Need a plant that can survive plant hell

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by predators2001, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. predators2001

    predators2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I have a huge flat paved area with four 6 foot square spots for single trees. The base is crappy impermeable crush and run and clay. The first trees to die were flowering cherry (Kwanzaan). They died from too much heat and a summer long drought.

    Next we dug up some of the clay and crush and added topsoil and compost. Planted crab apples. They survived one year and started out this year before we had a replay of Noahs ark days with a solid month of rain and standing water.

    Presently have tables placed on the grated tree space and it looks better.

    Any suggestions besides plastics or a cool 6 ft square paver pattern?
  2. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,897

    Check out a Ginko I grew up in Ind. and there was one in the middle of our asphalt playground. Might also consider a Jap Maple they can hang here until about 100-105. I know in Sacramento Ca they did OK and it got pretty hot there too. What about Oaks? we have those here in a dodge dealership parking lot with the exact same conditions. Here we use southern live oaks Querkus virginiana's don't give me any grief on the botanical spelling.
  3. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Why not build a small wall around the planting area, add some topsoil, and put your trees in a raised bed.
  4. OP

    predators2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    (Why not build a small wall around the planting area, add some topsoil, and put your trees in a raised bed.)

    The site has a heavy cast iron grate around the hole now to keep people from tripping. But that is a good idea if all else fails.
  5. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 714

    honey locust?
  6. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,157

    If you are looking for a good parking lot tree, by that I mean the tree is being planted in a small open area surrounded by paving, pavers etc. and the soil is poor, plant one of these;

    Pistacia chinesis Chinese Pistache

    Zelkova serrata 'Musashino' Musashino Zelkova -this one is very upright growing and only spreads about 20 feet.

    The Ginko (as stated above) would be a good choice. The only bad thing is if you enjoy fall color for a couple of weeks is that the Ginko drops all of it's leaves in about 1 to 2 days.
  7. NatesLawnCareLLC

    NatesLawnCareLLC LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 107

    The raised bed is a good idea but the only thing I can think will be a problem are...

    1. Building walls are expensive and take time
    2. Planting a tree in a raised bed would probably cause the tree to have shallow roots or push and break the walls.

    My recommendation is make a raised flower bed with Hosta if your looking for something low maintenance or Some Perennials like Lilac or something similar.
  8. SuperBGuy

    SuperBGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Acer Bergerianum- Trident maple
    Acer platanoides- Norway
    Acer rubrum- red maple
    Liquidambar styraciflua- Sweetgum
    Gleditsia triacanthos- Honey locust
    Sorbus accuparia- European Mtn Ash
    Phellodendron amurense- Amur corktree

    Platanus acerifolia- London plane tree
    Tillia cordata- littleleaf linden
    Cratageus- Hawthorn

    Hope u find this helpful

  9. SunsationalLandServices

    SunsationalLandServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Just my two pennies, but I would suggest most any oak. We have them in similar situations here in Central Florida in many parking lots. The nice part is that due to the fact that they are in a confined area w/bad soil, they will grow slowly and should remain small for quite some time.
  10. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,753

    Good suggestions all, except I would disagree with the Ginkgo unless you can gurantee it will not fruit. They are great street trees but the fruits smell and are messy.

    My opinion is the honey locust is probably the best suited in this situation.

    You might try a sycamore, we have them lining the streets in my town and they are about 25 years old and doing great. They will shed leaves during the summer to compensate for some drought stress but otherwise they are a good choice. they are planted in areas that are about 3 feet wide and 10 feet long and surrounded by road, sidewalk and parking lot.

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