How To Use Hybrid Trees
to Save on Construction Costs
by Damien Andrews
Several years ago a gentleman contacted me about building an arbor in his garden. To tell the embarrassing truth, I had always thought an arbor was the spindle or mandrel in a tool. When you buy a blade for your circular saw, you always have to get the right size arbor hole so it fits properly. Well, as it turns out an arbor is also a shaded area that's formed by tree branches and/or vines and flowers. If you construct an arbor, it replaces the intertwined tree and vine branches with wood – or sometimes plastic. It also allows you to incorporate benches or chairs into the design. If you construct the arbor in the right place, then vines and flowers and tree branches will ultimately attach to it – and thus make it quite the spectacular addition to the home garden. But I digress…
I recently worked on a job in the rather large backyard of a relatively new home. I was hired to construct two cedar arbors and also some stairs in various locations. The home's owner was having a lot of things done to his backyard – not the least of which was making tiers that were to be stabilized by railroad ties. The reason for the tri-level tiers was to get some trees up higher into the air so they would start to shade his home sooner. Quite fortunately for the homeowner, the fellow who was going to do the extensive dirt work and install the railroad ties called to up his quoted price, at which time the homeowner opted to get some other quotes before proceeding.
The homeowner dutifully contacted three companies that advertise landscaping dirt work. Once again, while he was talking about the job with the third contractor, good fortune smiled on him. The contractor told him that what he should do is contact another fella, somebody who didn't do dirt work, but did do a lot with plants and trees. To make a long story short, the homeowner contracted with a landscaper instead of a dirt work contractor. He saved a ton of money – many thousands of dollars, and got his shade to boot! And I got quite an education on hybrid trees from the landscaper he hired. I had no idea such things were available. Trust me, if you have a job you need done in the garden or yard, they make a hybrid tree to either do it, or make it amazingly simple.
Today, they have all manner and sort of hybrid trees, hybrid bushes and hybrid ground cover. They have hybrid trees that will grow an unbelievable 15 feet per year – bringing their shade with them. They also have hybrid trees that will dry out wet areas – such as low spots or over septic systems. Some of these hybrid trees also have startling growth rates.
Not all hybrid trees will grow anywhere. But if you live in the continental United States, there should be some hybrid trees that will provide shade for your home, garden, arbor or gazebo in very short order. Don't look for hybrid trees at your local nursery, you'll likely not find them. There are links on this page to a seller of a range of hybrid trees, along with other hybrid flora.
The hybrid trees selected for shade by the homeowner herein were as follows, along with the comments about the trees themselves as taken from the seller's website (a link to which is provided on this page).
Tall Screen Hybrid Poplar (Populus hybrid). Description: Why wait 10-15 years for regular trees to shade your home? These beautifully shaped, majestic trees (Hybrid Poplar) will shade a 1-story house in just three years! It has a spread of 20-25' and will reach a mature height of 50-60' in only a few years. Hardy and rugged -- grows almost anywhere! The Hybrid Screen Poplar normally lives 30-50 years and is wind-resistant as well as insect and disease resistant. They thrive even in bitter cold Canadian climate. The results of 50 years of research by the U.S. Forest Service, they are used to reforest fire ravaged land quickly and to reclaim strip mines and land fills. Perfect for screening, too! It insures privacy between houses and serves as a windbreak or snow fence on farms. Plant 9' apart and they grow into a solid green living wall in about 3 years. The Hybrid Screen Poplar has a width of about 10' with denser branches than the shade variety. All trees shipped will be 3-4' tall.
Of course I can't comment on all hybrid trees, but I can comment about the ones mentioned here. I've been watching them for the past six months while I completed my work for the homeowner. I can only say that I'm amazed at how fast this hybrid tree shoots towards the sky. You can almost watch these things grow – and the homeowner is elated with them. He said he uses worm castings as fertilizer, and gives them some extra water once a week – but that's it. Frankly, I think he'll be getting some very useful shade by the end of next year.
They didn't have such hybrid trees when we were doing our yard. I planted two varieties or types of trees: one that grew fast and one that was more desirable and took longer to grow. I actually intended to get rid of the fast growers once the slower growing trees matured, but it hasn't worked out that way. All the trees are still there and thriving. I have shade to spare.
One last thing about hybrid trees – they are very, very reasonably priced. Even if you decide you need to plant 75-100 trees, using hybrid trees won't break the bank. So if you need some shade for the house, or maybe a wind or snow block, and you don't want to wait forever – look into planting some of today's hybrid trees.