- 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
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 :
- Zelkova serrata ‘Green Vase’–https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?
- Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood-https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a396
- Sorbus decora Showy Mountain Ash–https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/showy-mountain-ash
You mentioned three trees that you might consider.
- Liriodendron tulipifera Tulip tree; it is worth considering–is relatively fast-growing, is a tree that is native to the Carolinian forest, and bears yellow tulip-like flowers in the spring. However, because it is fast-growing, the branches can be somewhat brittle and may be damaged by strong winds. https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=a878
- Gymnocladus dioicus Kentucky Coffee tree; can be grown singly, but if you would want flowers, etc. you would need to have both a female and male. Because it is listed as endangered, growing one or two would be beneficial. https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/kentucky-coffee-tree-species-risk
- Ginkgo biloba Maidenhair tree:https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=z990-definitely a unique tree worth considering; make sure you get a male–the female bears fruit (only if there is a male around) which is quite odoriferous.
These are just some suggestions–you’ll need to explore the possibilities and then decide what would be best for your site. Good luck.