The Q&A Archives: Landscape Tree Selection

Question: I have a need for a tree that grows up to 20' and gets 10'-15' wide. I want it to provide protection from west sun on my back deck. I had a Kusa Dogwood that just died and will replace. It had some sort of fungus and was 2-3 years in place. I would like to avoid the dogwoods (not that we don't like them). We are in central New York zone 4-5. Any suggestions?

Answer: You might look into the native redbud, Cercis canadensis (maturing in the range of 20 to 30 feet tall and wide) or perhaps one of the smaller ornamental crabapple varieties with a more predictable mature size range. Another possibility might be Acer ginnala or Amur maple maturing in the 15 to 20 feet tall to about 15 feet wide range. These should all be able to take that hot western exposure as well as your winter cold temperatures and will tolerate average soil conditions as well. Your local nursery and/or county extension should be able to help you identify additional trees known to do especially well in your local area. Another option for more immediate effect might be to consider an awning or overhead trellis arbor to shade the deck.

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