The Q&A Archives: Is there a type tree I can plant to absorb water on my soggy ground?

Question: I read previous questions and saw your recommendations for tree which can grow in soggy ground. But do any of these trees actually absorb the water and help dry out the ground, or can they just tolerate the wetness? The ground is soggy year round, and the neighbors overwater, creating a worse problem. Even when walking slowly between the yards, water kicks up and splatters our legs, and I'd like to reduce this. Thanks!

Answer: While I have heard of incidents where a willow tree for instance dried out a damp area, and it is true that a large mature tree will absorb a large amount of water, I would not rely on that to solve a drainage problem. Instead, you might want to talk to your neighbor about the overwatering (it is costing them extra on their water bill, if nothing else) and also look into adjusting the drainage pattern for the area. A landscape architect or other professional with experience in drainage issues should be able to make suggestions. Although drainage matters are complex and can sometimes be difficult to rectify, other times the solution is simple and relatively inexpensive. In my experience it is well worth looking into.

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