The Q&A Archives: Need Fast-growing Tree for Wet Soil

Question: What type of tree would you recommend for a full sun area that has very heavy soil? I would like a fast growing shade tree. I have already planted a Shumard oak in this site and it has not done well at all. The site seems to hold moisture and during a wind storm the central leader broke out of the tree. It did not leaf out very well at all last season and I am thinking that a different tree would do better there.

Answer: If I could provide you with a fast-growing shade tree that tolerates moisture, and is strong enough to withstand heavy wind, I'd be living on easy street! Your list of 'wants' does not meet the characteristics of any available tree. Fast-growing trees are by nature weak-limbed and do not hold up well in windstorms. Because of this, there are not many situations where such trees are recommended in a planting.

However, there are trees that will tolerate wet soils in full sun. Although slower growing, one of these would be a better choice for your situation: Red Maple (Acer rubrum), European Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), or Black Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica).

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