Allee' suggestions

txjenny(z8 TX)November 9, 2006

I'm planning an allee for a client who is building a French-country house. I want it to be a smaller one, more intimate to walk, with a seating area at the end. I've never done one of these and have several questions: if i use smaller ornamental trees (20-25 ft. tall), how far apart do i plant the trees? Any suggestions on how many is a good number--are allees usually odd or even numbers on each side, or does it matter? And any suggestions on tree variety? i'm in zone 8, central Texas (Austin).

i've googled this but can't seem to find the info i'm looking for. Thanks!


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Did you do a search for "garden allees + Texas"? When I did this search some very interesting and beautiful blogs and designer sites appeared. Can't help you with tree spacing as it depends on your tree selection. Trees to consider; Italian cypress, yaupon holly, olive if it grows in zone.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 1:07PM
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The correct way to write the word is allÂe and is/was a feature of formal French gardens rather than country style but that doesn't make it a no no. It is interesting that an allÂe is seen as an extension rather than an entrance like an avenue would be so your bench at the end is spot on. I think the type of tree is less important that its habit so you should choose something that does well in your area and takes well to training to uniformity with equal numbers (odd or even) on both sides. The spacing will be determined by what tree you choose but remember, it is not a hedge.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 5:33PM
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annieinaustin(z8 Austin)

Hello txjenny,

Did you miss the recent Garden Conservancy Tour of Austin? It featured the garden of Deborah Hornickel, who has made an impressive allee that was featured on the PBS show Central Texas Gardener and in Cottage Living Magazine. Hers was made of Callery pears [not sure if the cultivar was Bradford] over quite a long time. I'm also not sure that she would choose them again. You can probably contact her through the Conservancy.

The Austin designer James David [he runs the design/nursery called Gardens] also placed his extensive Mediterranean-style garden on the tour. I'm sure that Gardens could tell you what would work for an allee in Austin!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:29PM
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txjenny(z8 TX)

Thanks, guys. The refined googling did help. Ink, i've never seen that spelling before; good to know. Pet peeve of mine when something is misspelled. About the "hedge" warning--my plan is to have the outer branches of the trees barely touching at maturity.

Annie, I didn't get to the Garden Conservancy Tour! I didn't even know about it. we should get together for the next garden tour here in Austin. I was also thinking about using Bradford pears because of the "look", but i've read that they're not the most desirable trees due to weak wood.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:46AM
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OK, Nandina, I give up. I have searched "garden allees + Texas" in various combinations on Google and Google Images and nothing comes up. Also tried Ink's spelling. What is the secret?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 11:35AM
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I just did a search again and none of the sites came up that I found before. So it goes. Perhaps the following thoughts will help you...

When planning this type of project the following questions must be asked and answered.

1. Ultimate height of trees used? Do the clients want a 'natural' tree growth look or will they pay to have the European pruned 'formal' look?

2. Will the tree growth remain branched to the ground or will tree trunks be exposed to a certain height...if so, how high?

3. Evergreen or decidious trees?

All of the above helps with tree selection. It sounds as though one of the disease free, more upright growing Crape myrtle varieties should be considered.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 1:41PM
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Thanks for the reply, Nandina, and your good suggestions. I am not the OP, however, but I do love allees and was interested in seeing Texas examples; hence my question. Wonder what Google did with those photos?

It's very interesting to see various interpretations of allees in different regions and styles of gardens. There's an allee of white birches at the St. Gaudens estate (now owned by the National Park Service) in Cornish NH, a wonderful, naturalistic interpretation in a New England landscape.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:29PM
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annieinaustin(z8 Austin)

It's hard to resist Austin area garden tours!

Nandina, the crepe myrtle idea sounds pretty cool. They grow rather quickly. I've read about Live oak allees, which would have to be started by someone younger than me!

How could I have forgotten about the Cypress Allee at Soul of the Garden, site of KLRU host Tom Spencer? I was at this garden, linked below, a few years ago. [it's Taxodium - Bald Cypress]

Another cypress allee is found at Fall Creek vineyards,

This Ilex Allee is in Dallas, made of American Hollies


[Jenny, I'm garden blogging at the Transplantable Rose, and have more links to other Austin garden bloggers if you're interested. Many times we post photos after we've been on a garden tour, as I did after the July Austin Pond Society Tour]

Here is a link that might be useful: Bald Cypress Allee

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:35PM
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txjenny(z8 TX)

I really like the idea of using crepe myrtles--i didn't even think of them. the client does like them very much, so i thinnk that could really work well. thanks!!

Annie, i checked out your blog, and then i was reading today's Statesman with the Divas in Life & Style! I didn't see you in the picture, though! Or mentioned in the article. That sounds like the type of group I'd really like to develop/be a part of, although i think any self-respecting gardener would running screaming from the black hole i call my back yard!


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:55AM
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annieinaustin(z8 Austin)

Hi Jenny,
Nandina's idea for crepe myrtle was a good one, as long as your clients realize this allee will be deciduous. I also like her idea of using yaupon holly; getting trees with enough height and size on them would cost a bundle at the installation stage, but maintenance costs are less because they grow more slowly. The crepe myrtles have a lower initial cost, but are basically woody weeds, with lots of pruning. Deborah Hornickel also found this to be true for the Callery pears.

With crepe myrtles you can also control height and bloom color by using the right variety - I'm partial to the whites and lavender colors myself -there are entirely too many hot magenta-pink ones around Austin.

Jenny, I'm in the group photo, lower right, under the hat & behind the sunglasses. I use the name Glinda when I write the Divas' website, and use the name Annie here and around the blogosphere.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:59AM
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I have just been researching; I googled "trees for allee Texas" and came up with good choices. We will do an allee along our long drive in the country. I cannot recommend Bradford Pears; too fragile. Recommendations I saw were vase shaped trees, and some suggestions were Allee Elm, Red Maple, Chanticlear Pear, Zelkova, Lacebark Elm. Research these to see which would do well in your zone. A vase shaped tree makes sense to me allowing for room to drive along without trees crowding the car and low branches to prune.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees for Every Purpose

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:21PM
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