For example, I loved the shade my cottonwoods gave, but they dropped cottony seeds and sticky sap in the spring, twigs, piles of big leaves that had to be shredded before they could be mulched and limbs that broke off easily. Once topped, they rotted down the center.
After researching and asking experts for advice, I chose an autumn purple ash that is supposed to adapt to most soils including clay, is easy to grow, drought tolerant, diseases are not usually serious enough to kill them, long lasting fall colors, medium-sized leaves, grows to 70 feet tall, and is a relatively fast grower, up to two feet a year. It is exclusively male so it is seedless and is hardy to zone 3. Deer do not particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone. The canopy is relatively dense and medium in texture, and the leaves drop nearly all at once; perfect for one fall cleanup. They require little pruning to develop well. The biggest threat are ash borers.
After having two holed dug, I had Skyview Nursery deliver and plant two of them. Time will tell if I made the best decision . . .
|Shade in the making.|