I'm designing for an urban home in St. Louis, MO. many neighbors run off (LOTS of water) enter their property creating a stream to the street and my feet sink a couple inches walking on it for a couple days after rain. the area is currently in grass/lawn which is lush and green even in this wet winter. Does that indicate that there is adequate drainage to plant trees? if not, how can I figure out the situation in a timely manner?
It depends a lot on the type of tree and especially the rootstock. Peaches are the least tolerant of wet soils. Plums and apricots are often grafted on peach rootstock. Some plum rootstocks can stand wetter soil. You can get peach on plum rootstock. Some apple rootstocks stand more than others. If you want fruit trees, I'd try Raintree Nurseries or Edible Landscaping. They tell you what rootstocks they use on each tree and some fruits have more than one type to chose from. I believe Stark Bros is in your part of the state. They are a good company and have good trees, but I've tried a couple time to find out what rootstocks they're using and they couldn't tell me.
Pecans are grown on flood ground here. A lot of natives can stand wet soil. Redbud and dogwood don't seem to like it though. Guess they do better on hills. If you just want shade, willows grow around the edges of ponds, partially in the water. There are varieties that don't get huge. Cyprus are awesome trees. I've never grown one though.
A few inches of built up soil can help a lot. Does the water stay in puddles or run off? Healthy grass is a good sign. What are you wanting to do? Fruit, nuts, shade, or ornamental?
Since you want some food production, you might consider making the shade tree dual purpose. Standard sized apple trees are nice shade trees. They might produce more than you want to deal with though. Pecans are very attractive trees and the webworms aren't usually a problem.
Standard trees are a lot hardier than the full dwarfs. Some of my full dwarf apples and all of my dwarf pears died about the time they were mature. Springs are very wet and summers are often very dry in this part of the state. We get a lot of wind too. The pears mostly died of fireblight. The apples fireblight and drought. I actually had one mature dwarf apple die with a full crop of almost mature apples on it. It didn't drop the apples or even the leaves. They looked like they'd been dehydrated. I'm replacing them with a standard sized pear, a couple semi standard apples, a white mulberry, and two Nikkita's Gift persimmon. I'm going for variety now so a single disease isn't likely to affect every tree. I also have sea berries, autumn olives, and goji berries.
I'm not familiar with hybrid linden. I've heard some hybrids have very invasive roots and weak branches from the fast growth. Honeybees like linden though.
There seem to be quite a few people from MO on here. Always nice to hear from another Missourian though.I haven't been to Bowling Green. Is this thread about your own yard? I think St Louis has less droughts than we do.
Always look on the bright side of life. At least this ad is really tiny: