Tree Recommendations?


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Hello, we're in the market for a few trees. We're having a hard time deciding with past and current guidelines in mind and were hoping some of you might have a few ideas? I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post but I wanted to convey best I could. Though it would be a nice surprise, I'm not expecting a tree that checks every box. I'm just giving what I know as food for thought, to see what surfaces. I hope that makes sense?

We're in mountain foot hills living in the North West. In the past we've had serious fungus and mold issues before addressing the issues, including rust fungus from the old orchard and incense cedars next door. Most was due to poor air circulation, sick trees that were planted wrong, too closely or dying of old age. Our soil is pretty good, the water table is high in the winter and 8-10ft in summer. I do worry about root rot issues? We have firs, oak, Locust, cedar, maples, hemlocks and sequoia that grow naturally locally and they're healthy. Although I have noticed that blue spruce when they reach a mature height appear more sickly with age. Not sure why, maybe its a root issue? No doubt we have a mix of clay and rock, especially deeper down by the looks of our neighbors. But our soil looks very nice - plus yrs of conditioning. We can have VERY wet winters and when/if we get snow, it can be a lot. Sometimes we get down the the teens, but not as often. Our temps are average, though the gentle rainy summers we used to get 12 yrs ago are a thing of the past. It's more common now to get temps over 100* in summer. We got 112* for almost a week last summer, it did some damage to trees all around us. But ours did okay, probably because we water.

We're older and not able to do as much. We're hoping for low maintenance tree suggestions in both evergreen and deciduous. The locations are open areas mostly with full sun. We'd love a tree of interest, like branch structure, flowers or fall color? But its not a must. We just want something long lived, tough against all seasons + adaptable to soil types, 40ft mature or taller, 15-30ft wide, med to fast growing, no major pest or mold issues if possible, especially nothing prone to limb breakage or root invasion as buildings will be 18-20ft away. (is that enough distance?) My wife wants something without nuts or too trashy. Pine cones are fine if they're small, like a hemlock -/+?

Hoping for something other than more of what we have. We currently have 3 types of Ash Trees, 6 types of Maples, Willow, Fir Trees, Giant Green Thuja, Thuja Plicata Zebrina and Canadian Hemlock.

I really want another Norway Spruce, we had a 60 footer that was leaning badly from being planted poorly and we had to cut it down yrs ago. The pinecones where rather large, shape and size of bananas. But it was a large beautiful tree that thrived. So don't be shy recommending something just became it doesn't fit 100% parameters. :) I like Thornless Locust, but concerned about limb breakage? We did have a Poplar Tulip tree that we wanted to keep. But the roots were horrible and had to go. It also got ants & mites badly it caused problems for the laurel hedges. We're on a well too, so I try to stay natural as we can for pests & fungus treatments. Cedrus Cedar Deodara comes to mind, but I read they're prone to root rot? IDK. Kind of overwhelming to decide after all we've gone through getting to this point not wanting to screw it up.

Thanks for reading, sorry it was long. :) Take care.
 
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So many possibilities, though as you say, not everything will quite fit the description given.
For now, I'll just throw out a few ideas that come to me. Even if they don't fit, they will give the next round of suggestions more accuracy.

Chinese Elm (Ulmus pauciflora), or something similar like Saw-leaf Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)?

A fruitless (male) Mulberry (Morus alba)? Perhaps that is just too commonplace.
Frankly, I'd choose a fruiting mulberry but many people consider the fruit a mess instead of a crop.

A Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)?

Bull-bay Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)?

Perhaps an unusual conversation piece, like a Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata) or a Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides)?
 
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So many possibilities, though as you say, not everything will quite fit the description given.
For now, I'll just throw out a few ideas that come to me. Even if they don't fit, they will give the next round of suggestions more accuracy.

Chinese Elm (Ulmus pauciflora), or something similar like Saw-leaf Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)?

A fruitless (male) Mulberry (Morus alba)? Perhaps that is just too commonplace.
Frankly, I'd choose a fruiting mulberry but many people consider the fruit a mess instead of a crop.

A Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)?

Bull-bay Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)?

Perhaps an unusual conversation piece, like a Dove Tree (Davidia involucrata) or a Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides)?
Hiya Marck! Great suggestions, my favorites so far being the Chinese Elm and the Coastal Redwood. The Dove Tree is amazing, I've never seen one of those!

A Coastal Redwood's been on my radar. Got a great spot for one too. But I've held back being concerned about it robbing other nearby hedges, small trees and shrubs of moisture as it gets bigger, I heard they're heavy drinkers? I thought they didn't like high water tables, but I can't verify that.

I do however have a small seedling from some 'beautiful' cedar trees that's supposedly a disease and mold resistant strain,.. if there is such a thing? The parent trees are large, 100ft -/+ and 100 yrs old according to the gardener. I wish I knew what the species was. I'll include photos below maybe you'll have an idea? Do you think these would have a good chance? I have a great spot, nice and open on the west side of the house that I'm saving for something special. If I was able to put this Cedar Tree there,.. what would be a safe distance nearest the foundation? Though, I worry about the apple cedar rust and was going to put it even more out in the open where it could breath more, thinking that might help? I'm clueless really. :)

We do water like I mentioned, but by that I mean we soak the ground when needed. And the lawn goes dormant in summer - country house. It'd be nice to have trees that won't stress or die if they get missed a day or two by accident. Feelin' like I'm asking too much sometimes, but I look around and see trees all around that are never watered and doing okay. Lots of native trees here, but most are invasive or trashy. Doesn't have to be fancy, just something reliable and what we don't already have.

Thanks again!!
 

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Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are interesting trees. They get famously tall, but are also streamlined, symmetrical and balanced, so there is less danger of limb breakage. In nature they only grow where they can get summer fog drip, but in cultivation they seem to survive on only moderate summer irrigation once established, even in inland locations. They aren't wetland trees, but they will benefit from access to underground water.
 
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Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) are interesting trees. They get famously tall, but are also streamlined, symmetrical and balanced, so there is less danger of limb breakage. In nature they only grow where they can get summer fog drip, but in cultivation they seem to survive on only moderate summer irrigation once established, even in inland locations. They aren't wetland trees, but they will benefit from access to underground water.
There is one in the national arboretum just down the road from here (Bedgebury). Planted in the late 1800's it is a substantial tree and seems to do well in a British climate.
 
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I would be looking at 30-40ft from buildings rather than twenty for trees that size.
Thanks! That's what I was guessing in my head,.. darn. I do have a perfect spot in the far corner where it'd have free reign but was saving that spot for a Norway Spruce. Hmmmm, decisions.

@Neno Baylov so many great pics!! What did they use to built the living structures,.. Willow? I've always been fascinated in doing something like that but worried I didn't have enough space or it'd get out of control? How do the branches keep from strangling each other or is that even a concern? I have a gateway I've grown Laurels over and around, but nothing that pretty, wow!
 
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Willow can take a bit of controlling. I remember telling my father I had been reading about propagating things, most said take a cutting about 9inches long and thickness of a pencil. Willow said 3/4 to an inch thick and about six foot long and make a hole with a crowbar. Dad grinned and said, "And then stand back, it does grow quick".
I think Neno likes willows :) I love those big old ones, there was a garden I used to cut the hedge out front that had one hanging over a pond, beautiful.
 
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Yes, do that! If possible, build a willow-wattle structure. It would be magnificent.

Here is the Auerworld Palace, in Auerstedt, Germany.
auerworldpalace4.jpg


The Baubotanik Tower, also in Germany, uses metal scaffolding for multiple stories.

57e41417a3084307b10f55710ab566b6.f5fb7444.jpg
 
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You can make small shapes, they will definitely attract your guests. Otherwise you need to prune not to grow in unwanted directions, it is not difficult. I will leave you a few videos with a precise explanation and demonstration of the process.
 
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Willow can take a bit of controlling. I remember telling my father I had been reading about propagating things, most said take a cutting about 9inches long and thickness of a pencil. Willow said 3/4 to an inch thick and about six foot long and make a hole with a crowbar. Dad grinned and said, "And then stand back, it does grow quick".
I think Neno likes willows :) I love those big old ones, there was a garden I used to cut the hedge out front that had one hanging over a pond, beautiful.

They sure can! Our is labor of love. Will have to see if I can find a photo of it with leaves on it. It's starting to grow new now. I keep it looking like a giant 45ft wide mushroom. It should've died yrs ago, but still keeps on going somehow.

Growing up we used to hike with about 400 16-18" willow stems in our backpacks like arrow quivers. The farmers hired us to stick them in the mud banks - especially on the outer bends. To preserve the crop and farm land it bordered. we had a lot of Volcanic ash in the soil. Great soil but it washed away easily. A river could change quickly in a single winter of high water, some areas would unrecognizably so. The Willows did a good job, and the best part was I knew where ALL the best Bass finishing spots were. Caught many trophy size fish of all types under those trees. A lot of people couldn't fish it as much either since there was no bank to stand on and the willows were too thick. We just fished sitting on the lower tree branches. :)

Before that, they would line the banks with old classic cars and trucks and run steel cable through them to anchor them into the bank to prevent wash out. As a classic car lover, I shutter at that thought today. As a kid me and my dog used to sit on top of an Old 50's Buick and a Cadillac, to fish my favorite hole. I'd come home with hood ornaments now and then - treasures. 45 yrs later I still have a few of them. One's on my riding Lawn mower,... it makes it go faster!

@Neno Baylov that's amazing!! Thank you so much for all that, really enjoyed these videos and I bookmarked them all. I've been wanting to try something along this lines for at least 15 yrs but always found reason not to. Now you've gone and done it! The bug is back in my head. It's whispering 'Gazebo'. :)
 

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