My Crimson King and Royal Red Maple trees both died in our front yard. We have clay soil and it seems as if the trees drown from too much water gathering or the roots hit the mative soil and can't go any farther. We ammended the soil according to our gardening center and our trees both budded in the spring and then died. We will either need to find a tree to go in this area or move the placement. we are looking for a tree to tolerate WI weather and the wet, clay soil. Don't want a huge tree. Could be ornamental

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2 Answers

Think About Adding Trees That Tolerate Wet Soil
So, You are thinking about planting some trees that tolerate wet soil.  Some mature trees can take up a lot of water - 50 to 100 gallons (190-380 l) a day. But they often return a fair amount of that water back to the ground as a kind of 'sweat'.

For instance, after a severe or heavy rain, several different types of trees will secrete the water back out from their leaves which will look like raindrops.   So: Are some trees giant natural sump pumps? Or are they just trying to move enough water away from their roots to be able to breathe again for a bit?

Either way, there are real physical limits as to how much water any tree can absorb. When people talk about planting chronic wet spots with trees such as, they’re mostly naming the few trees that won’t die when their roots stay wet for extended periods of time.

The best trees are:  Willows;  Eastern Red Cedar;  Bald Cypress, and the River Birch

Those four trees, are also popular because they all can grow in a wide range of climates and can survive dry spells, which is important; a lot of spots that "always stay wet" are actually pretty dry in the summer.  Thus,  if you want a big spectacular tree in the landscape, like for that huge lawn area, a moisture loving tree will likely thrive there, and putting the right tree in the right place can make the surrounding area a little drier. -Birdy

by Master Gardner (33.0k points)
or try a tall bush........forsythia.......not fussy...........grows well anywhere.  Grows 10 ft high.........3 to 5 ft wide...........keeps the side of our porch cooler, filters the dust.  Starts prebuds early spring............then yellow flowers........then into green leaves.  Leaves drop off late fall, filters light, easy to grow..........can cut pieces early spring in the prebud and make more along a fence line...............we used a cordless drill with a long bit and drilled holes and pushed them in 1 ft..........watered them and kept them about 1 ft apart................they all came up and opened in a couple of weeks.  They tolerate we soil..................the only other tree that will tolerate wet soil is a WILLOW..........they love wet soil but don't plant near a foundation, septic system or drain field...........................Happy Summer.
by Master Gardner (152k points)

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