Suggestions for wetland area

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Zebop, Jun 6, 2001.

  1. Zebop

    Zebop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    New to the site... I've read a lot of useful info so far... now I want to ask all the experts what they think. I have an area of my front lawn that is technically a wetland. It borders the back of my neighbors backyard (as opposed to the side), grass is currently growing there, but I'd like to plant a bed of shrubs and trees to create a nice natural looking border, so I don't always have to see my neighbors in their hottub (nothing wrong with being overweight; I just don't need to see it in swimwear!) Any suggestions of what plants, trees etc... thrive in wetland areas? I live in upstate New York for those wondering. Thanks in advance.
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    sorry not sure what is native there... willow , cedar ???
  3. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    some of the ornamental grasses are very suitable, but they will die out in the winter and leave somewhat of a hole......not sure if they go tubbing in the winter. Also, be careful with some as they are not as cold hardy as other plants, and being in upstate NY, you may have them die out.

    Some other possibilites would be some varieties of viburnum do quite well (arrowhead, cranberry bush). Not a whole lot of evergreen material that will tolerate wet sites to give full year screening. One that does all right though is arborvitae (dark american, thuga o. 'Nigra')

    Not sure how wet you really are talking about, so if it is really wet you are limited. Best bet then is willow, but they get big and may not be the look you want. Try some of the smaller willow shrubs (pussy willow). There's a variety called 'tri-color' that is quite nice, however, it may not be hardy enough for winter temps.

    Tree wise, you could probably do river birch's, but they don't necessarily make a solid screen either. Serviceberry may be another idea also (amelanchier), and dogwoods may also be an option.

    For color, Iris's are nice and do well in wet conditions.

    Just throwing some ideas out there for you, good luck.

  4. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Zebop - don't know about NY, but here we can't legally "disturb" an area designated as wetland. Otherwise, you might try birch or poplar if you're wanting trees. Poplar especially is fast-growing and hardy. Around here, it's considered "garbage" wood, neither a "soft" or "hard" wood. I like poplar (or popple as it's called here) because of the sound the leaves make in the breeze.

    I'm no "expert", though. Not even very knowledgeable
  5. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Most wetlands plants are weeds; sedges,and grasses, like one of my favorites Joe Pie Weed. You didn't say if you have standing water year round or for just part of the year. If part of the year then some of these should work. Your looking for trees and ornamentals, and shrubs. Trees try Burr Oak and Swamp White Oak, ornamentals, try River Birch and Black Alder, Shrubs, Red Dogwood, Dwarf Willow. Now if true wet lands you'll be limited in your selection, Sedges, Grasses and some tubuer plants(cat tails) will grow best. you might want to contact your local water ways commision to find out what they are planting along streams and local wet land reclamation projects.

    I just remembered that some cedars do well in water too! might be the "evergreen" barrier you need.
  6. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    i cant say as to what to plant. however i would advise you to get some wetlands permits before you do anything. i know around here that if you disturb wetlands you can be looking at an easy 5,000 dollar fine. that is for dumping, clearing or anything of the sort. so i would say to you go and do some talking with the DEC and whoever else you need to before you touch this.
  7. Zebop

    Zebop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    :) Thanks for the answers. For those who asked, the entire development was (and is still being) built on wetland areas, so as far as disturbing anything, I guess that's relative. The area doesn't have standing water. What happens is, the street drain empties on that side, and there is a little gully of water that flows through the area after it rains, snow melts etc...I think the wetland regulations, at least in this area, are not as strict as they once were, and other than filling in the area with topsoil, I think plantings are ok (that's what the builder told me). Anyway, I'll take the advice to my local nurseries and see what I come up with.

  8. lawnboykb

    lawnboykb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I bet you have a LOT of this stuff and its a bad weed...but man you talking nice looking
    Purple loosestrife (sp) Little will kill it and your looking at a real thick 4-5 foot plant with purple tops.
  9. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Purple Loosestife is illegal to propagate or plant in some states. It is definitely classified as an invasive plant. Better plant something else.
  10. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    arborvitae will give year round screening---as Steveair previously pointed out.

    What about red or yellow twig dogwoods ? They would lose their foliage in the winter, but the twigs (bark) is red and yellow respectively. It looks interesting. You can trim them or let them hedge.


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