Rita Paye

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since Feb 11, 2011
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Recent posts by Rita Paye

While it is true that weeping willow was an important tree to native Americans, and is beautiful at a distance, it is messy because it is weak-limbed. Crack willow is non-native. Because it was introduced by colonials from Europe, crack willow's gigantic profile lines many creeks and thus appears native. Limbs crack and fall in every wind. Willow sucks up water, but you might want to avoid the extra work. Also consider size: these suckers go 70 feet.

If you want gigantic, try sycamore or tulip tree, both originally used for canoes. Better choices for creek banks are shorter natives such as redbud, amelanchier, and cedars. Under theses trees that the birds love, try shrubs like chokecherry and elderberry. All can take the periods of flood and drought.
9 years ago
Be careful to plant natives. Bamboo and willow are problem plants, messy and hard to get rid of if you change your mind. Buckthorn is a terrible invasive in Michigan, where I live. Desirable plants are unable to grow under its black shade, and few birds like the berries. This warning includes fish and other life. The Asian carp escaped from fish ponds that flooded. You don't want to inadvertently degrade habitat for fish or wildlife downcreek.

Much better trees and shrubs are available from county extension sites at low cost. Baby trees and shrubs actually take root and grow faster than big (expensive) ones, if protected from deer and rabbits. This is a great time of year to research and order plants for permanent sustainable plantings.
9 years ago