Wondering if you can provide some advice. We own 1 to 2 acres of land in PEC. On the property border there are trees mainly juniper type trees on the east, north and west parts of the property. In addition there are buckthorn trees mixed in. We wish to plant trees on the south part of the property for privacy. It is a sunny location. Currently there are sumacs and juniper trees there but not along the property border. The soil is 1 1/2 feet deep before you hit limestone rock. The soil is clay type (?) and climate zone 6 (?) I believe as farmers nearby grow corn and soya beans. I have researched various trees and sugar maples and white pines seem to be the best trees to plant as the soil is shallow and dry. I plan to plant first along the border sugar maples and inward would be white pines. Please let me know if this would be the best choice and arrangement and if so what would be the spacing between each sugar maple and the next row of white pines and their spacing requirements. As well there are small buckthorns which I will pull out by the roots. For the larger ones I will cut them down and try to remove as much of the roots as possible. Is this the best approach? Appreciate your expert guidance. Thank-You as always.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. Growing sugar maples and white pine together is an excellent idea for several reasons. Both of these species are native trees and therefore more adapted to the Canadian climate. They also tolerate a range of soils. Finally planting a mixture of evergreens and hard woods reduces the risk of the trees being attacked by insects and disease. Another native evergreen that would do well on your site is a red cedar. If your soil is actually heavy clay you might have to reconsider planting the sugar maples as they don’t do as well in this type of soil. To confirm the type of soil you have and to gather information on how to improve your soil it might help to have a soil analysis done. A list of OMAFRA accredited soil testing laboratories can be found at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/resource/soillabs.htm. One thing that would definitely help the soil is a regular addition of compost. If you decide against the sugar maples I suggest you observe the properties around you to identify which trees adapt to this growing environment. Talk to your neighbours to find out what has worked for them.
If you do decide to plant sugar maples and white pines, each tree should be spaced about 9 meters apart. For more information on growing sugar maples and white pines please see the following sites:
Removing buckthorns from your property is a long-term commitment. The following guideline gives you information on how to safely remove different sizes of buckthorn. http://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/OIPC_BMP_Buckthorn.pdf
Finally you might not be aware of this but there is a Master Gardener Organization in Prince Edward County at this link: https://pecmastergardeners.ca/
It might be helpful to connect with them as they would more familiar with the growing conditions in your area.