In the past few years, we have seen a rapid decline in the number of trees on properties due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Because of a monoculture of trees, an insect or disease can spread fast and decimate our landscapes as well as budgets. As Ash trees became infected and were removed, there has been an increase in the demand of trees, which has put a strain on availabilities and caused prices to rise dramatically. The one positive lesson that has been learned from the Emerald Ash Borer is not to have a monoculture of trees. It is strongly suggested that while replacements of Ash trees are being selected that several different species of trees be installed. By doing this, you are creating a diverse plant palette that will not be completely eradicated when the next insect or disease comes to town. Below are a few replacement suggestions that we would like for you to consider.
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) is a native shade tree that thrives in poorly drained wet soil and is salt tolerant. At maturity it can reach 50’ tall and have a spread of 40’. In the fall it has an orange, gold, yellow fall color.
Yellow Sweet Buckeye (Aesculus octandra) is a native shade tree. At maturity it can reach 70’ tall and have a spread of 30-40’. It has strong wood and exceptional ornamental features. Ornamental features include 6” yellow spring blossoms and yellow-orange fall color.
Espresso Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus diocia ‘Espresso’) is a native shade tree and an exciting variety of the Kentucky Coffeetree. It is drought and pollution tolerant which makes it a great choice for parkway and parking lot islands. At maturity it can reach 60-75’ tall and have a spread of 40-50’. It has an interesting bark that has a coarse texture for winter interest and has a yellow fall color.
Fall Fiesta Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum ‘Bailsta’) is a shade tree that has several noteworthy characteristics. At maturity it can reach 50-70’ tall and have a spread of 50’. Compared to the species plant it has a rapid growth rate and a symmetrical rounded habit. It has a good resistance to summer heat, wind and drought as well as leaf tatter and leaf scorch. It has excellent winter hardiness and has a beautiful yellow, orange, red fall color.