Tree Recommendations & "The Facts"




Common name
Avail Height Canopy Life Soil Drain Light Flower Comments
Best alternatives for replacement of Drake Elms            


(Quercus virginiana)

Generally 60-80' 60-120' >50 Clay Sand Loam well-drained, occasionally wet Sun, PS Inconspicuous Native. Moderate to fast growth rate. Massive and wide spreading. Train to a single trunk and a strong branch structure when young. Smooth, leathery, unlobed green leaves with gray-green undersides. Yellowish brown catkins in spring. Fissured bark. Black acorns in late summer attract wildlife. Full sun to part shade. Well-drained acid to alkaline soil. Tolerates sandy dry soil. Stronger than the Laurel Oak.


(Ulmus alata)

Some-what 45-70' 30-40' >50 Clay Sand Loam well-drained, extensive flooding Sun, PS Inconspicuous Native. Fast growing. Disease and pest resistant. Roots well.
Less suitable but OK                



Some-what 60-70' 40-60' >50 Clay Sand Loam well-drained Sun, PS Inconspicuous A semi-evergreen fast growing native oak with few pest problems. Oval shape. Drought tolerant. Needs good drainage, does not like wet soil. Lives only 30-50 years.


'Florida Flame'

(Acer rubrum)

Generally 60-75' 25-35' >50 Clay Sand Loam well-drained, extensive flooding Sun, PS Red Red maple or Swamp maple. Needs a damp soil to do well. Fast growing to 60 to 80 feet tall and 45 feet wide. Pyramidal to rounded. Is one of the most popular landscape maples. Few pest problems. Dark green lobed leaves with pale undersides. Leaves change to a variable combination of red and yellow in early fall. Autumn color varies from tree to tree; some trees color more consistantly than others. Misty red flowers in spring, numerous samaras. Silvery gray bark. Full sun to part shade. Adapts to most soils, wet to dry, clayey to rocky. Tolerates air pollution. Fallen seeds can be messy and pose a weed seedling problem; consider seedless forms. The variety 'Drummondii' is of southern origin, so it colors well in the south and tolerates salty soil. Other cultivars for the south are: 'October Glory', 'Legacy', 'Red Sunset' and 'Steeple'.


(Ulmus parvifolia - Allee)

Some-what 50-75' 35-45' >50 Sand Loam Clay well-drained, occasionally wet Sun, PS Inconspicuous Chinese Elm cultivar 'Allee' has a tall vase shape, growing to 50' or even 75' tall, and yellow-orange and rust-red fall color. Preferred above Drake elm, since it needs less pruning to prevent weeping branches touching cars and pedestrians. However, as shallow rooted as the Drake elm.
Existing trees in Cypress Isles (shallow roots in clay soil)        


(Ulmus parvifolia - Drake)

Generally 35-45' 35-50' 25-50 Sand Loam Clay well-drained, occasionally wet Sun Inconspicuous Lacebark Elm. Pest resistant. Moderate growth rate to 50'. Rounded weeping form. Dark glossy 3" green leaves with finely toothed edges are borne in dense clusters. They turn yellow to reddish purple in late autumn, but are almost evergreen in the South. Papery 1/2" seedpods last into winter. Colorful orange, tan and gray bark cloaks the trunk and branches and is especially attractive in winter. Full sun to part shade. Fertile, moist, well-drained soil. Tolerates drought and urban sites. Train to a single leader when young. Thin crowded branches to reduce wind resistance and storm damage. Protect trunk from mechanical injury. Highly resistant to DED (Dutch Elm Disease), elm leaf beetles, and Japanese beetles. Use this large tree to cast shade in tough sites.


[Back to Architectural Review Page]



This page was updated 8/23/2001