Spacing of fastigiate european hornbeam

tommywpMarch 14, 2013

I'm a newbie who has been lurking on the board, so take it easy on me. I have a 12 ft wide side yard, then a 2 ft wide 6 ft tall hedge row, then my neighbor has a 4 ft wide side yard. I want to to block the view of my neighbor's second floor. My current plan is to plant two Fastigiate European Hornbeams about 6 ft apart from one another. I'd like to plant the tree's as close to the hedge row as possible and limb them up over time so that there are no branches on the bottom 6 feet. Any suggestions on minimum distance from the hedge row, if I'll need to bring the hedges down from their current 6 foot height, or if my limbing up plans are too aggressive? Any recommendation for alternative trees that I should consider? I'm in Zone 7a, location gets 8-10 hours of sun, soil is decent and seems to drain ok.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

new blinds or shades.. or reflective glass.. would sure be easier ...

i dont understand the concern about why the tree has to be spaced form the hedge ... WHY????

the only issue i see.. is you taking proper care of it thru PROPER WATERING.. to insure it can get some roots down.. to compete with the shrubs ... it should only take a year or two ...

at the link.. i am thinking those trees are wider than.. or have the potential to be wider than your 12 foot space ... they never really stop growing up nor out ....

and i have never figured out how to prune trees at a second story level .... w/o killing myself ... with the caveat .... that what you can do at 30.. is way different than a 50 y.o. ... when the tree gets really aggressive ... by which time they are 30 feet above the second story ...

this post reminds a lot of this post:

someone at that house must have had the same idea ...

new blinds??? .. my gut.. which sometimes lies to me.. really says your solution is NOT a tree ... nor two ...

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 12:42PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you want narrow you want 'Frans Fontaine' and not 'Fastigiata', which soon develops an egg shape. And even with 'Frans Fontaine' you are still talking about an eventual tree of some height, that will also develop more width in time than will be accomodated by a small, tight space.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 1:31PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

I had a 10 ft side yard where I wanted to do the same thing and ruled out the hornbeams. As mentioned they just get too fat. I wonder if there's a real narrow beech you could use, like one of the Dawyk's beeches? Still it would probably cost a ton of money and still take years to block the second floor.

Planting your screen closer to the area you want to block will let you use a shorter plant, if it's a patio you could put a tree right next to it and have almost instant screening.

I considered trimming the hornbeams into a high hedge, I think it's called pleaching. Cool look, but it ended up just being some unrealistic winter dreaming.

Here is a link that might be useful: google images for pleaching

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Thanks for the comments. I'm trying to block the view of my neighbor's second floor when we are on the patio, not the view when we are in our house. That's why I'm thinking about trees and not blinds. I knew the space was tight for a tree, but now you all have me thinking it will definitely be too tight. I really want to block this view. Back to the drawing board i guess. Thanks for the recommendation re Frans Fontaine...max width of 15-20ft and height of it would be a lot for the space by might be doable.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:19AM
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I have 2 old rose of sharon bushes that are each about 6 ft tall and 4 feet wide. The branch that would be the lead on each bush is about the width of a wiffle ball bat. Maybe transplant these to the side yard and limb them up in to trees? What are the chances that they would every get 15-20 ft tall? Would it take more than 5 years?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:36AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well.. patio??? .. extend the corner of the house with an 8 foot fence..

but i bet they could see over that from level 2 ...

move the patio toward the other direction???? .. thats costly or labor intensive.. wish i had a picture.. to really brainstorm this for you ...

hmmm .... i have a thuja occidentalis DeGroots spire ..... SINGLE LEADER [thats the important part] .. that is now going on 14 feet and about 2 feet wide ....... see link for example ... grows about a foot per year ....

thats the best i can do w/o a pic


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 10:45AM
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