Wow! James Island received about 6 inches of rain yesterday! Many of the surrounding areas of Charleston were drenched, too and the downpours are to continue for a few more days. This got us to thinking about the best trees for waterlogged soil. Many of our customers are located in the floodplain with soils that can be, well, swamp-like.
The Best Trees for Waterlogged Soil
Here are the “capable” trees for those soggy soils: Baldcypress, Black willow, Water Elm, Water Tupelo, Larch and Pumpkin Ash. These will actually exist on permanently flooded soils.
Trees That Tolerate Waterlogged Soil
A few species are ranked “moderate”, so are able to tolerate flooding regimes typical of major river systems in Eastern N. America (that would be most of us in the lowcountry). These tree are: Red Maple, Silver Maple, Alders, River Birch, Water Hickory, Hawthorns, Persimmon, Green Ash, Water Locust, Honeylocust, Sweetgum, Sycamore and Pin Oak.
Trees that Won’t Grow in Waterlogged Soil
And now for the “weak” trees that we don’t want to plant or ‘inherit’: Pecan, Pignut Hickory, Shellbark Hickory, Sugarberry, Hackberry, Black Walnut, Red Mulberry, Blackgum, Eastern Cottonwood, Willow Oak, Bur Oak, Northern Catalpa, Cherrybark Oak and Shumard Oak.
If we wisely apply tree-water relations information, we can efficiently improve the health and benefits of trees in our residential and urban landscapes, while also increasing our safety as we live amongst the trees!