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Need a tree to soak up water!

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Joined: 3/26/2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 2
Posted: Mar/26/2008 6:15 AM PST

I recently bought a home and half of the back yard stays muddy for days after any rain. I am hoping to plant a tree/shrub that requires a lot a water that will one day help dry out the yard. I am considering some type of willow but I do not want a tree that will take over the entrire yard. It is also very shady in this area. Any suggestions?
TinaMcG blog photos
Joined: 3/01/2008
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 28
Posted: Mar/26/2008 12:55 PM PST

Hahahahaha -- I feel your PAIN! We moved to thisplace almost a year ago, and we quickly discovered we have three acres of unintended water feature! So I've spent months researching plants for wet spots. Here is a list, and I'm giving you the botanical names as well so you can be sure what you're getting:

-- Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)
-- Dawn Redwood (Metasequioia glyptostroboides)
-- European Alder (Alnus glutinosa)
-- River Birch (Betula nigra)
-- Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)
-- Dogwood shrubs: Cornus spp. (Red twig, yellow twig, grey dogwood, -- corneliancherry)
-- Elderberry (Sambucus, the new cultivars 'Black Beauty' and 'Black Lace" are stunning'
-- Some Viburnums, which I'll be heavily investing in. You need to research which do best in wet spots. I haven't gotten that far yet.
-- Southern and Sweetbay Magnolias
-- Maples -- they love wet spots. Just don't plant maples anywhere near a water line, septic tank or drainfield or sewer drain. One teeny fissure in a pipe and the map
Joined: 3/26/2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 2
Posted: Mar/27/2008 5:37 AM PST

Thanks so much for the advice. I'll definately check these out
justme photos
Joined: 10/03/2007
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 2148
Posted: Mar/27/2008 6:22 AM PST

We have a creek that runs along the back of our property and it get real wet back there, so we have Weeping Willow Trees planted along the whole bank, they send red roots out to the creek. We do have quite a bit of flooding back there, but they do great there and are very healthy. You wouldn't want to plant them close to your house though.
trudy blog photos
Joined: 6/02/2006
Location: SW Georgia
Posts: 404
Posted: Mar/30/2008 5:33 AM PST

Not sure really but have been told Eucalyptis (sp) an Green Ash does a decent job.
mrazikmommy blog photos
Joined: 3/10/2008
Location: Portland, Michigan
Posts: 27
Posted: Mar/31/2008 2:51 PM PST

i really liked the weeping willow we had in our back yard. it NEEDS the water and made the area dryer. you can always trim them up so they don't completely take over everything.
tnjtrees photos
Joined: 6/07/2008
Location: Heyburn Idaho
Posts: 77
Posted: Jun/15/2008 8:50 PM PST

All of these trees listed above are usually great for wet spots, however make sure your wet area is not staying wet because of to heavy of clay in the soil. some trees and shrubs will not do well in wet heavy clay areas.The roots need oxygen in order for osmosis (or the roots ability to soak in water)to work properly,if the clay is to heavy or sticky, then some trees and shrubs will not grow, and usually die.
Joined: 4/11/2011
Location: Henderson
Posts: 1
Posted: Apr/11/2011 6:50 AM PST

I live in NC (clay everywhere) and I need a plant that is going to sock up water near my house.. I have planted many flowers and shrubs on that side of my house. The bulbs are coming up splendidly but I can't get anything else to grow. What do you recommend for and area like this?
ga_girl photos
Joined: 8/02/2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1335
Posted: Apr/11/2011 7:59 AM PST

Plants don't necessarily "soak up" water. They tolerate it and they use it.

If you are looking for shrubs that tolerate wet conditions, consider these:

Clethra alnifolia (needs 6+ hours of sun to bloom, blooms in summer
Itea virginica, Virginia sweetspire, great fall color
Ilex glabra, Inkberry (evergreen)
Fothergilla gardenii
Viburnum nudum 'Winterthur', great fall color, may be too tall for some spots
Illicium floridanum, evergreen, may be too tall for some spots
Ilex verticillata, has beautiful berries in the fall, called Winterberry

As always, do your own research on whether the mature size and sun exposure will work for you. These are just some suggestions.

If you wanted perennial plant suggestions instead of shrubs, please advise.
Joined: 4/27/2011
Location: KC
Posts: 1
Posted: Apr/27/2011 8:19 AM PST

I would like to have a list of perenials, if you don't mind?
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