Wet Soil Trees & Shrubs

James Van Laeken


Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can have a wet or boggy area in your yard at certain times of the year.
Now the the best solution for a wet lawn, or area, is to dig it up and install drain tiles or pipes that should have been put in place the first time it flooded, but that isn't always convenient or cost effective to do.

Plus, if you have a large area, it can be downright impossible. So, knowing that problem areas occur, let's take a look at what you can do if you have an area that just doesn't drain properly.

Defining a Look at Wet sites
Wet sites are sites where water either stands for long periods of time, or where drainage is slow, on average less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) per hour.
Wet sites can also be sites that receive considerable runoff from higher elevations. In wet soils, too much water in the soil fills the air spaces, resulting in low oxygen levels.
Where oxygen is lacking, water and nutrient uptake stops, plant processes and growth cease, and trees and shrubs begin to decline or die.

Trees for Wet Sites - Deciduous Trees

Common name Latin name
As with any tree, check with your local nursery to make
sure their roots won't be too invasive for your yard or area!
Box elder Acer negundo
Red maple Acer rubrum
Silver maple Acer saccharinum
Common alder Alnus glutinosa
Downy serviceberry Amelanchier arborea
Shadblow serviceberry Amelanchier canadensis
River birch Betula nigra
American hornbeam Carpinus caroliniana
Pecan Carya illinoensis
Northern catalpa Catalpa speciosa
Common hackberry Celtis occidentalis
Fringetree Chionanthus virginicus
Persimmon Diospyros virginiana
Green ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica
Thornless honeylocust Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis
Deciduous hollies Ilex decidua, I. verticillata
Sweetgum Liquidambar styraciflua
Tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera
Sweetbay magnolia Magnolia virginiana
Dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Water tupelo Nyssa aquatica
Paulownia Paulownia tomentosa
London planetree Platanus x acerifolia
Amer. sycamore Platanus occidentalis
Eastern cottonwood Populus deltoides
Swamp chestnut oak Quercus bicolor
Cherrybark oak Quercus falcata
Water oak Quercus nigra
Pin oak Quercus palustris
Willow oak Quercus phellos
White weeping willow Salix alba
Weeping willow Salix babylonica
Bald cypress Taxodium distichum
American elm Ulmus americana


Trees For Wet Sites - Evergreen Trees

Common name Latin name
As with any tree, check with your local nursery to make
sure their roots won't be too invasive for your yard or area!
Chamaecyparis Chamaecyparis spp.
Japanese cryptomeria Cryptomeria japonica
American holly Ilex opaca
Southern magnolia Magnolia grandiflora
Austrian pine Pinus nigra
Loblolly pine Pinus taeda
Arborvitae Thuja spp.

Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus)
Ivory Halo Dogwood (Cornus alba)
Greytwig Dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
Isanti Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)
Redtwig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos)
European Compact Viburnum (Viburnum opulus compacta)
Dwarf Arctic Blue Willow (Salix purpurea ‘nana’)
Pussy Willow (Salix caprea)
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)