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please recommend conifer for poor drainage

Posted by beluga01 (My Page) on
Wed, May 27, 09 at 17:36

I have a garden bed that seems to retain water at a depth of about 2 feet and downward. I am suspecting that the Arizona cypress that grew and just died in the middle of the bed, fell victim to poor drainage. Other things in the same bed viburnum pragense, delphiniums, yarrows, clematis, roses grow wonderfully.

I want to plant another conifer in the same spot. However, the summer air in my yard has already proven to be too dry in summer for such as Cryptomerias, while that particular bed has now proven to be too wet in winter either for cypress or juniper. I'd like to try an Atlas cedar. But they cost so darn much, I thought I'd better seek advice from other knowledgeable gardeners before buying it. Or better yet, what conifers do any of you recommend for my rather strange air/soil conditions.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: please recommend conifer for poor drainage

bald cypress? or were you looking for something evergreen?

otherwise you are looking at a drought tolerant (once established) tree that can take standing water. pretty perfect!


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RE: please recommend conifer for poor drainage

Sitka spruce?

I've seen it growing near a lakeshore in fairly boggy / peaty conditions.


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RE: please recommend conifer for poor drainage

Atlas cedars do NOT like too much water!

Western red cedar, dawn redwood or bald cypress.


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RE: please recommend conifer for poor drainage

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Wed, May 27, 09 at 22:43

Most of the other plants listed as growing well in the spot would rot off in a damp place also. So, it probably isn't, in fact a mire. The cypress is a dryland species, so it might have gotten too damp for it but would seem to be suitable for most other types - if dampness was, in fact the problem for the one tree.

Although blue Atlas cedar grows natively in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco it apparently can do well in rather damp places here - one of the finest I have encountered was on a site so moist in winter I could hardly get to it. It is listed on page 34 of Champion Trees of Washington State by Robert Van Pelt:

Circumference: 16'4"
Height: 88'
Crown Spread: 99'
Date Last Measured: 1995
Location: Redmond, Idylwood Park

Do you have room for a tree like this?


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RE: please recommend conifer for poor drainage

It's not just because I've been hiking in the redwoods almost every 6 weeks on average - but - got room for a coast redwood?

I just located one in Prairie Creek redwoods, called Artemis, that's been written about in a book. It has a brook flowing directly under it, and the tree is likely 1500 years old.

bboy ...

You may be right on that blue atlas cedar as long as it's not a bog. I recall the Cedrus genus as being somewhat tolerant of moisture.

M. D. Vaden of Oregon


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