Small, sloped, north facing front yard.

TamarashAugust 20, 2012

I have struggled for a while about what to do with my front yard. I really want to get rid of the grass and just have plants, but I am no designer! We use our porch regularly so it would be nice to have a good looking yard. I would really appreciate suggestions. Thank you.

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Hee, you just know that someone is going to say to limb up that boulevard tree...

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 9:30PM
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When sitting on your porch, do you wish to have a feeling of privacy such that the view of the street life and activity seems disconnected?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:18PM
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Adrienne, what on earth makes you think that...??


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:21PM
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We are not looking for privacy. We often sit on our porch and talk to our neighbors. We have a very social block.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:22PM
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We know we will have to cut back the tree but have hesitated as our city can fine you for doing a bad job. It is definitely on the "to do" list. Thanks for the reminder!

Here is a side view if it helps. Thanks for taking time to look at my yard. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:29PM
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OK then, I'm suggesting that you seriously begin forming that tree into the one you wish to have in the future. Allowing it to have it's own way while young does not produce the finest adult trees. I can already see the sneaky little s#*+ trying to get one over on you. In your mind, what do you wish it to be like twenty years from now? Maybe you could offer a photo of a mature tree in a similar setting that appeals to you. ? It will be, after all, a major element in your landscape scheme.

(I haven't said it yet! Trying to build suspense.)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 4:34PM
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The tree is about 10 years old. It is a Maple of some sort. When we first bought the house (8 years ago) we thought it was dead, but it revived after we removed a mound of dirt from its base.

I think the initial neglect stunted its overall growth. This year it only grew a couple of inches. I don't know if it will grow much more. It hasn't grown much for the past few years, so I don't know if it will get much bigger.

We don't want our house to hide behind the tree, but I have no idea how large or wide it will grow to. It is a little frustrating for us that we just don't know what this tree is going to end up looking like.

Should we pull it out and start over with a new, healthy tree?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 5:14PM
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"...we just don't know what this tree is going to end up looking like." That's what I'm trying to get at. A great deal of what it will look like has to do with how you mold it into shape... or how you don't. Trees left to their own devices often misbehave later in life. I'm getting around to suggesting that if you aren't trying to create separation from the street life, then limb up the tree for starters. For one thing, removing foliage will stimulate the tree to grow elsewhere, especially at the top where you want it to grow. And you probably don't want limbs to be dragging on the heads of people who pass by on the sidewalk. If fertilizer hasn't been applied, you might try that for encouraging more growth, too. And don't put the fertilizer around the trunk. Tree roots spread out in all directions. Basically, just fertilize your entire lawn and the tree will be included. Chances are, you'd prefer a mature tree with a single straight trunk that offers shade from overhead, not screening of the street.

If you think the tree may be unhealthy and in need of replacement, you might want to explore that issue on the tree forum (or locally) and return here with a conclusion. You should get it identified, too.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:41AM
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