spacing between cypress trees and roses

bart_2010(8/9 Italy)June 7, 2014

I am in the process of making a large rose garden on my property here in the foothills of the Appenines in Tuscany. The property faces south-west, on a sharp slope,so it gets the full blast of the brutal summer sun,but the view is very, very beautiful. I think I'd like to put in some trees to provide just a little protection from this afternoon sun, but do not want to block the view,so I was thinking of using something tall and skinny,which I could place artfully so as to sort of "punctuate" the view rather than hiding it,and of course, Italian cypresses are the first thing to come to mind. I love them, they are dark green,their shape goes great with the roses,and this IS Italy,so they ought to do well. I have several young ones on the outskirts of the garden already,but was thinking of mixing them in a bit more with the roses, but I realize that care must be taken, as they would tend to compete aggressively with roses and drink all the water themselves! So my question is : how much space should I leave between cypress trees (or any evergreen) and rose bushes? thanks, bart

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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

I have not found any definite answers to your questions yet.
So maybe someone else can help you...

I did find 2 articles that may interest you...

http://www.gardenguides.com/130965-italian-cypress-tree-root-structure.html

Here is a link that might be useful: italian Cypess

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 2:11PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Hmmm...I just feel that putting trees in with the roses is asking for trouble. I constantly fight the tree roots in my bed from a tree that's 20 feet away! The roses will have to compete for water and nutrients with the trees, and the trees may win.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 7:59PM
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jim1961 Zone 6a Central Pa.

There is 3 instances here in our town where roses are planted under or close to trees.Roses showing stunted poor growth in each situation.
I think I'm with Seil...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 8:31PM
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bart_2010(8/9 Italy)

Thanks for your answers, folks. How much distance do you think would be necessary to leave between the roses and a tree? I could put the tree in this flat area,downslope from the main rose area,so not exactly in a bed with the roses.In the gardenguides article that Jim so kindly provided, it does say that "shrubs, grasses and annuals" can be planted under these trees with minimum competition,and roses are, after all, essentially shrubs. Thing is, I seem to remember reading somewhere that one reason cypresses have traditionally been used in cemetaries is because their root systems' structure is such that it doesn't interfere with the burials,which gives the idea that they may not be as wide-spreading as the root structures of many another tree....

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 4:56AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Down hill is better. The roots shouldn't want to travel up hill to the bed to get water and nutrients. Although they might! I'd still make it as far as possible away from the roses though.

Yes, roses are "shrubs" but they are also bloomers. Where most other types of shrubs are not or only once a season bloomers. Those will take the rest of the whole season to store enough energy to produce next years bloom. For roses to bloom repeatedly they need food, a lot of food. If they don't get enough sun, water and nutrients they'll grow adequately but they may not bloom at all.

I don't know anything about the root structure of Cypress trees so I can't say but trees in general will spread roots as far as they can, and the easiest they can, to get what they want. A nice tilled, watered and fertilized rose bed will be very attractive to them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Ninkasi(6ish Germany)

maybe not the answer you are looking for, and you probably thought of this already, but what about putting the roses in containers? Yes, they would have to be big, but then you could monitor the water/food situation, and move them if the trees are blocking them too much. I am picturing it in my mind and it is sure beautiful, big pots of roses between the Italian cypress. You have such a good selection of terracotta there in Italy too.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 12:01PM
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