Ornamental tree for zone 5 wet/clay soil - Knowledgebase Question

Elgin, Il
Avatar for llj0317
Question by llj0317
April 20, 2009
Need idea/help for foundation/ornamental tree for front of house W/SW exposure, clay soil, high water table. Lost evergreens builder installed and replaced twice. Tried Kousa dogwood, but no buds or leaves yet as of 4/20/2009, is it dead? Spirea and junipers nearby the Kousa doing great. Ideas on saving the dogwood or what might work besides birch or willow in this spot? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
April 20, 2009
It may be a little early for your dogwood to spring to life. Give it another 3-4 weeks. It could be late in leafing out because it is young. Don't give up on it yet! Here are a few other trees to consider:

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
This native ornamental is a low branched, round headed tree and makes agreat addition to a lawn or woodland planting. The small purple-pink flowers line the branches in May. In the fall the foliage turns yellow.

Serviceberry 'Autumn Brilliance'
(Amelanchier x grandiflora "Autumn Brillliance')
'Autumn Brilliance is a hardy, deciduous small tree or large shrub that offers something for every season. White flowers bloom in April and red berries are produced in the summer. With the fall comes brilliant red foliage and the light gray bark and attractive branching habit bring elegance to the winter landscape.

Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
This tough native evergreen can be found growing wild in the most difficult of sites, from rocky uplands to swampy areas and along the coast. Excellent for landscape use as a hedge or a Windbreak. As aspecimen tree it will grow with adense, narrow pyramidal habit and show an attractive reddish-brown bark, exfoliating in long strips.

Sugar Maple 'Green Mountain' (Acer saccharum 'Green Mountain')
'Green Mountain' matures to a tall shade tree with a fine oval crown. The tree prefers moderately moist soil and requires space in which to grow. Excellent for large lawns, parks and other open spaces.

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