What trees or bushes to grow in very wet heavy soil?
As title really. As part of my shed build I’ve taken down an old birch right on the boundary of my property as it was lifting flags and was big enough and close enough to worry me.Posted 7 months ago
Chatting with the neighbour has revealed that it seemed to have been planted right where there may have been a small brook running some 50 ish years ago. He grew up there and we suspect the builders of my house probably dug a French drain on the boundary and then covered it over.
The soil is very clay-y and very wet. It always is, tbh, apart from summer when it’s rock hard! I’d like to plant some trees or bushes to suck up some of the water. I’ll be planting them on or near our boundary.
What options can anyone give me?
Not a willow though due to the root spread. Any bushes that are good for this? Conifers maybe?
Blackthorn or hornbeam for a hedge.Posted 7 months ago
Kelp?Posted 7 months ago
DogwoodPosted 7 months ago
AlderPosted 7 months ago
Willow, I think is the only tree that can grow with its roots completely in water. Lots of decorative versions in all shapes and sizes too. We have a little shrub one with pretty pink rabbit tails on it currently that looks almost like flowers.
EDIT just read you said not willow…Posted 7 months ago
Ooo that’s a thought. They can come in bush form too.Posted 7 months ago
Laurel, they’re Hardy.Posted 7 months ago
Please, an end to these puns as they’re making me feel increasingly queasy. Sycamore, in fact.Posted 7 months ago
Buddleia is a tough hardy shrub that should be able to cope with wet soil and drought.Posted 7 months ago
Plenty of varieties with different coloured flowers that are popular with nectar loving insects.
Birch? Buddleia is an invasive species please avoid.Posted 7 months ago
Rowan, alder and hazel and crop them. Birch. There are many types of birch, some are quite small. You can also crown them and they’ll look fine. Not willow, the roots will search for water and break into the French drain.Posted 7 months ago
Ah, yes maybe not Buddleia! I didn’t realise how invasive it can be when it escapes the garden.Posted 7 months ago
Buddleia likes dry, poor soil conditions or none at all, just look around derelict sites and old buildings, I wouldn’t consider it invasive. Dogwood likes wet areas, nice coloured stems in winter, prune down and some foliage in summer.Posted 7 months ago
I should look in the local woods as our native soil here is 50% clay and 50% rocks. The woods are full of hazel trees.Posted 7 months ago
Buddleia is an invasive species please avoid
That may be somewhat over-doing it. They send seeds out like many plants and the seeds will root and grow if they’re allowed to. Chop Buddleia back to within 50cm of the ground in March/April and they’ll be fine, but not in wet soil so that’s a non-starter herePosted 7 months ago
Rice or watercress 🙂Posted 7 months ago
Aucuba japonica will grow almost anywhere, it’ll depend on how wet the soil gets but they withstand most soils. They’re happy in sun or shade and they’re cheap enough to try. If it’s shady some ferns and wild garlic as well for variety (but confine that to pots planted in the soil)Posted 7 months ago
Ah, I have some of that in the garden. Will have a think about transplanting.
Local woods are birch and holly.Posted 7 months ago
Alder loves wet ground and does funky nitrogen fixing shenanigans so might be good for your soil as well? Otherwise various willows might works? They are fairly classic waterside trees.Posted 7 months ago
Good call, Gunnera looks great in The Lost Gardens of HelliganPosted 7 months ago
Sounds like the soil conditions around me, soaking wet clay, boggy all year round. Alder is what grows here, and hazel, you often find them together, along with elderberry trees.Posted 7 months ago
if you plant a hazel, plant two.
and you’ll get a delicious snack… if you’re quickPosted 7 months ago
Mangrove?Posted 7 months ago
Thanks everyone (mostly) 🤪Posted 7 months ago
Some really great leads there – I’ll have a look around for other stuff I can liberate and replant.
Have you thought about refurbishing the french drain? Then you’ll be able to plant anything you like.Posted 6 months ago
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