keepings these shrubs-bushes down to size?

slrenoApril 13, 2012

i have a small landscaping plot we did in front of our mobile home and we planted some stuff we are not sure about the size it will get.

we planted dwarf burning bush's, korean lilac's, and black lace elder's.. we are hoping we are going to be able to keep these down to a 3 to 4 foot size.. we should have done some research before we bought but we didnt :(

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designoline6(Z6)

You really need to post some pics that show the context and situated conditions.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 7:27PM
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gardengal48

Not an ideal sitation to keep shrubs to size - much better to select those that will remain at about the size you want without excessive pruning.

Korean lilac - 4-5' tall, 5-7' wide. Prune after flowering.
Dwarf burning bush - 6-8' tall and wide (invasive in Ohio). Can be pruned at any time.
Black Lace elder - upto 8' tall and wide but of the three shrubs, most amenable to hard pruning in late winter/early spring.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:13PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

My dwarf Korean lilac is a nice 4' or so and is about 8 years old. It suckers a fair bit and we remove the suckers because we don't want it to become a thicket. A very nice plant that has a small amount of flowering in late summer too.

Burning bush 'dwarf' is not very dwarf. We grow our burning bush (not a dwarf) as a small tree. It sounds like they are not a good plant for Ohio though.

I found Black Lace a floppy disappointment and removed it....

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:20PM
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yardvaark

The non-dwarf burning bush achieves ultimately 18-20' ht. The dwarf, half that. However, many people keep it as a clipped shrub in the 3-4' range. I think it's better as a small, multi-trunk tree with a dome shaped canopy that's allowed to grow closer to its natural height. If you have a boring blank wall that needs to become more interesting, you could grow it as a specimen in front of that... hopefully, not jammed so close to the building as the one below.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 3:23AM
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timbu

Woody, really? I still haven't given up on my Black Lace (and I tell myself that being hit by a lawnmower is a good excuse for not growing too well...) How much time did you give yours and did you try to prune or shape it?
Thanks for warning about lilac suckers as well; I used to think that only the common lilacs made those.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 10:23AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

timbu - a large part of the problem with my Black Lace I think was that it wasn't getting enough light. But I didn't like it enough to try to make place for it somewhere else...

My dwarf Korean lilac definitely suckers. We just dug a bunch of them out earlier this week. It's a nice shrub though and has stayed small. It's still about the same size as it was in this picture from 2006 when it was about 2 years old:

This is the same shrub in October 2011. A purple aster seeded inself into the bed a few years ago, making the lilac look like it was blooming again in in the fall. (The neighbour's fence is definitely looking a bit the worse for wear these days!) We liked the look of the aster in the lilac so have left the aster in place:

    Bookmark   April 14, 2012 at 11:16AM
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timbu

That's one tall aster! (Or a tiny lilac?)
Slreno, I think you have a good color scheme developing there, and the trimming shouldn't be too hard with only 3 shrubs!
There was a poster here from a colder zone who said her Black Lace freezes to the ground each winter, and grows back each spring with lots of new shoots - wish mine did that!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 2:50AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

timbu - It's both - a tall aster and a short lilac :-)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:26AM
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