The Q&A Archives: trees

Question: I would like to plant a fast growing tree for shade. The ground is hard clay and so far nothing has survived. I read the Q&A section and it said to condition the soil for about three years. That's three more years to wait to plant anything. Can you suggest anything that can be done or am I asking for the impossible?

Answer: Many trees will adapt to growing in clay soils. SMUD suggests the following landscape trees: Little Leaf Linden (Tilia Cordata), Trident Maple (Acer buergeranum), Hedge Maple (Acer campestre), Chinese Pistache (Pistache chinesis),
Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla japonica), Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata), Tupelo (Nyssa sylvtica), Capital Pear (Pyrus calleryana). I've also had good success with fruitless mulberry and catalpa. Hope one of these is just right for your landscape.

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