The Q&A Archives: trees/shrubs that survive/thrive in wet conditions.

Question: I would like to plant a tree or shurb that has shorter roots, likes light and can survive in soil that stays mainly wet/damp. I live in wny. any suggestions. Thank you.

Answer: I am not certain what you mean by short roots, in plants the roots generally expand at least as far as the branches (often up to twice as wide) and although the majority of roots will be in the top two feet of soil there can also be deep running anchor roots or in some cases tap roots. Some trees and shrubs that do well in your zone and in wet soil would include red maple (Acer rubrum), pin oak (Quercus palustris), birches, and willows. Shrubs would include aronia, shrub dogwoods (such as Cornus stolonifera or C. sericea), Clethra alnifolia (summersweet), Ilex verticillata (the deciduous winterberry holly) and Ilex glabra (evergreen inkberry holly). Your local professional nursery staff should be able to help you analyze the growing conditions where you want to plant and help you select something that is suitable. All of these will grow in full sun and a wet or moist soil. Good luck with your project!

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