Q: I volunteer for a disc golf course. We would like to plant some trees in the park’s big open fields, a former cow pasture with red clay soil. What trees do well in that environment?
A: I think some combinations of red maple, zelkova, bald cypress, American holly and Southern magnolia could look very nice. All tolerate poor soil, particularly if you mulch underneath them with a two-inch layer of wood chips. Rent a tractor with an auger attachment to dig the holes. If you plant now they should be able to take care of themselves next summer with little supplemental watering. More fast-growing tree selections at Fast Growing Shade Trees.