Any tree I can plant 5' from house?

demeron(Zone 6)April 28, 2012

I've been looking for trees with a 10' spread, and not finding much. Any suggestions? Should I banish the thought?

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What kind of height?

there some crab apples that have spread of 6-10' baron and adirondack come to mind. heights of about 15'.

evergreen an option? weeping white spruce, columnar scotch pine

columnar maples. anything from armstrong to red sentinel.


If you are truly desperate...upright swedish aspen. not that I'm prejuidiced.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:19PM
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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

There are some dwarf conifers and Japanese maples.

I have planted a couple snow tip arborvitaes which have at most ten more useful years then should be removed.

Got a pic of the spot? I am sure you'll get 10101010 design ideas.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 8:20PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

in all reality.. no tree should go 5 feet from the house ...

even one with a 10 foot canopy ... it should go a minimum of 10 feet.. so its mature canopy.. will leave a 5 foot space to the house .. not be scratching against it ...

no tree really ever stops growing.. its about the annual growth rate.. and how fast it gets to a size ESTIMATE.. and how fast it grows right past the ESTIMATE ...

so what you should be searching for.. is a tree with a slowish annual growth rate.. of say.. one foot per year ... so that in 'about' 10 years.. it will be 'about' 10 feet ... [notice the qualifying words there] ...

need a pic of the area for specific recommendations ...

and where you are would help ...


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Well, personally, what I would do if I were in that situation, is find something hardy to a couple of zones north of my region that fits the general bill of what you're looking for, and then plant it in a big container. That way, it can be moved when it outgrows its welcome. But, that's just me, I'm a big fan of container gardening in general, and that includes numerous trees. They have worked out well for me in containers both short and relatively long term, eventually I plant most of them in the ground as they get too big to deal with. But, it's a good solution for problem areas or temporary fixes, giving you the look and appearance without the permanence. But, perhaps its just me, others may not want to deal with the special problems containerized nursery stock entails.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:43AM
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consider Pagoda Dogwood Cornus alternifolia

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Many very narrow or columnar trees can be planted quite close to a house....some may not produce exactly a 10' canopy or any canopy at all but certainly can be planted within 5'.

I'd also look into what are loosely termed "patio" trees or shrubs that are trained into a standard or tree form. Many of these will produce smaller canopies, are more amenable to pruning to size than a tree and can be planted very close to a structure. Hydrangeas, lilacs, ninebarks, flowering currants, rose of Sharon, dappled willows all come trained in this manner, as well as a bunch of other species.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Be mindful that even a small tree planted 5' from a house may focus on sending growth outward seeking the sun, creating an asymmetric, lopsided appearance. Just something to think about.

Wonder about a Fireglow Japanese Maple? Might be a bit big. Or perhaps a Tamukeyama Japanese Maple, since the lower, mounding habit might work better in that situation?

Does it have to look like a traditional tree? How open are you to bushes? Of the ninebarks, like GardenGal48 mentioned, I like Coppertina.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:21PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Sam, what else if hiding around that corner? The path looks quite intriguing.

There are so many columnar evergreen and deciduous choices I wouldn't even know where to start without more info on height and the environment. Of course a pic would help quite a bit.

I agree, Coppertina is by far the best ninebark cultivar out there. The color for the first 30 days if far superior than all the others...perhaps for the entire growing season.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 9:57PM
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demeron(Zone 6)

Thank you for your kind follow up. I did buy and plant a crab 6' from the side of the house. I hesitate to state which because I realize (now) it may get too wide and is susceptible to fireblight. Buying a nursery tree in April was a bit rough. I had done quite a bit of research first and I still ended up with a tree that I may regret-- things sell out, the choice is limited and employees don't have time to help you. I waited till fall last year-- "fall is the time for planting"-- tree selection seemed to be scratch n dent at that point. I have a slightly tatty Zelkova in my front yard for that reason. So far my tree purchasing success has not been stellar.

Can I change my question? By what process do you buy and bring home a tree, so that you are not limited by what's available locally?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 8:49AM
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"Can I change my question? By what process do you buy and bring home a tree, so that you are not limited by what's available locally?"

The internet.
There are thousands of nurseries out there willing to sell you something.
I'd bet that 90% of what is in my backyard came in the mail.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:21AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

move your crab in fall.. when the leaves turn color or fall off ... its too close to the house .... when it is dormant ...

the HUNT is 90% of the fun ...


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 9:47AM
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did you know that there are scores of plant sales connected with arboreta and other non-profits such as universities? Pennsylvania has several, you can buy directly from the grower and get alot of advice AWA varieties other than "Product Line". My favorite is coming up May 19 in Arlington, see link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greenspring Garden Day- May 19

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 1:53PM
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Location, location, location!! :-) Depending on exactly where you live, what's available locally may equal or exceed what may be ordered online. It will certainly surpass it in size and reduced cost.

I have yet to yearn or search for any type of tree (that would grow well in my climate) I could not find at a local nursery.....local being within the next state.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:10PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

GG, you are in the epicenter...everything you need is right there!

Demeron, no one is going to chastise you if you tell us the cultivar. Afterall cultivars of Malus differ in disease resistant by region.

I'd keep digging for nurseries. There are still a few that pop up here and there that I've never heard of locally. Just recently visited one an hour away and they where loaded with conifers!

Otherwise get the nursery's availability list in Feb or March. Pick out a few choices and get in there early to tag a tree. Perhaps they would let you tag it at the farm before its dug.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:15AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Ha, Sam, see you at Greenspring!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:57PM
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demeron(Zone 6)

Thanks for the Greenspring link! I do think I fall prey to the problem of wanting to address the garden at the exact same time as everyone else :)

The tree is a malus Golden Raindrops. Spread is supposed to be 12-15 feet, and it's six feet out from the house. I have ideas about nipping the side by the house if it starts to encroach.
From Drop Box

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:02PM
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