Can someone suggest a small tree, native to nj?

njbiology

Hi,

I would like to grow some trees around my pond.

I would like them to be not wider then 25'-30'max, and not taller then 35'-50'max; if they are native to New Jersey, it would be even better.

I would pick certain types of Birch or Willow, but I have heard it claimed that these trees, by virtue of the nature and habit of their roots, may pierce/invade the pond liner, which if it is not true, please let me know, as I would like these - I'm afraid since I have non-weeping willow about 40 feet from my pond escavation.

I'm already going to get White Flowering Dogwood, and even though not native: Star Magnolia.

I won't get trees with less then long longevity, such as cherry trees. I want to have shade to plant hostas and ferns underneath the trees, and which that Dawn Redwood would not get to big. So, again, I start my list of possibilities with:

-Dogwood

-Star Magnolia

and exclude: cherry, flowering cherry, japanese mapple, redbud (short life-span), peach, birch, and willow.

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Comments (11)
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nativenut(z7B GA)

Halesia caroliniana (silverbell) beautiful, bell-shaped blooms and yellow fall color, amalanchier (serviceberry) brief white blooms and exceptional fall color, lindera benzoin (spicebush) pruned up into tree form, any of the several viburnums. Winterberry holly (ilex verticillata) is stunning when put around a pond.

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birdgardner(NJ/ 6b)

Sweetbay magnolia. Beautiful scent and flowers, naturally grows near water.

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yarthkin(6-7a)

Yeah, I was going to say that too. Why plant a non-native magnolia when the Sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana) is so nice?

Also the Bay Laurels (Myrica) might work well too and I'm fairly certain several of them are native to your area. I have no Idea if it grows that far north, but fringe tree is another small (and fragrant!) tree that might work. Lastly, you might try one of the native witch hazels. There is a fall blooming and a spring blooming one (and the both bloom after/before almost anything else).

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reball517(z5-MA)

Another small tree I love is the Cercis Canadensis (Eastern Redbud). They are in bloom now. I have one in fairly dense shade that blooms, and one in half shade that blooms spectacularly.

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john_mo(z5/6)

Regarding your concern about tree roots penetrating a (plastic, rubber?) pond liner. Just doesn't happen unless the liner is already punctured or torn. Probably wildlife (e.g. muskrats) are a much greater concern.

I think river birch would be an excellent choice for a pond margin. It might eventually exceed your size preferences, but not for a good long while.

There are also a variety of smaller willows, though I'm not sure which would be native to your area.

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Iris GW

I don't have a suggestion except to say whenever I hear "small tree" I also start thinking about large shrubs pruned into tree form. You've gotten several good suggestions already!

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loris(Z6 NJ)

I'm not sure how important it is to you a tree be native to NJ. I'd looked into Halesia caroliniana (silverbell)
a couple of years ago, and it looks like its native range starts further south than NJ.

By the way, I think we'll be adding sweetbay magnolia to our garden this year.

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nativenut(z7B GA)

Halesia carolina will grow in zones 4-8, from what I have read, Halesia diptera is a more southern species with slightly larger blooms and still should be OK in zone 6-7. It is a neat plant!

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mucknmire(zone6 NJ)

All great selections but one concern is leaf drop into the pond. With some of the smaller leafed trees it may be difficult to scoop up all the leaves from the pond esp. in fall. We have several non-native small trees surrounding our pond and it's a hassle.

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myrmecodia(7 NC)

Why is the short lifespan of redbud a problem? Its lifespan (50-75 years) will certainly be longer than the lifespan of your pond liner, and probably longer than the lifespan of the pond. Redbud seems admirably suited to your needs: smallish stature, attractive flowers, and large leaves that would be easy to remove from the pond.

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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

I don't know that cercis canadensis has a 50 year lifespan. I'm under the impression it's at least half that at best.

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