Ask a Question forum: What to plant?

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Apr 2, 2017 11:55 AM CST
We live in the Philadelphia area and we have a acre of land that we do not want to mow. What is the best bush or tree we can grow on this piece of land?
Low maintenance and can cover ground to stop grass and weeds is #1 priority.
One day we would like to sell the trees as well.
We also have a overflow creek that splits our land and want to find a use for this supply of free water.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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Apr 2, 2017 1:21 PM CST
Take a trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennet Sq, will be able to get a lot of great ideas.
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Name: Jared Nicholes
Nampa, Idaho
Apr 2, 2017 3:28 PM CST
Hi there!

That is a good question. I used to work at a garden center and I think I have an idea for you.

You could use it to have an orchard of fruit trees, and have a large supply of fruit for you and/or your friends, if you want. The overflow creek could be used as a supply of water for watering all the plants on that acre. That is one idea.

I have other Ideas, if you want to hear them.

I hope this helps!

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Apr 2, 2017 11:52 PM CST
That is a LOT to ask.

For sellable trees, try Kousa Dogwood, thornless locust (Shademaster and Sunburst locust), Heritage fruit trees, and bonsai trees.

Willow trees love water and grow fast.

You can also divert creek water into a buried cistern and use that in drought months.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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Apr 3, 2017 7:20 AM CST
Not clear to me how much work you want. I could be wrong, but I took your statement to mean you want little or no labor. An orchard or a nursery, you will have to do something to eliminate grass between the plants or it will need to be mowed. Orchards require pruning and spraying or intense organic care to be productive. Get some advice from your Ag Extension if you're thinking one of those.

Can you tell us more about your idea?

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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Apr 3, 2017 7:52 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Zkbtsure .

Pretty much anything you plant is going to require some sort of maintenance... if you plant small trees or bushes of any type you will, as Sally said, still have grass to control.

When you say you would "like to sell the trees," do you mean as living trees? as firewood? as Christmas trees?

To me, mowing an acre of grass would be less work than what an orchard or tree plantation would require -- but the orchard or tree plantation would give you a lot more return on the effort you put into it.
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Apr 3, 2017 1:07 PM CST
Thank u everyone for the tips.
We would prefer to not have any tree that invites deer or squirrel, so fruit trees sound so great but not for us.
Dogwood is a possibility.
The thing I cannot figure out is we will plant baby trees or bushes so there will be grass between everything. It would be a nightmare mowing between each plant.
How can we stop the grass and weeds?
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Apr 3, 2017 3:13 PM CST
Planting any kind of orchard or even an acre of trees require plently of planning and lots of work. It may not be easy and you won't make a fortune but it could be worth the effort. Contact your local university for more information about your local conditions.

Here is one example:
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