Trees And Water – Wet Soil Trees For Standing Water Areas

willow-in-water
Image by MAClarke21

By Heather Rhoades

If your yard has poor drainage, you need water loving trees. Some trees near water or that grow in standing water will die. But, if you choose wisely, you can find trees that not only grow in wet, swampy area, but will thrive and may even help correct the poor drainage in that area. Let’s look at how to choose wet soil trees and some suggestions for trees to plant in wet areas.

Your Tree and Water Drainage

The reason some trees die or grow poorly in wet areas is simply because they cannot breathe. Most tree roots need air as much as they need water. If they do not get air, they will die.

But, some water loving trees have developed the ability to grow roots without needing air. This allows them to live in marshy areas where other trees would die. As a home owner, you can take advantage of this trait to beautify your own wet and poorly drained areas.

Using Water Loving Trees to Correct Drainage Issues

Wet soil trees are a great way to help soak up excess water in your yard. Many trees that grow in wet areas will use large amounts of water. This trait causes them to use up much of the water in their vicinity, which may be enough to dry the surrounding area out enough so that other plants that are not as adapted to wet soil can survive.

A word of caution if you plant trees in wet areas. The roots of most wet soil trees are extensive and can possibly cause damage to pipes (though not often foundations). As we said, these trees need large amount of water to properly grow and if they use up all the water in the wet area of your yard, they will seek water elsewhere. Normally in urban and suburban areas, this will mean the tree will grow into water and sewer pipes looking for the water it craves.

If you plan on planting these trees near water pipes or sewers, either make sure the tree you choose does not have damaging roots or that the area you will be planting in has more than enough water to keep the tree happy.

List of Standing Water and Wet Soil Trees

All of the trees listed below will flourish in wet areas, even standing water:

  • Atlantic White Cedar
  • Bald Cypress
  • Black Ash
  • Freeman Maple
  • Green Ash
  • Nuttal Oak
  • Pear
  • Pin Oak
  • Planetree
  • Pond Cypress
  • Pumpkin Ash
  • Red Maple
  • River Birch
  • Swamp Cottonwood
  • Swamp Tupelo
  • Sweetbay Magnolia
  • Water Tupelo
  • Willow

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