Nannyberry Viburnum for full shade in zone 4?

thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)March 23, 2010

Along my property line at the back of my perennial garden, I have an area that I'd like to screen from my neighbors. It's about 10-15' and barely gets an hour of sun per day as it is understory some silver maples and two hideous box elders.

Will Nannyberry do ok there or will they not grow much?

I have slightly sandy soil, but this area is on my irrigation system, so they'll get watered every other day during the growing season.

I understand that they do fruit, which is fine, so long as the berries don't attract any more tree rats (squirrels). Birds, I can deal with.

I know I'll be able to pick up a few of this shrub for a good price in a spring sale. Will I get much of a screen with them in say, 3 years' time? Or should I skip them? I've had goatsbeard in that spot for a few years now and I don't think they've grown in height.

Your opinions please?

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sue_minn(4 MN)

A few years ago I planted about 12 nannyberries in full dry shade along my property line to screen my neighbors. I used a mixture of 1- and 2-gallon plants. They were underwatered the first two years due to our drought. They have grown well, although more slowly than if they'd had more sun and water. I knew they'd probably be somewhat sparse, so I planted them about 3' apart. A cage of hardware cloth was important for rabbit-defense, and I'll use the cages for a couple of more years. Nannyberries tend to be leggy eventually, but that was fine with me in my situation. I think you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 1:54PM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

Well, we definitely have rabbits here. They pretty reliably eat the bark of my Tiger Eye Sumac and will gnaw a spirea to the ground. So, that info is good to know.

I'm not a big fan of "legginess", so perhaps Nannyberries aren't goin to be the right shrub for me.

The good news is that since this original post, I've decided to remove a tree that has shaded this area to the point of "deep shade". It will be interesting to see if this area will now be more like part shade/sun.

Thanks for the information and for sharing your experience on the shrub.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 4:20PM
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