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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