Trees that grow fast can topple

GARDEN Q&A

February 24, 2007|By Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld | Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld,Special to The Sun

Any suggestion for fast-growing trees for a windy site? I heard Leyland cypress might be dicey.

Fast-growing trees are not always the most stable trees. Leyland cypress is notorious for blowing over. Also, if you encourage a young tree to grow too rapidly by fertilizing, the tree may not produce adequate root structure to support heavy top growth. Your best choice may be a moderate grower. Evergreen choices: American holly, Arborvitae, Eastern red cedar, Southern magnolia. Deciduous choices: American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), American beech (Fagus americana), Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), Littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata), Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata). Read our fact sheet "Planting Tips for Trees and Shrubs."

Checklist

You can overseed a thin lawn from late February through the end of March. Remove leaves and other debris and rake the soil to ensure good seed-soil contact.

Do you have a low, wet area in your landscape? A native plant rain garden could be the solution. Call our hot line to learn more.

Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, and Jon Traunfeld, regional specialist, work at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, which offers Maryland residents free gardening information. Call the center's hot line at 800-342-2507 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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