The Q&A Archives: Water friendly plants

Question: My yard has a natural slope to it and water drains to the bottom and then drains off to the street. Problem is that when we get a lot of rain over the course of several days it gets soggy and takes weeks to properly drain. Is there a tree or shrub that I could plant in this area to help with this problem?

Answer: Planting a tree or a shrub probably won't reduce the amount of water that collects in the low spot, but planting something with a high tolerance for soggy soil will at least make the area look attractive. Some shrubs to consider: Andromeda (Bog Rosemary); Cornus stolonifera (Shrub Dogwood); Chaenomoles (Flowering Quince); Potentilla fructicosa (Potentilla); Chionanthus (Fringe Tree); Sambucus canadensis (American Elderberry); Clethra (Summersweet); Viburnum opulus (Snowball Bush). Trees that tolerate wet soils include: Abies balsamea (Balsam Fir); Populus tremuloides (Quaking Aspen); Acer rubrum (Red Maple); Salix (Willow); Liquidambar (Sweet Gum); Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood); Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum). You might also consider installing a curtain drain in the area to reduce the amount of standing water. Best wishes with your landscape!

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