Thread: Planting trees in a wet meadow

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  1. #1

    Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Am I able to plant my trees in a wet meadow?

    The trees that I want to plant in the wet meadow are mostly flowering trees, Maple trees, Oak trees, weeping willows and a few evergreens.

    I read about Red Maple trees, that they basically flourish in poorly drained soils. Also, I think the weeping willows will do good, as I have seen pictures of weeping willows by lakes and rivers. The question is for the flowering trees and other maple trees, the oak trees and the evergreens.

    Currently, if I dig 3'-4' in the ground I hit water.

    My zone is 5-6

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    It depends on the individual species but as a general rule most common landscaping evergreens don't tolerate wet feet. Now true there are some lesser known species like pond pine or pitch pine or black spruce.
    Same goes for oaks, but there are some that are found in wet habitats like Nutall oak and live oak. These probably aren't going to be found in your part of the country but maybe there are some alternatives that I'm not thinking of.

  3. #3
    Oak
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    RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Red Maple will definitely do well! I have tons of them growing smack in the middle of standing water for much of the year. Sweetgum seems to do well also. I think Cottonwood will fair well in the wet. When I lived in Ohio, Cottonwoods grew around every pond and marsh.

    Swamp Chestnut Oak tolerates standing water. Zone 5-9.
    Swamp White Oak is another. Zone 4-8
    Water Oak is another. Zone 6-10
    Willow Oak is another. Zone 5-9 I have willow oaks growing with the red maples and sweetgums in the swamp out back. They seem to be getting along just fine.
    Nuttall Oak is another. Zone 5-9

    Below are trees found along streams and in bottomlands, but I don't know how they do in standing water:
    Overcup or Shumard Oak... Zone 5-9
    Pin Oak..... Zone 4-8
    Bur Oak.... Zone 3-8
    Cherrybark Oak.... Zone 6-9

    My loblolly pines do well next to water, but I have yet to see one IN the water. Red Maple, Sweetgum, and Willow Oak I have seen grow IN water.

  4. #4
    Oak
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    RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    While not evergreens, you have two decidious conifer selections that look alot like evergreens in the summer and produce small cones.

    Bald Cypress, the tree of southern swamp legend, is rated down to zone 4 and gets them distinctive "knees" when planted at or near water.

    Dawn Redwood is listed for zone 5. The cypress will just plum grow in water. What I hear on the internet is the redwood is almost as tolerant. Mine grows fine at the base of a 600ft hill, but it hasn't had more than a few hours of standing water around it.


    Bald Cypress


    Dawn Redwood
    Zone 6, St. Louis, MO

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Make that 3, don't forget Larches.

  6. #6
    Oak
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    Re: RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Quote Originally Posted by JustRandy
    Swamp Chestnut Oak tolerates standing water. Zone 5-9.
    Swamp White Oak is another. Zone 4-8
    Water Oak is another. Zone 6-10
    Willow Oak is another. Zone 5-9 I have willow oaks growing with the red maples and sweetgums in the swamp out back. They seem to be getting along just fine.
    Nuttall Oak is another. Zone 5-9

    Below are trees found along streams and in bottomlands, but I don't know how they do in standing water:
    Overcup or Shumard Oak... Zone 5-9
    Pin Oak..... Zone 4-8
    Bur Oak.... Zone 3-8
    Cherrybark Oak.... Zone 6-9
    Bur Oaks can usually handle very wet soils as well. Overcup Oak often grows in swamps, so it is definitely a good choice. And, of course, trees with names like Swamp Chestnut Oak and Swamp White Oak are ideal.

    Try Cherrybark Oak. Like you, I'm on the border of zone 5-6--the new maps show us as zone 6, but we were in zone 5 previously--and my cherrybark oaks are thriving. They can be found pretty far north--Oikos Tree Crops grows them in southern Michigan. They use an Iowa seed source, so you might order a couple from there and give Cherrybark Oak a try.

  7. #7
    Oak
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    Re: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Quote Originally Posted by NocTurne
    Am I able to plant my trees in a wet meadow?

    The The question is for the flowering trees and other maple trees

    Silver maple is not everyone's favorite tree--it is prone to wind damage and is considered too messy for many people looking for a yard tree--but it is extremely fast growing and thrives on a whole variety of sites, yet prefers wet sites. Black maple also handles wet soils well.

    As for flowering trees, I'd say Redbud is a good choice. It is another highly-adaptable tree and I have a gorgeous one growing in a very wet spot--a spot where I hit water just a few inches down.

    I think that some of the hawthorns can also handle wet sites. I'd try green hawthorn. The sweet (or American) crabapple does well along creeks and other fairly wet sites. I have a mature one not far from that redbud tree--I didn't plant it there, it was a natural volunteer.

    Of course, you can always choose sycamores as another hardwood choice. They are beautiful, large, fast-growing trees. But they're messy. Much depends on how many trees you are wanting to plant and what your vision for the site is in the long run. If you're wanting to convert the meadow to a woods, I'd use a variety of trees, planting my colorful, smaller trees on the edges.

  8. #8

    RE: Planting trees in a wet meadow

    Thanks for the help everyone. Most of the trees that you mentioned are what I was thinking about planting. Currently the meadow I want to plant my trees in has no trees on it, while a few old trees have grown along the fence around it. The meadow was used for hay a year back and might be used for hay again this year, i'm not sure. But I definatly want to plant some of the trees that I bought this spring, in the fall around the edges.

    Eventually, I'm hoping in about 5-10 years I want put a house in the meadow. And I know that it will cost a lot of money to keep it from sinking. But its extremely beautiful in that area, and I can picture it even more beautiful with tons of trees. Which is why I'm planting now, so by the time I actually do put a house there the trees will have grown some.

    I would like to go with the natural look when I landscape it, so a messy tree adds all the more beauty. Plus, I saw pictures of those sycamores, and they make for the perfect shade tree.

    Today I was planting my American Arborvae trees, with not a cloud in the sky. The sun was extremely intense and you could feel it burning the skin almost instantly. My property is in desperate need of shade in most areas.

    This picture is of a piece of my property a far ways up from the meadow. But as you can see the entire property needs trees. Theres a few here any there but most are so old, they're dying...


    Shot at 2007-11-14

    From another view. Those trees are very old Oak trees and evergreens? in the distance. Those evergreens might have to be thrown down, the bark seems like it has a disease.

    Shot at 2007-11-14

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