Native Tree Recommendation?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAAugust 21, 2010

Hi, I'm considering whether I will add a native tree to my garden. I have a situation that I want to screen out a view, but I have a narrow 10 foot space to work with, that faces South but gets some late day shade from trees to the West of it. It basically gets about 6 hrs of sun. It is DRY there. There are a lot of tree roots that suck out the moisture on the other side of the fence. Spruces and a London Plane tree. The location would not be under a canopy of any trees.

I would like something about 15-20ft tall at maturity. If the tree was narrow enough, I wouldn't care if it grew really large if I really liked it. If I were going to give up the space to a tree, then I would want it to be interesting. There are already a lot of Maples and Spruce in the surrounding yards. I would love red fall color.

I've thought of a Cornus florida, but they do have disease problems here and might be too broad. Not wanting a Redbud. Ash is now having problems from that Ash borer here now and maybe those are too broad. I hear good things about the Tulip Tree, but it seems too broad and not sure about the fall color. I have nothing but yellow fall color all around me so I need a color to break that up.

I'm not all that familiar with native trees but would love to get some ideas.


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Oak and sassafras have red fall color but certainly wouldn't fit in your tiny space at maturity. Sumacs and maples get red fall color too. Maples are too big as well.

Serviceberry and fringetree are smaller and beautiful native trees. They do get about as wide as they are tall though so may not work in your space. Witchhazel are small trees and prefer shady locations. They have a spread which may not work as well. Spicebush are nice well as prefer much the same conditions as witchhazel. If I recall correctly, these all have yellow fall color.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 10:48AM
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For something that you want to be 15-20 ft at maturity, expand your consideration to native shrubs as well. There are some native deciduous azaleas that have lovely fall color. Serviceberry can have nice fall color and probably won't outgrow that space if you get the clumping kind instead of the species that have more tree form. Blueberries have nice fall color and you might get berries as a bonus.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 11:39AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sounds like there's a reason I'm having a hard time thinking of something for that space. [g] I've tried Serviceberries in the yard twice and they just don't like me. The winter moths have just about defoliated one in the spring. The other has some kind of disease. I am semi urban where I am located and I have that darn dry soil to deal with, so maybe that's the reason too.

Not sure the azaleas will tolerate my dry soil without extensive irrigation. Do blueberries get that large? I thought they only get about 6-8ft tall?

I saw that Aronia is supposed to tolerate dry. Not sure how large they get. What about a smokebush or a Magnollia? Aren't some of these native?

Thanks for your ideas.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Yes, you can do Magnolia tripetala, that gets 15-30 feet. The native smoke is a tree, not a bush: Cotinus obovatus. Might get too big for that space (20 to 30 ft).

High bush blueberry can get up to 12 feet, Vaccinium corymbosum is the species name. Lovely flaky bark.

Aronia arbutifolia is supposedly 6 to 10 feet tall.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 5:39PM
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