Front of house reccomendation

m_lorne(5b)February 12, 2013

Good day all.

Yes, the snow is still pretty thick, but I am wondering if anyone can help me make some spring/summer plans. We are moving into our farmhouse this summer (currently renting it out) and I want to remove and replace some hideous cedar trees planted at the front of the house. Now, before anyone suggest lilac, know that we have more lilac trees around here than we know what to do with. I am looking for a large shrub and/or a dwarfish tree that will grow up to the height of the bottom of the deck and soften some of the hard foundation (concrete) surfaces.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

What's the exposure? (North south east west?)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:46PM
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m_lorne(5b)

Pretty much due south. Sandy loam soil, good drainage. Can be irrigated with roof water catchment if needed.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:48PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i would put a wonderful brick patio out the basement doors .. huge!!! ... semi-circle ....

and plant things out near the bottom of the picture..

your failure is in thinking that foundation plants .. go ON the foundation ...

they dont.. they HIDE the foundation ...

there is a reason they put in a walkout basement.. use it ...

can we see a side view.. and one out the front ....

is there any concern.. that the land SEEMS to slope back down.. toward the basement doors??? ... i would be leery of adding water to that area .... from the roof ....

ken

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 5:22PM
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m_lorne(5b)

Thanks for the reply Ken. There is already a patio out of the walk-out, as you can see in this photo, so I am not going to be doing any hardscaping any time soon (other priorities). At this point, I just want to get rid of the three cedar trees because they are a) ugly and b) shading the upper windows (summer good, winter bad). The ground slopes away from the house and drains very well. They need not be right against the foundation and if they are set out by about 7-10 feet (?), that would provide some additional privacy to my father-in-law who lives down stairs.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:04PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Everything appears to be jammed up against the house. I'm not sure I'd plant anything against the foundation. What I would do is plant a small tree some distance from the house on the left side as you look at the picture, one that would provide some shade for the deck and give some balance to the house and the stairs.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 6:49AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

soooo.. wont build your inlaw a patio.. eh??? .. says a lot.. lol .. i am kidding.. good job taking care of him...

that is NOT a patio.. that is a porch for the door.. i still like my idea.. no matter when it might come to fruition ....

but making a 10 year plan.. is always one of my considerations ...

and you define your patio.. leave access ... for machines/building such ... and plant trees now.. taking that into consideration ...

i guess i am encouraging you to think long term .. rather than the immediate planting season ...

ken

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:07AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I'll try and answer your question as asked.
I used to hate Arborvitae - but I've come to admire their utility in hiding things without being a focal point themselves.
You could put 2 "Emerald Green" arborvitae on each side.

Around here, Lowes and home depot sell 6 feet tall specimens for about $30 in spring (same zone as you, though probably not same area) so, you will be well on your way to getting your wall covered.
They shouldn't get too tall, but I keep my trimmed to about 9 feet for shape. clean out their centers in spring too so they don't get ratty. Other than that they are easy to grow.

They also make a nice background planting if you decide to add to your landscaping.

Or there is diablo eastern nine bark

or a climbing rose like Ramblin Red or alchymist

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:23PM
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m_lorne(5b)

Thanks for the suggestions. I can't say I am a big fan of the arborvitae though: a bit too 'formal' looking for me.

Was thinking of Red-Tip Photinia or perhaps a butterfly bush? I intend on hacking down a good deal of the Lilac on the corner, and eventually putting some raspberry and blackberry brambles along the top of the low rock retaining walls. Just need to fill in the space immediately to the left and right of the walkout patio.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 3:02PM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I dont think either of those will get very big at all for you.
I had 2 red tip photinias here when I moved in (edge of 5b/6a zone) and they never grow more than a couple feet high because winter kills them back. Wind does more damage than anything. Do people have luck with those close to you?

Butterfly bush will probably die to the ground also- though they grow fast in a summer.

Well, hope you find what you are looking for!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 8:40PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Red-Tip Photinia is z6

you are z5 .... plus out on the tundra [wind swept plains] .... so no micro climate for you ....

ken

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:17AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

I personally think Photinia is truly a zone 7 plant. Zone 6 won't kill it, but it will get damaged often and never amount to anything for very long.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:51PM
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m_lorne(5b)

I think I will probably end up going with two dwarf cherry trees, planted about 12-15 feet out. They start to max out around 8-10 feet which is just about perfect in this case. Also, I am a very big proponent of edible landscaping and primarily a vegetable gardener, so it seems to make sense.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 6:08AM
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lola-lemon(5b East WA)

Awesome solution. I love growing fruit trees too. Pears make a nice thick little tree too- but choosing 2 of the same fruit for polination makes sense.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 5:20PM
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