Need Large Tree Advice

  • Have to replace an ash tree and can’t decide what to go with. Any ideas are welcome! Here are the details…

Rural property up by Newmarket, Ontario (zone 5 but exposure makes it feel like zone 4)
Lots of room for a LARGE tree
Centrepiece of backyard area
12″ of topsoil, then heavy clay underneath
Exposed to winds and cold coming across the fields
Pretty dry

Over the years, I’ve planted the usual suspects around the property…linden, maple, locust, birch, catalpa, crabapple, spruce, fir, cherry, serviceberry, ivory silk lilac, even the new generation of elms. All are doing well.

Unfortunately, I’m not getting any younger. I need a fast-growing, clay-tolerant, vase-shaped, high-canopy replacement for my poor ash. Bonus points if it flowers! How hard can that be?!

Maple: been there, done that!
Oak: too slow growing?
Gingko? Tulip tree? Coffeetree? Let’s step outside the box!

Thank you in advance for any ideas!!


How lucky for you to have a property where you can grow many trees! Sorry that you have to replace your ash tree. However, you clearly know a great deal about the trees that you have.

Here are a few suggestions for replacing your ash :

You mentioned three trees that you might consider.

These are just some suggestions–you’ll need to explore the possibilities and then decide what would be best for your site.  Good luck.