Tree is gone. Waaahhhh!!!! :(

misobentoJune 30, 2011

We live in the city on a busy street. The back yard had a pine and maple that were growing together (someone planted them right next to each other about 40 years ago). As ugly as it was, the pine provided some privacy from the traffic and neighbours walking their dogs etc. Last night we had it cut down because my boyfriend insisted it looked like "hillbillys" lived there.

So now my "secret garden" is gone and I feel like I all of a sudden live in the city (where as before I could at least pretend I didn't).

I need something else to plant there....maybe a fast growing shrub that is 4-5 feet tall...or any suggestions? The area faces south and gets full afternoon sun.

Please help...I miss my tree Waaahhhh! :(

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Personally, I wouldn't plant a shrub where that other tree was removed. Maybe a nice grouping between the small window of the entryway and the driveway? Something attractive & not too large would look nice there.

Exactly what depends on your soil & how much rain you get. But I think some nice shrubby things would look good there.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 12:57PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

misobento, if the tree was in your backyard, I'm assuming your house is the one in the third photo?

I agree that you shouldn't plant anything where the tree was removed. For one thing, I doubt it would be possible: that area must be a solid, interlocking mass of tree roots. Before you make any plans, you might want to try digging a hole or two to see what you're up against.

And for another thing, why not enclose that entire corner of your property? Plant a hedge -- or at least a line of shrubs -- near the property line: both along the sidewalk and then back along the boundary with your neighbor, at least as far as the front of his house. That would give you the privacy the lost tree used to provide, and also give you the space the tree used to take up. It doesn't have to be a solid wall of greenery: even a tall shrub here and another there will provide a sense of enclosure.

Visit your local nurseries -- real nurseries, not simply the big box stores -- and see what they have. Look for narrow/columnar conifers (or other evergreens like Sky Pencil holly). Ask what works well with the snow load your area experiences.

Keep in mind that the "mature" size listed on plant tags is the expected size at ten years; when it reaches that size, it won't stop growing (the way an adult person or full-grown dog does), but will continue growing at the same rate -- both upward and outward. So something quick-growing has advantages (provides privacy quickly) but also disadvantages (quickly becomes too wide, impinging on the sidewalk and the back driveway). [For the growth rate per year, divide the mature height and width by ten.]

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:17AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Good point, MTO. Whichever house it is, though, I would tend to try to plant something. But I wouldn't grieve the pine overmuch; all landscaping is temporary, and needs to be reassessed, often replaced, every ten years or so in constrained spaces, so it was probably just a question of "if not now, then when?"

You could try a pine again. They can be heroic in terms of where they will grow, and if you can open a channel through the surface roots of the maple, and water down into it (make a conduit into the deeper layer of soil when you plant), a new pine may find some growing capacity. You could consider a shrubby or slow-growing small tree - a swiss stone pine is lovely, or my all-time favourite, Pinus parviflora 'Brevifolia.'

The hollies will also grow in shade, Ilex crenata of the 'Mariesii' style.

It all depends on whether you can get water to the roots, but if you can. you could go with any shrub, deciduous or evergreen, that appeals to you.

If you also want to make the area look better, some groundcovers, maybe ferns, would help.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 2:29PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Who owns the house? You or your boyfriend? If it is your house, why did you listen to him and take it down if you liked it? Or was it a "me or the tree" ultimatum?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 5:25PM
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Would try to sketch the "aerial" view for where everything is. It's hard to tell distances and dimensions and lot lines from the photos. Sit in your space and think--do you need and like street-blocking or did you like the coziness of the tree right nearby--or both--so you can tell whether it is best to put your "blockage" as far away as possible, to gain more usuable private yard, or close by. Your planting options may be absolutely limited by the roots, drive, and other things or you may have several options for how far away to put them.
Is there a role for a nice lattice-type fence combined with some smaller lacey shrubberies that overall give some nice protection? Or a trellis with vines?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 5:41PM
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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

hello - good suggestions so far here. I would add that looking at the picture, the removed tree may not have been a pine tree, but a spruce tree. Not sure if the maple's roots will allow it, but perhaps a viburnum would be nice several feet back towards the backyard if the area gets enough light.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:38PM
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