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Monday - July 27, 2015

From: Shiro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rain Gardens, Propagation, Trees
Title:
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Hi, thanks for all your help in the past! I have a generous spot in my spacious back yard that is begging to be filled. The top soil is 4" sandy loam, below which is black clay.With frog strangler rains like we've had, water can sit on the surface for two days, but it can get very dry as well. Part Sun. Dappled shade in afternoon. My considerations are these: Carolina Buckeye (which I would love to have), Eastern Redbud, or a small thicket of Roughleaf Dogwoods. Would any of these work best? Or another suggestion for something that can tolerate these extremes?

ANSWER:

I really think that any of your three choices would do well in your spot.  The biggest question in my mind concerned their survival after a few days of wet feet.  But after researching the question on the Internet, I saw that several Internet sources claim that Aesculus pavia (Scarlet buckeye), or Carolina buckeye, as some call it, can survive wet soil for some time. Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) can survive brief periods of waterlogging, but can be damaged by a canker during periods of drought. Of the three, Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf dogwood) is probably best able to adapt to boggy soil as well as dry conditions.

One posssible downside to Aesculus is that it tends to drop its leaves in midsummer drought periods. A plus for Roughleaf dogwood is its bird-friendly berries.

No matter which you choose, it would be wise to dig a hole at least two feet deep and thoroughly mix the clay and sandy loam, also adding some good compost.  All the species appreciate good drainage.  Our website has tips on planting trees.  

It would be best to wait until cooler weather in the Autumn. The trees should be available from one of your local plant nurseries.

 

From the Image Gallery


Red buckeye
Aesculus pavia

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

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