Kousa dogwood Satomi for end of driveway?

rigelcaj(z5 VT)May 4, 2012


For a flowering tree on each side of a driveway entrance, any thoughts on Satomi dogwoods (if their bloom doesn't coincide with common purple lilacs)? The base would be somewhat shaded by a 3' picket fence on the south and one side (east for one, west for the other - from the gate). Otherwise, the spot is full sun til the lilacs grow, and then will be probably 3/4 sun. They'd come field grown from a nursery a couple of miles away. They're expensive, though, so I'd love any feedback on them or my plan in addition to what I'll get from the nursery. Thanks.


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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Cultivar is prone to leaf spot and twig blight. Like most other Kousa liable to take up quite a bit of horizontal space in time, where able to develop fully. Doubt location has enough room, unless we are talking about palatial grounds level of scale. And unless this is a formal layout, with geometric balance throughout not a good idea to plant two matching specimens in a pair either. Not only would it be out of context in an otherwise non-formal setting but as with all use of matching plants if one of them does not grow the same as the other, or enters a decline/dies then the matching is lost. For this reason you generally want to avoid formal use of plants, except where the setting demands it - such as in front of a geometrically symmetric building facade.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 2:00PM
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rigelcaj(z5 VT)

Thanks. Yeah, I was worried about the horizontal space across the driveway, mostly because I'd rather it didn't scratch my truck. Scale overall isn't an issue: I have tons of room and a giant sycamore that dwarfs everything within a mile radius. I'll need to think about your symmetry comment. The nursery people know my place and are amazing at design, so I'll bring it up with them too. To me, the space wants 2 trees, but lots of my neighbors have either 2 crabs or 2 tree form hydrangeas, so that may influence me.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Instead you plant a small tree on one side and a medium shrub together with a large shrub on the other, or some other combination where both sides are balanced (have the same volume) but not matching (identical).

If a flowering dogwood ever gets in the way you can't whack it back without spoiling the branch structure.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:48PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I have a 'Satomi'. It tends to get wide rather than tall.
Ask your nursery about that.
I too, don't think one on each side of the driveway is a good idea.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:12AM
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rigelcaj(z5 VT)

I've tried several times to respond to this, and my replies continue to disappear into the ether. Very annoying.

Thanks for the thoughts/advice. Mike, nice picture! Yours looks shrubbier than the two that I (yes, I did) bought. Mine are shaped like little trees.

I thought long and hard about symmetry and alternatives, but can't get around the fact that - to me - the space demands it. Not perfectly, but generally. There's a long row of purple lilacs, parallel to the fence, with the gate opening in the middle of the driveway. It might be more proper, but doing something assymetrical there will make me crazy. If I ultimately decide the dogwoods don't work, I'll just move one or both. No big deal. Too bad I didn't get them in last weekend, as we've had nothing but rain, and they'd have liked it. Oh well!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 3:01PM
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