This week I met someone who works with trees for a local municipality while working a shift at the home, farm and auto supply store.
We discussed several topics, including dealing with Japanese Beetles, tree species that thrive in Iowa, and the Emerald Ash Borer. He favored the River Birch tree.
The city had inventoried every ash tree on public property and had a plan to replace them when they inevitably become infected with the insect.
I asked with what species would the city replace ash trees? He mentioned Chestnut and Black Tupelo (a.k.a. Black Gum). We discussed the blight that eradicated the immense population of Chestnut trees in the Eastern United States and how genetics had improved the tree to resist the disease. He also mentioned the Black Gum tree is attractive, with a nice head, and grows comparatively quickly. The conversation drifted off into how people plan trees on their property and the challenges of establishing them on property with a limited number of spots. I returned to the rest of my work.
Growing trees is a long-term commitment. When we built our home only one tree, a mulberry, lived on our lot. We now have 15 with room for more. I’m not sure I want a chestnut, but a Black Gum sounds like a possibility.