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Fall is a great time for planting to replace our lost ash
Many of you have written to say you are ready to replace your
ash tree but don't want to plant a maple, locust or callery pear
since we already have so many of them in our urban forest. Although
all three of those standards are fine trees, I'm glad you're
willing to look further. The more diverse we are in replanting, the
more we reduce the chance of future tree losses on the scale of the
elm epidemic of 30 years ago or the current ash disaster.
Trees for spaces less than five feet wide:
with known disease resistance such as 'Prairiefire', 'Red Baron',
'Red Jewel', and 'Sugar Tyme'
Hawthorns, thornless types such as Washington hawthorn
(Crataegus phaenopyrum) 'Princeton Sentry' and Crusader
hawthorn C. crusgalli inermis
Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)
Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus)
dogwood (Cornus kousa)
Trees for spaces between five and ten feet
American and European hornbeams (Carpinus betulus and
Hophornbeam or ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)
Mountain silverbell (Halesia monticola)
Golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
Amur cork tree (Phellodendron amurense, fruitless
varieties such as 'Shademaster' and 'His Majesty')
Trees for larger boulevards and islands, where roots
have at least ten feet to spread in all directions:
Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna)
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
Hardy rubber tree (Eucommia ulmoides)
(Ginkgo biloba, fruitless varieties such as 'Autumn Gold'
and 'Santa Cruz')
For areas without restriction on roots:
Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)
Dawn redwood (Metasequoia
Bald cypress (Taxodium
Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Shingle oak (Quercus imbricaria)
Swamp oak (Quercus bicolor)
Sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima)
Lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
Clip out this column as a shopping list.
Or download our more detailed list:
In the Wake of Emerald Ash Borer: Ash tree replacements
As the non-native insect, emerald ash borer (EAB), continues
killing billions of ash trees (Fraxinus species)
throughout eastern North America, there is as yet (2014)
little we can do to stop it. Here is a list of trees suitable for
replacing an ash at streetside or in your yard. It was compiled
from the choices offered by city foresters in our area, at the
epicenter of the emerald ash borer plague.
On our list we have included detailed descriptions of the trees.
For more about emerald ash borer, search those words here on our
site and visit the U.S. Forestry Service EAB information
page where you can learn about EAB status in your area, and the
latest on its control.
download the ash
tree replacement list in pdf
Need to know what grows under black walnut
You can find lists of plants killed by or compatible with walnut
trees by searching the Internet for Juglone, the toxin
produced by walnuts. Better yet, go tour gardens grown under walnut
trees and make your own list.
Fall is a great time to plant.
New plants placed now in late summer and fall have two cool
seasons in a row to take hold before facing summer heat. That's
like gaining a whole extra year's growth. If you lost a big ash
tree to emerald ash borer, nothing can replace its crown right away
but at least you can gain that year's advantage by fall
Green thumbs up
to ornamental grasses, now coming into their brightest season.
Special applause to native little bluestem (Schizachyrium
scoparium), surviving since before Europeans colonized. It's a
wonder to think that farm fences placed to keep livestock off the
tracks and sparks from coal-fired trains worked in favor of such
plants. Fences stopped overgrazing and frequent fires killed
foreign species while sparing natives that could endure flames via
their genetic "memory for fire" born of prairie lightning
Green thumbs down
to the proliferation of antibacterial products for daily use,
such as hand cleansers and medicated bandages. Gardeners know
better! We who once found it fairly easy to keep fungus-prone roses
and fruit trees clean learned that continual use of a single
anti-microbial agent bred resistant disease organisms. Now some
fungicides can't control blackspot and apple scab, just as
penicillin no longer kills certain human diseases. Follow good
garden sense and apply medicines, for plants or people, only when
truly necessary and alternate between two or more products with
different active ingredients.
Originally published 8/30/03
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