The Q&A Archives: What kind of tree would you suggest?

Question: What would be a good tree selection to replace a dead Chinese elm that I recently had removed? I live on a corner lot in the city. My house faces north and has a walkout basement (so there is a slope). The area is on the west side of my house, so there is afternoon sun. The distance between the sidewalk and my house varies from the top of the slope (30 ft) to the bottom (20 ft). The old tree was near the top of the slope. The new tree will be towards the bottom. I plan making the tree part of a perennial bed that will cover some of the slope. A red maple already exists in the northwest corner of the lot. I am looking for a tree that can provide some shade and some screening, withstand the hot late afternoon sun, doesn't mind possible moist soil (being at the bottom of a hillside perennial garden), is resistant to most disease and insects, only drops leaves (no fruits, nuts, cones, windmills, etc), long lasting and looks nice. I was leaning toward some type of a birch tree, but now I am not too sure. Any recommendations would be appreciated! Thank you!

Answer: There are a number of small shade trees for you to consider: Acer japonicum (fullmoon maple), Cercis (redbud), Chionanthus (fringe tree), Crape Myrtle, flowering plum, Stewartia, or Leptospermum (Australian Tea Tree - evergreen). Of those that flower, the petals wither up and blow away - none produces messy fruit. Best wishes with your landscape!

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