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What shape tree for the house??? Oregon zone 8

Posted by mossyard 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 3:19

Hello! I need to make some decisions about what type/shape of tree to put near the corners of our house. There are about 20' or so of straight corner along two front sides of house, and we are pretty close to the sidewalk, so the house looks and feels gargantuan. I want to plant a couple trees there to take emphasis off the sheer height of the house, soften the edges, and to make it look more home-like rather than apartment-like.
Do you plant a columnar tree like Stewartia Pseudocamilia , or a more rounded/umbrella shaped tree like a Japanese Maple? Deciduous or evergreen? My husband and I are reeling with the many options...
We just built the house and it is painted a light green with brown in the upper gables. There is a porch on the front of the house with stone wall flower beds on either side of the stairs that wrap around the porch to the house wall. But those corners look very bare. Any advice very welcome- thanks for helping us figure this out!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What shape tree for the house??? Oregon zone 8

if shape match and nice, juniper,conifer,maple are beter.

Here is a link that might be useful: if need pic designing

RE: What shape tree for the house??? Oregon zone 8

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 10:56

Unless facade geometrically symmetric matching identical specimen plants not in keeping with design of house. Pointy ones liable to emphasize architecture rather than soften. Arching or rounded growth would be the choice. Trees like stewartia or non-dwarf forms of Japanese maple also too big unless house multiple stories tall. Stewartia pseudocamellia in particular often seen stuck into spaces way too small for it here, doubtless based on same idea you apparently have that it remains a small and columnar. (One at the Seattle arboretum was 45' tall with an average crown spread of 33' in 1989; another, on private property in Puyallup, WA was the same height in 1992). With large-growing plants you have to look beyond the dimensions and shapes of specimens in nursery sizes if you are not likely to end up with removals (and wasted years of development) later.

Says someone who lives across the street from a decades-old S. pseudocamellia closely sheared into a tight egg shape probably now half the height or less it would be otherwise.

Seattle has more than a few little bungalows with former foundation shrubs looming well above their roofs and blocking their windows and walls. If the little cheap things from discount outlets are really trees they won't stay little (or so cheap, if you have to hire out their removal).

For more usually sized houses shrubs are the right size for foundation planting, with trees being used as accent points out in the garden. However, those with some taller sections can be enhanced by a small tree in front of that portion, chosen and placed so as to fit the shape of the facade without obscuring parts like view windows - or throwing the design out of balance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees that merit planting in Seattle

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