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Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Posted by tamsea z-5 Ohio (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 30, 11 at 15:04

We are doing some bartering with a landscaper and he's drawn up plans to enlarge a kidney shaped area out near the road. Can you help me? He's suggesting a red sunset maple for that area but I'm not convinced that's the best for that spot. It seems like it will get too large for what I want there. Our front yard is 330 feet long and 170 feet wide. I'll post pictures of the landscape plan and our yard. The landscaper isn't offering other suggestions. I think he's offended that I'm questioning his idea. I'm being very polite about it but I do know a little about want I want. I'm wondering if a Serviceberry would be better there. The lamppost in the picture stays.
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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

We have clay soil.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

You're the one paying for the landscape, so if you want a smaller specimen tree like a serviceberry instead, then go for it.
Having said that, you have a huge uninteresting frontage that can easily handle a 60' red sunset maple -
which is one of the most lovely, well behaved, four season trees there is available and hardy in your zone, IMO.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Think the maple would look great there. IMPRESSIVE lawn, gorgeous setting for your handsome home.

Some landscapers have an ego problem,which you may or may not be able to deal with.

Rosie


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

If you don't want a maple tree that is that large, have you looked at Pacific Sunset Maples instead?


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 30, 11 at 20:51

Why not diversify with an Oak or the millions of other trees? I see there are several other maples already. Some landscape designers have a serious phobia of diversifying.

I don't want to make too many suggestions but not sure what your're going after.

Perhaps a Silver Linden would look quite stately there. The undersides of the leaves reveal a gorgeous silver color in the wind and the fall color is typically a nice yellow. They are fairly easy to garden around in case you (or someone in the future) expands/adds to the bed.

Personally I WOULD put a large wind tolerant formal tree there not something dinky. Gold Rush Dawn Redwood would be pretty cool since there is so much green and more green.

If you end up with a Acer rubrum be prepared to protect the bark for many years. They have serious issues with frost cracking and this one will be fully exposed to south sun (at least I assume based on what I see).


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

If that were my yard I would be putting in at least six trees, probably more, so the identity of one wouldn't be a big issue for me :-) Also, it will be many years before anything is too big, and when it is, you can cut it down...

You may be discovering some of the disadvantages of the barter system. If you are paying for a service, the service provider will usually aim to please. This doesn't seem to be happening here. You'd think the guy would want to ensure you were happy so that you would use his service if you ever pay for landscaping.

And you know, if this guy does business that way, my guess is that he either has the tree already, or he has a deal in the works to barter for it and the provider of the tree is not flexible. There is no other earthly reason why he would be averse to changing trees. Worst case scenario, he steals his plant stock and has his eye on one of these... some fly-by-nighters do (usually from private or civic gardens), and I seriously wonder about a bartering landscaper. Sorry, but I do. You should be getting a receipt for any plant stock he supplies, and with a barter, you probably won't.

I would suggest you simply cut the tree out of the deal - just get him to dig the hole perhaps to provide value for whatever you are doing for him - and get your own tree from a nursery with money. Or if he has it already and really wants to plant it, can you find an alternate location on your property where you could countenace something that big?

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

If you're counting tally, my sentiments mirror adriennemb exactly. You are paying (one way or another) so the operative word is "want." But your big yard could easily handle a nice big tree.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

tamsea, I can see that you might not want to put such a large tree in that bed. In a few years it would overwhelm the lamp, which is only 9-10' away (the tiny tree-canopy shape in the plan is deceptively small).

I agree with karinl that the landscaper sees this barter as an opportunity to get rid of a tree he already has.

If he can't/won't provide a serviceberry and really wants to be rid of the maple, you could offer to take the maple off his hands ... if he'll add in something extra. Put the maple off in a corner somewhere where it can be happy growing huge and won't get into mischief. Spend the winter locating a nursery that can provide you a serviceberry in March.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 30, 11 at 23:49

A red maple will overwhelm that bed and kill off the smaller plants in time. Whenever a bed is involved you want the plants within it to not be more than 1 1/2 times as tall as the bed is wide, at the point where each is planted. Otherwise they look too tall.

The maple could still be used in that spot by planting it in the lawn, without a bed* being involved. Otherwise, choose something that will remain in scale with the bed.

*A small, grass-free area would be provided during the early years, until the tree is able to grow without being stunted by the lawn.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 31, 11 at 10:57

Personally I do not agree with the bed scale comments. The scale is dependent on the depth of your lawn and the proximity of the driveway not the size of the bed in this case.

I feel like you need a larger tree (as in 40 x 20 at perhaps a 30 year size) that can be limbed up to allow plenty of sun in that area. If you put a serviceberry in there it just going to grow into the light post in time as this tree it typically lower branched and can sucker. Again this is not a good location for a serviceberry. They need good moisture and soil with a bit of shelter. That tree will demand supplemental water in that location beyond year 1. Seems like quite a haul for supplying water.

Another suggestion for a wind and drought tolerant tree would be a Ginkgo. May have to shop around for a nicely shaped one. Slower growing, great fall color, stately and you can limb them up to allow depth in the landscape.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 31, 11 at 20:26

When you put plants inside a bed, the size and shape of the plants needs to be related to the size and shape of the bed, or the composition is out of balance. The size of the lawn etc. around the bed has no effect on this fact. Likewise, a small ship with a towering mast is still out of balance regardless of how big the ocean around the ship is. Planting directly into the lawn, without a bed between the tree and the lawn, the large-growing red maple would then be in scale with the setting - the lawn becomes the equivalent of the bed.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 31, 11 at 20:57

The canopy fills the sky not the bed so I still disagree. However I agree the plants that hug or skirt the bed need to be in balance with the size of the bed.

Design would be quite boring if we all thought the same anyhow.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 31, 11 at 21:39

Design for others is possible because there are impressions produced by visual elements that are commonly or generally shared. Otherwise it wouldn't be possible to design for others. A tree in a bed that is markedly smaller than it is looks too big, same as a towering mast looks too big in a small ship. And 2' shoes are worn by clowns because those are comically out of proportion with the rest of their bodies. And so on.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

I disagree with the bed scale comments, too. A bed can be whatever size you want it to be for whatever purpose you have...as long as you can work out a pleasing geometry for the site and conditions and have it make sense.

I disagree that a tree will conflict with the light post. If a tree form is limbed up as it grows (as it should be) there will be no conflict. (A universal fault in landscape maintenance, is leaving tree limbs too low for too long.)

The questions in this post may be asked in such a way that people are confused about how to answer. What one wants--since they're paying the bill--always supersedes what someone else thinks they should have. The Serviceberry wins. But if asking, "Is a Red Maple too big for my front yard?" the answer is clearly, no. The front yard here is HUGE. One Serviceberry would likely look lost and lonely in this big space with so much sky. Tamsea, you have ideas about the size and placement of what you want. What and how are you expecting a Serviceberry to help you get out of this space? Landscape-wise, what are you trying to accomplish with it? Or, what problem are you trying to solve?


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Wow, tons of comments. I checked a couple of days ago and had none. :) I need to make breakfast before reading them all in detail. Thanks. I forgot to add that the red sunset maple is a multi-stem in case that makes a difference. I'll sit down with my hubby and read all of these.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

You have that huge space out front and you had a five year old design it with his crayons,you cannot be serious. That little amoeba of plants will do nothing for you other than to suggest a timid approach to the landscape. It will look silly but it will probably make the five year old proud.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

You have all been so incredibly helpful. It would be easier though if you just would all agree. lol I'm going to try to comment on all your posts.
adreinne and rosi - thanks for you input. I'm leaning this direction. Thanks rosi for your nice comment about my yard.:)

scrapbook heaven- that is a pretty tree too.
whaas - I appreciate your help. I'll look of the 2 trees you suggested. I wouldn't mind diversifying either but am getting so frustrated with this that I might just stick with the maple.
Karin - I would love to put in more trees. My problem is, I have no idea how to place trees in a yard. Do you have a general idea from looking at my photo where you would put them?
Missingt


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

missingtheobvious and bboy..that was my fear that the tree would get so large and the other plants I plant there would not flourish.
karin and missingtheobvious - he's a nice man and it is a reputable dealer but he's made some comments to me that make me realize he is wanting to use up what he has already. If we weren't bartering for it (only 1/2) I would go somewhere else though. I'm also questioning some other plants he's putting in. Poor guy, I think he thought I didn't have an opinion at all and so now is feeling unappreciated. He's wanting to put in low growing forsythia under the tree and a mystic flame hydrangea between the tree and lamppost. I am not a forsythia fan and am worried that the hydrangea might not do well there. I suggested maybe Little Henry's to replace the forsythia and knockout roses to replace the hydrangea. He wasn't happy with me at all. We didn't hire him to do landscaping. We just wanted to barter a couple of trees and asked his opinion where to put them. Of course he suggested drawing up a landscape plan and that's how we are in this mess. We will make sure the plants/trees are guaranteed and we have a receipt. When considering a serviceberry I looked at what he had. He only had 3 and I didn't like the size of shape of what he had and very politely told him. He told me a serviceberry is a serviceberry...it doesn't matter what kind of serviceberry or its shape. (I disagree) So that's who I'm dealing with.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Ink - you put your finger on it. Good job.


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RE: Is a Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Yardadvisor. I want what's best for that space even if it doesn't mean a serviceberry. (I've always wanted one but it can go somewhere else that works better with that tree). I guess I'll go with the Maple. I like the look of it but just wasn't sure if it would work well there. I love my perennials, and my few trees but have no idea about placement of things!
He's going to start work soon. If anyone has strong opinions about the bed needing to be larger or anything please let me know. On the other side of the driveway he's planting a Tecumseh Dwarf River Birch which I'm happy with. That area gets too much water and I think the Birch will do well there.
Inkognito...if you have any suggestions feel free to say them. I feel like you are being unfairly critical of us. I'm admitting that we are not good at this so we have no way of knowing if we are getting good advice or not.
Whaas...thanks for drumming it into me that the serviceberry will not work there. I am glad to know that.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

I don't ever speak for ink, but since I agreed with his comments, I would just like to say that I did not mean for that to insult you or be critical of you. I am critical of the plan you were provided with, and I don't expect you to know how weak the landscapers plan is, as drawn. ( or crayoned :). Take a look at some of the other threads on this forum to get an idea what a "decent" plan should look like= Billyg's thread is a recent one that comes to mind with a semi-professional plan, although we have spent a good while critically evaluating it.

For me it changes the entire discussion that you are talking about a multi-trunk maple. You posted on the design forum and you are getting a very design based discussion of the 'plan'. The landscaping you have now is more symmetrical and linear, which makes it more formal. You have two maples which are symmetrical to the front door, planted about mid way in the distance between your house and the road. You have two lines of trees, one either side of the driveway. I can't make out much about the landscaping close to the house.

There is a universal issue of balance, and a multi trunk maple will throw the balance of your landscape towards the driveway. You want to de-emphasize the driveway and focus visitors onto your house. My instinct is to place a maple on the other corner of your property - to the left side of the picture you posted. Around the lamppost, a small planting (several shrubs and some perennials or annuals around the post) will make the entrance to your driveway obvious.

When you know what you want to do and where you want your landscape to go, buying cheap/bargain plants works. When you don't have a direction, buying bargain plants just becomes a messy, if you will allow that word, landscape.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 1, 11 at 15:05

Ron, who are you kidding. I know you had your clown shoes on when posted that reply!lol!

You mentioned that this Red Maple is mult-stemmed. You have to be EXTREMELY careful in selecting a tree that is not naturally multi-stemmed. The crotch angles at the base could be very problematic. I agree they do look nice...in fact I planted one myself BUT I had dozens and dozens to chose from in which I could select a speciman with good crotch angles. I was also less informed and stuck in my ways as a young gardener (still am to a point). In the end take it all with a grain of salt. You should be albe to weed through the subjective and objective matter.

By the way that is a Japanese lilac in the middle, the Summer Snow cultivar. The flowers are superior compared to Ivory Silk. The flowers brown up and look dirty. The flowers on the Summer Snow brown lightly and fall. Plus the seed heads are much more promininent...great for winder interest.

Freeman Maple 'Autumn Blaze' & Lilac Tree 'Summer Snow'
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Seviceberry is quite variable by the way. For the most part they look a bit gangly when young but mature nicely.

Serviceberry 'Autumn Brilliance' (struggling late in the year due to foilage disease)
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Also if you can find it Maackia amurensis might be a great tree as well. Very drought tolerant. The leaves emerge silver in spring and almost look like blooms. They also get goregous flower panicles in July and very few trees are blooming.

Maackia amurensis
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Light Post

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 1, 11 at 16:28

Yardviser,

You said "I disagree that a tree will conflict with the light post. If a tree form is limbed up as it grows (as it should be) there will be no conflict. (A universal fault in landscape maintenance, is leaving tree limbs too low for too long.)"

This is definitely a good point but for trees that have spreading habits and don't attain much height may be impossible to limb them up to certain heights. It just depends on the tree. I might be stating the obvoius but want to throw it out there.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

per limbing up trees... talking in generalizations, I think just about any tree can be limbed up to 1/2 its height. The canopy of a 15' ht. tree could clear the light post here.

Back to the site...there's a river birch going in on other side of drive. I think I'd want a matching pair of trees that flank the drive. Or I'd want a row of matched street trees. Those are the first two solutions that leap at me.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 1, 11 at 17:54

You're right on but a 15' tall tree limbed up half way looks quite lame in my opinion, now we have proportion issues.

I never understood why by default designers have a matching pair of trees that flank the drive.

A designer I had did the same thing. On the house side I can understand the dwarf crabapple but on the other side I went with an epic tree, Platanus acerifolia �Morton Circle�. You can get a cohesive look with the shrubs and perrenials.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

If you're just bartering for the trees, there is a really easy solution, which is to move the whole shebang elsewhere in your yard. It seems to me that maybe one objective is just to extricate yourself from this deal with maximum value and minimum conflict, so I would suggest you get him to plant them somewhere that works, and then, if necessary, move things later. Get him to bring you the plants you like - including a serviceberry if you want one and not a forsythia if you don't! And based on Adrienne's recommendation, I would take the maple too.

BUT: make a planting plan for those plants, rather than for this bed. You are trying to put the plants you have in the bed you have. Separate them: put the plants you have where they will best serve, and expand the bed with plants that will work with the lamp.

Most of the conflict here comes from the placement of this tree or any tree by the lamppost, and also by the driveway. I honestly feel that planting anything tall there is a bad idea, for two reasons.

First, the urge to plant at "things" (house foundation, mailbox, driveway, sidewalk, lamppost, utility meter) is almost always something that should be resisted. It isn't always a bad thing if done to scale, for example the little pouf of foliage at the base of your mailbox is quite sweet. But generally speaking, things are where they are for a reason, and correspondingly, there is NOT always a good reason for putting plants at the same place as the
"thing." For example, the lamppost is there to mark the entrance to the driveway. It should be free and clear for visibility, so you and visitors can find your place and the driveway entrance to it, at night, in snowstorms, etc.

Second, the same logic of wanting your house and driveway entrance to be visible argues against blocking that area with a bunch of foliage. I think that visitors will want to be able to see your house as they enter the driveway, and I suspect you may enjoy that view too as you come home. It is a lovely one. You already have some trees lining the driveway, and I would be inclined to put any additional trees toward the left side of the lawn where they do not block the house from the driveway entrance. (Putting the birch on the other side of the driveway is fine, as it will not block the view of the house). Not sure how visible you want the house to be from the road, but you could put a number of trees in that lawn (in a staggered pattern) and still not completely hide the house.

In aggregate, the tree is going to become a big "thing" on its own and does not need to be near another "thing." If you do plant it at the lamppost, they will compete for attention and neither will be able to do their jobs in peace.

With a big lawn, it often is a bit like swimming in a big pool, where it is scary to let go of the edge. But once you get out there, it can seem kind of random to pick a patch of grass and say "tree here." This is something that has to be done based on the experience you want to have of the space. Whether you or a designer are selecting tree locations, that should be the guiding principle. So the question is, from the road, or from the house, or while mowing the lawn (if you do it yourself), playing croquet or whatever else you do there, what do you want in terms of sight lines, shade, and root, canopy, and foliage behaviour? In the case of this maple, which I gather from the name might be an autumn spectacle to appreciate, you probably want to be able to see it from somewhere in the house where you spend time during the day, maybe where on a sunny day it would catch the morning or afternoon rays of a slanted sun. And once the leaves fall, it probably makes a lovely drop of coloured leaves on the grass... maybe you have kids or grandkids who will want to collect leaves or something. Or do you want a place to string a hammock? Then put it where the trunk is somewhat hidden from the road behind one of the evergreens. Or do you want it to shade the house in summer?

These are the kinds of questions that drive tree placement. The characteristics of the trees determine how well they will be able to fill the requirements you have at a given spot. So, you might be more comfortable with a serviceberry closer to the house, while the maple - it gets big, I take it - would be better further from the house.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Information overload!! but I do appreciate it.
drtygrl- totally understand what you and ink meant and I agree but his beginning comment was unnecessary. Thanks for your suggestions.I'll take that into consideration.
Your landscape, whaas, is beautiful! I'm thinking my best bet would just to have one of you come and do it for me. ;)
I'll take all this in consideration and just decide. All I know now is that I don't want a serviceberry there, which is at least making progress.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Thanks Karin. I'm not sure what to do now. I doubt my husband is going to want to put this off until spring and now I'm so confused about what I should do. I would rather slow down and get a real plan and then do something in the spring. I'll see if that's possible.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

If you want to post a few more photos of the property and views from windows that are important to you, maybe people here would suggest a workable placement. Also maybe be specific about which plants you are going to get, and we can work with that. Few of us like telling people what they SHOULD do, preferring to help them figure it out themselves, but something might strike someone and you are always free to ignore advice received here!

Failing that, sleep on it, focus in on which decisions you need to make now (just the ones that involve the landscaper I take it) and just make those.

Also, don't feel it has to be perfect! There is probably no right answer, just better and worse ones.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

"I never understood why by default designers have a matching pair of trees that flank the drive."

If you search "driveway entrance" on Google images you'll see that of the first 21 photos, 16 show a matched pair of elements flanking the drive...mostly, a pair of trees or a pair of columns. One photo of 21 does not show the matched pair. 3 of the 21 only show half of the entrance, but it's likely they are a matched pair if you could see the whole photo. The matched pair of elements (trees, columns, whatever) creates a gateway. They signify an opening and lead the way. They add sense of importance, structure, and organization to the entrance. They frame the view as one enters. Summed up, the matched flanking elements add a good feeling to the entrance experience. Street trees flanking both sides of the street just extends this experience. If you were creating an entrance on a building with columns (they are the "trees") you would not put one style on the left and a different style on the right.

"You're right on but a 15' tall tree limbed up half way looks quite lame in my opinion, now we have proportion issues." My point wasn't to say this is optimum. It was to say that it readily solves a problem. Then I expected everyone would realize that barely is any tree ever only 15' tall. Limbing up 8, 10, 12 feet on almost any tree would rarely ever threaten to come close to half of its height.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Whaas, thanks for posting the Maackia... now on my must-have list.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Karin (and drtygrl) Just saw your last post and that is what I did. I thought about what you said all night. (and what you said drtygrl) And your suggestions about not putting anything large around the lamppost really resonates with me. I didn't want anything large there in the first place. And I can see a tree there kind of frames the drive and that's not what I want. I'm going to ask hubby this morning if we can just put this off until spring. I just don't feel right about any of it.
Do you (or anyone else think the area by the lamppost is the right shape? Keeping it that shape and maybe enlarging it a little and putting shrubs in...does that sound like a good idea? or should it be a more bomerang shape, framing the drive. I'm just asking that now because seriously, he's going to call me any second now and I have to know if I'm going to have him do anything at all. I do need something in that spot, it's been empty since we dug the grass up there. Do I have him do that (enlarging it a little) and then leave it empty for me to fill next spring?or is it large enough?
The things is...and I should have realized it. When I feel comfortable with the plan I won't feel so stressed about it.

Maybe I can just forget the landscape part and have him put in trees. A multi stem sunset maple on the right side? or single stem? or maybe one of the other trees that were suggested. Or I'll just have him get that bed ready because my husband doesn't want to do that work this time and do what I want with it later.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Oh, and Karin. We don't even see the front yard much. Our family room is in the back of the house and we have a 2/3 acre pond. I have 7 bluebird/tree swallow nestboxes back there, martin housing and all sorts of non cavity nesting bird traffic back there. Very few people seem to use our front door and we seldom even go out in the front yard.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 2, 11 at 10:03

Yardviser, a gateway may not be inviting as some folks may view this as rigid and formal. Your points definitely make sense and fit the "formal" landscape notion. Lots of folks enjoy and even demand this look.

If you were creating an entrance on a building with columns (they are the "trees") you would not put one style on the left and a different style on the right..

The columns are man made and can be exact replicas of eachother to achieve symmetry. The trees are natural variable growing living plants. They are meant to be used as a sense of intrigue and glory not as formal flagpoles. But again if you want that formal look it makes complete sense. I don't think either way is correct but its good know that people have choices.

After my experience with a landscape designer earlier this year I'm always pushing the rules of design (I'm no design expert but I know how to work with plants). I communicated time and time again with my designer that I wantd a private collectors garden that envokes a sense of peace but full of life's energy (think birds, insects, color, texture). But all he brought to the table where design rules bloated with formality. In the end I had to do it all myself with some guidance from the folks in this forum.
Someone who can understand someone's needs/wants and designs around that is a winner in my book.


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Buckeye

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 2, 11 at 10:59

karin, good call. Its a slower growing, quiant little tree so you won't need alot of room for it. The overall canopy and leaves are similar to Yellowwood. It took a few years for mine to flower but the flower impact is as good as any Aesculus. Another one for "must" have trees, if you can find it, is Aesculus x 'Homestead'. By far the BEST out there. It isn't plagued by blotch or scorch which allows for goregous pumpkin orange fall color.

This is the only pic I had before I moved. I did a driveby this fall and it is even more stunning as it had filled out a bit. This a smaller stature Aesculus reaching perhaps 25 x 20 at maturity.

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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

I know you think I a smart arse tamsea but your latest post is the starting point for the design of your landscape

We don't even see the front yard much. Our family room is in the back of the house and we have a 2/3 acre pond. I have 7 bluebird/tree swallow nestboxes back there, martin housing and all sorts of non cavity nesting bird traffic back there. Very few people seem to use our front door and we seldom even go out in the front yard.


tells more about you and what you like than a question regarding tree choice.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Tamsea, I'd go with the single stem myself if available, and if you don't use the front yard then you are mostly talking about sightlines to and from the house in terms of placement, and also, since I just read your version of this post on the trees forum, about birds. So maybe he has some other plant material that birds would enjoy - if you don't use the yard, why not make it bird friendly? And I would put the tree to the LEFT of the property as seen in your photo above. Not that you show it all, but it sure looks like there is some room!

As for the bed at the lamp post, someone raised an excellent point about its maintenance and watering. Also, the classic landscape question is, what do you want to achieve? What do you want to see as you come home? I would probably put in some easy maintenance low-growing groundcover shrubs, maybe junipers or cotoneasters - do birds like cotoneasters? - or microbiota, which look fabulous when really given lots of room, are drought tolerant, and will suppress weeds. The bed can certainly be bigger, and would have to be to give those particular plants room - I would stretch it leftward - not closing off the driveway. This will also preserve visibility as you drive out. If your landscape guy does the bulk of the work taking it the distance, then you can finesse the shape later.

You're quite right, you will know the right plan when you can relax :-)

I suspect if you mulch the bed it will be good to plant in spring - don't know your zone at all.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

The easiest thing to start with is to draw a scaled plan of your property as it is today, including the house and garden beds. Where there are trees, mark the diameter of the mature canopy. Then refer to this as you look out your windows and decide what more you want to see, what you want framed and what you want to obscure. That, and knowing what style appeals to you, will help you to decide where you want additional planting.

To take advantage of the red sunset maple now, I agree with the others that a single stemmed tree set to the left side of midline and back at least 20 - 30' from the frontage would solve your immediate problem. They really are wonderful trees - much more appealing than more grass and less work too...

Then you can relax over the winter deciding what else you are looking for in the front garden. As a wildlife enthusiast and ponder, you might want to consider adding a more diversified native tree and shrub habitat accented by a significantly sized kidney shaped local stone and berm entrance housing the lamppost and address marker.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

I'm loving all these ideas. Thanks! Maybe I'll take a photo of that side of the property and put up here, so you know what's there.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Here's other views of my yard. If anyone has opinions about tree placement. The bare trees on the far right (looking out of my house)are Crimson Maples.
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 5, 11 at 0:32

A privately developed tree and shrub collection near me that should now be becoming quite impressive is instead in many sections a thicket not likely to be of much use or appeal to the public it is supposed to be serving. The last time I was there, after an absence of apparently more years than I remembered I could not believe the advanced condition of many of the specimens and groupings, with stems leading up to a closed canopy from within which previously easily discerned individual trees were now hard to pick out.

In the past it will have looked quite like the plantings whaas has shown above.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Interesting situation, to pick a spot for a new tree. Clearly there is room, but the question of where is not as easily answered as one might think - as shown by the fact, perhaps, that no one has answered!

It took me a couple of days to figure out why this is hard. One reason is not knowing just what you want your relationship to be with passers-by on the road and with your neighbours across the road - how much of the house you want to leave visible, how much you want to be able to see out - for example, do you want to be able to see when the mail is being delivered, or when someone is coming up your driveway? Another is not knowing how you like the task of mowing to go. So we don't really have enough information to fully understand your preferences... you don't need to explain them to us, but you do need to articulate them to yourself to make a decision. What is important to you about the front yard, and about trees in the front yard?

Another is that there are already more trees than I realized from your earlier photo and they are quite distinctly linear in arrangement - furthermore, many are already maples. So it is hard to know whether to create a new linear component in the design or start to transition from a linear to a more random arrangement. I would prefer to evolve away from the linear aspect, especially as you move away from the driveway.

Planting in groves does have its risks, as BBoy has pointed out above. I went on a tour of a local arboretum a while back (Riverview) where trees were frequently planted in 3s and 5s, and the resulting groves, 100 years later, now consist of rather unevenly developed trees in that the canopies are abutting and sometimes killing each other off on the adjoining side. So the trees are uneven although the groves remain symmetrical. But that's 100 years out, and all your specimens may not be 100-year trees.

If they are not, then you can actually plant with a view to tree succession already. For example, I do not like the two maples (green in your first picture, red in your later ones) that are quite symmetrically planted across the middle of the lot - I don't like their shapes, so that's personal, but I also don't like their symmetry, since they somehow don't relate to each other or the property at all. I think I would begin by disturbing their balance a little by planting new trees near them, or in front of them, and then plan to remove one of the two existing trees at a later date.

Always with a view to sight lines (and mowing lines if those matter).

Also, I can't remember if you said anything on the other thread about big trees in the back yard, if you want or have any growing in there. For looks alone, nothing settles a house into a property better than being backed by some tall trees. But if it is not practical to plant them back there, then I would plant them in the front, albeit a fair distance from the house. As they grow you can prune their canopies up and even if they block your view now, eventually sight-lines will re-emerge beneath them (and in winter of course).

All that refers mostly to deciduous trees. Conifers are also beautiful to have in the yard, but they will block sight lines all the time, so place with caution.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Actually I had another thought about limbing trees up. If you really look at the slope of the land here, it may be that low branches on trees will not obstruct your view, and I think the trees may be more attractive if low limbs are left on them. And there really is something odd about those two maples, maybe their trunks are too skinny for their canopy size? The more I ponder those two trees the less I like them :-) I would definitely plant so as to make those two redundant in time.

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 7, 11 at 20:26

Perhaps I'm misinterpreting Ron, but it appears in your own manipulative way you are implying that my plantings are a disappointment as they won't be appealing to anyone but myself "in time". Surely a crap move on your end.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Here's the real question:

What is WITH Ohio people and grass?

Seriously, I just returned from a trip to Ohio and found it very beautiful. So many lovely roling hills, green fescue yards and the tree color was quite good when I was there. Even what I would expect to be just fields of weeds were in fact emerald green, manicured fescue or something.
In my town, most of our grass is Bermuda so it's dormant in severe drought (as we had been having) and all winter--tan, tan everywhere. But do Ohioans just spend half of their waking hours mowing, or what?


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Nov 13, 11 at 17:06

Maybe rename the state Mowhio.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

...none of which is of much help to the OP!

Just what would you do with a front yard this size that wouldn't keep you totally enslaved to gardening?

Karin L


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 16, 11 at 17:48

Tree lawn in the center, as is present already, with dense hedges around the edge. Bulbs like daffodils in part of the grass, if such flowers desired. The grass in this part would be left uncut each year until after the bulb foliage had dried up.

If perennials yearned for, then small bed against the house. Plant different kinds in rectangular sections, with sizes varied so that overlapping appearance is produced when planting seen from the front. Same effect as with interlocking drifts but not as difficult to execute.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

Thanks for your input Karin and bboy. Frankie...true. NW Ohio is flat and there's fields everywhere, with and without crop. And we do have a LOT of lawn. The back has an even more open look because behind our long stretch of property is farmland. So behind our house is a large pond, our field and then farmland. We originally wanted to buy a house on a treed lot but we've grown to love the openness in the back of this house. It's like having our own nature show playing all the time.


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RE: Red Sunset Maple right for this spot?

I personally feel the Red Sunset Maple is an excellent choice for that location on your property and will provide year round interest with its red spring flowers and flaming fall canopy. I have one on my property and It is not a very large tree comparatively and has a naturally neat and tidy growth habit. As a previous member commented, It can be pruned up to not conflict with the lamp post or obstruct view of the mailman or visitors. Also the size and shape of your planting bed can always be altered if you so choose - say if you wanted to bring it out to the street to accommodate a bed of daffodils or colorful spring/summer flowers to welcome visitors and great passers-by.


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