year warranty runs out now, so if I wait for another year and it does not make it then, I will have lost over $400! Otherwise I might want to wait.
. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:08AM
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I'm far from an expert, and maybe someone else can comment on what I'm going to say :) Have you tried iron chelate?

My Amur Maple isn't doing as well as last year, and I suspect it's all the rain. I'm with Don. I'd keep it another year, give it iron, and see what happens.

If you do decide you need another tree, how about a Nannyberry?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:11AM
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Oops. Didn't see the warranty issue as I was writing.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:12AM
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Dogwoods love moisture - how about a Pagoda Dogwood? I moved mine to a low area that is consistently moist and it is thriving. If you look on the 'net, you can see examples of it grown into a small tree form.

My amur maples are incredible this year, very healthy, almost too much so since they seed themselves all over. If a tree is languishing in one location, chances are they never "settle in" after a time, best move it when it is young.

My neighbour had an amur cherry (maackia) in a wet area and it had the yellowing leaves; she moved it into a large pot and it overwintered! It got replanted in a drier location the following Spring and is doing well now.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:06PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Oh! I need to read up on Nanny berry. Thanks!

Donna, a Pagoda Dogwood would be wonderful, but I did not know that it was hardy for our climate! Does it require any special protection or anything like that please?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 5:57PM
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If you're interested in the nannyberry, there's a thread called :
Anybody have a Tree Form Nannyberry?

North53 posted an awesome picture.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 8:28PM
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Pagoda Dogwood likes moist acidic soil and afternoon shade or part shade. I have 2 that are planted where there was a caragana hedge, they have come through 2 winters and have had some die back. They are looking good so far but are only 3 ft. tall. The deer like to eat them just like other Dogwoods'.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:18AM
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Dogwoods are understory trees and must be sited with that in mind. Morning sun is fine in cooler climes but afternoon sun will burn them to a crisp.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:27AM
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I have a red osier dogwood, a variegated dogwood and a Pagoda dogwood...none of them planted in a lot of shade. I have never had any issues with dieback in the winter nor leaves burning due to too much sun in the summer. The first two don't even get all that much moisture and they all do well in my zone 2b garden (they are grown more as shrubs).

The Pagoda dogwood was originally planted near a crabapple and it was too shady and dry, languished there for years, finally moved it a couple years ago and it has been doing great.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 9:06AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I have a variegated as well in full sun and no issues with it. There's a red osier that grew where one of my Nanking cherries had been and it certainly has no problems with anything. I've hacked at that thing mercilessly and it still flings out new growth by the minute!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 10:57AM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, everyone! Donna, thanks for sharing your experience with the Pagoda Dogwood! I actually also have a dogwood shrub (Elegantissima) near this area, with very similar light exposure. The Elegantissima is doing very well there, so I suspect that if I did get a Pagoda Dogwood, then it may be OK.

Anyway, I went to the local nursery today and got a price credit for the poor Showy Mountain Ash. Since I got the credit, if I want to keep this tree, it is OK! So perhaps I should just keep it for another season.... what do you think?

Otherwise, I saw the following there that should work well for this area:

- Amur Maple tree form
- Amur Maple clump - I think this is lovely!
- Pagoda Dogwood - but it is tiny in a small pot only
- Tartarian Maple Hot Wings (in a pot)
- Tartarian Maple Rugged Beauty (caliper size)
- Ohio Buckeye

The tree guy there suggested that I might consider an Ohio Buckeye. Now, this one does have some interesting leaves!

If I don't keep the tree, then I am leaning towards the Amur Maple clump or the Ohio Buckeye. What do you think? I should probably check out the other nurseries too...

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 8:55PM
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