The Q&A Archives: tree replacement

Question: One year age we had a red maple die of leaf wilt probably vertacillium. We are looking for a replacement to provide shade in our south facing front yard which is roughly 30x50 feet. We are concerned about the main water line which is located in the western third of the area and about two feet down, so the root growth is also a concern. Any suggestions for a resistant variety would be helpful.

Answer: Verticillium wilt is mostly associated with maples and redbuds but it can affect at least 80 different species of trees. Maples can also develop other wilts and the best way to tell if verticillium is at fault is to look for streaking within the wood of the tree. Since your tree is already gone, that might be hard to do, and since verticillium is soil borne, your best bet is to choose a verticillium resistant tree. Apple, Holly, Pear, Beech, Honey locust, Poplar, Birch, Hornbeam Pine, Crabapple, Juniper, Dogwood, Katsura tree, Spruce, Fir, Larch, Sweet gum,
Firethorn, Linden, Sycamore, Ginkgo, Mountain ash, Walnut, Hackberry, Mulberry, Willow, Hawthorn, Oak, Yew, Hickory, Pawpaw, and Zelkova are all resistant. Because you are concerned about a water line beneath the soil surface, you may want to plant something like holly or dogwood. Each has a rather shallow root system.

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