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Feb 25, 2021 11:58 AM CST
|Which fruit trees absorb the most water? I live near Austin, TX (zone 8b) and I want to plant some fruit trees, and I'd really like to reduce the moisture of the yard.
I can plant them in small mounds, if need be, to protect them from root rot.
I don't want to shade to much of my yard, so aside from fruit trees, what are some trees that drink lots of water but don't cast much shade?
Feb 25, 2021 2:52 PM CST
|Bald Cypress might be best, also willows, or cottonwoods do well in soggy conditions.
South Central Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Feb 25, 2021 5:53 PM CST
|Fruit trees are notorious for not liking wet feet. Apples and pears fail to thrive under wet conditions. Persimmon comes to mind as a wet ground species, but they send up lots of trees from their roots. Black Walnuts also can grow in wet conditions, but they are huge trees and shed copious amounts of nuts and branches. European Alders are decent small trees that need wet conditions and make decorative cones used in wreaths. Ilex verticillata (Winterberry) also are shrubs with decorative qualities that like wet feet. If you have the room, Nyssa species have light shade. They are huge trees, but if you plant a 6ft tree this year, you won't live long enough to be able to build a swing on the lowest branches because they grow so slowly.|
Feb 25, 2021 10:08 PM CST
|Don't plant cherries of any kind.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost
President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Feb 26, 2021 6:08 AM CST
|I have a spot in my orchard that stays wet longer into the spring than the other areas (very clay soil), and have had to be a bit creative with it. Originally I planted an apple there... and over a number of years now, it hasn't really grown. A pear also originally planted within that area -has- grown, but only about half as much as the same type of pear planted outside of it. I have since, at the very least, started planting my orchard specimens in raised beds.
According to the research I've done to identify what are the most wet-tolerant fruit trees (hardy to at least zone 6) I could plant in this spot, Pawpaw and Mulberry were at the top of the list, followed by Amelanchier, Pear, Mountain Ash (Sorbus), and at least some kinds of Prunus. Apples were definitely NOT on the list. If you can get decent (edible) fruit from it, Aronia is also a wet-tolerant fruit. Cranberry & Bilberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos & V. uliginosum) are short edible-fruiting shrubs/groundcovers suitable for bogs. Viburnum opulus (cranberry bush, snowball viburnum) are native to moist or even boggy soils... though its fruit may need processing to be tasty.
As for non-shade shade trees known for drinking lots of water? Willows definitely come to mind. There are a few types (Salix lucida, for instance) that can take standing water, but most just like good access to it - and will help drain an area. Some of them have very fine leaves as well (like the Rosemary willow) that could make it seem even less like a shade tree? I don't know. Birch (maybe especially river birch?) likes wet areas also (though not standing water) and doesn't strike me as much of a shade-producing tree. Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa) does well in wet places (even taking prolonged flooding), and also nitrogen-fixes to help other plants get established there. It may give more shade, though.
Best wishes to you!
Learning to work with Mother Nature rather than against her, such that the more I harvest with thankfulness, the more she will most gladly and willingly provide.
Specializing in a wide variety of trees and shrubs, occasionally with perennials as an incidental bonus.
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