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Need Tree selection

Posted by miclino 5 SE MI (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 29, 10 at 21:13

My great room windows face west and in summer, the sun heats up the room, not to mention how bright it is even with the shades down. The patio is also not very usable in late afternoon. I want to plant something next to the patio and in front of the great room windows (see below) so as to provide some amount shade. I don't want to really blot out the sun! Just interrupt the direct sunlight. I dont want a huge tree as my backyard is small, I don't want the tree to get too much taller than the top level windows either. Ideally would be flowering and have nice fall color and grow atleast moderately fast. I would also have to position it somehow to fit in with the view from the great room...........

Did I mention, I want something sturdy so that it won't topple over in our strong winds?

So what tree would you suggest???

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need Tree selection

How about a Lilac Tree?

Jamie


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RE: Need Tree selection

Depends on how small or large of a tree you want...I personally would recommend an Eastern Redbud. They have a fairly open canopy, only get about 20 feet if that, and flower beautifuly. Short lived, though. It may not even reach 20 feet, the ones around here are typically more like 15.

Also you may want to consider a crabapple, good multi-purpose medium sized trees.

Amur maple will only get about 20-25 feet tall, BEAUTIFUL red foliage in fall, decent flowers, nothing too exciting though. It grows quite wide tho, not upright, and you will have to keep it trimmed so it grows in tree form.

Japanese lilac would be decent. I believe they are somewhat slow growing though, no? I'm not fond of them, but I could see it being a good choice.

Personally, I would set the tree back about 15-20 feet from the bay windows and about 10 feet from the patio and put a Northern Red Oak there, it would look lovely. You can trim it to leave a lot of lower branches on it to still shade your great room.

It looks like you may have a preference for a very manicured and somewhat formal look, judging from your current landscaping. The japanese lilac tree will be the most manicured looking - they usually have very nice round shapes.

Nice house, btw.

I would stay away from any of the usual maples...red, sugar, especially silver. They cast a very dense shade, and the silver maple will fall apart all on your own and possibly house.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Thanks for the great suggestions. I do have a dwarf korean lilac not too far away. Also have a crabapple in the front (malus something) but I think it is a slow growing version. Is it true that crabapples also cast dense shade?
Agree with kryceks suggestions about spacing the tree.

Not so crazy about maples though. When you say redbud is shortlived, what does that mean? ie how short?
Any trees with red/purple foliage? The japanese maples seem to have some excellent foliage. I would sacrifice flowering for that.......


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RE: Need Tree selection

REdbud is not a good choice for that site. They're an understory tree prefering some shade themselves. The sun reflecting on the glass and the home and the patio paving will torture the redbud. They live to 15-20 years usually.

when you say 'next to the patio' where exactly do you want to plant the tree. I think your best bet is to plant a large tree at a minium safe distance from the house. It will eventually grow tall and shade the whole area in the afternoon. The minimum safe distance depends on the tree.


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RE: Need Tree selection3

Better yet, a few large trees is more like what I have in mind.


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RE: Need Tree selection

The tree will be at least 10 feet from the pAtio and I don't want it to get taller than the house. Also don't want dense shade


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RE: Need Tree selection

At least 10'? Does that mean 11 feet?

I don't know how big the yard is but if you can get ahold of some northern red oak, I would plant them 25-30' apart and 30' from the house. In the mean time you can plant a yoshino cherry or similar 15' from the house. In 10 years when your oaks are doing a fair amount of shading, you can put in something like dogwood or j. maples or redbud.


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RE: Need Tree selection

You know I don't think I've explained what I want clearly enough. I need a tree to block the slanted rays of afternoon sun from hitting the great room windows. In doing so, it may also provide some shade for the patio as the sunlight comes at that kind of an angle. I do not want to have the tree branches over the patio


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RE: Need Tree selection

You know I don't think I've explained what I want clearly enough. I need a tree to block the slanted rays of afternoon sun from hitting the great room windows. In doing so, it may also provide some shade for the patio as the sunlight comes at that kind of an angle. I do not want to have the tree branches over the patio


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RE: Need Tree selection

Are you perhaps wanting a columnar deciduous tree of some sort? I'm guessing Newton Sentry sugar maple might get larger than what you're after, for example, and I read they don't like reflected heat, but something that is shaped rather like that? It'd sort of 'hold a hand up' like you would to keep the sun out of your eyes in late afternoon (or in this case, your great room windows), without a long of long lateral branching shading a larger patch of lawn or patio.

If you want a columnar or 'fastigate' deciduous tree, that might narrow it down a bit.

Richard


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RE: Need Tree selection

I think this online tool from the Arbor Day Foundation is great for giving you a bunch of options that meet your criteria.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best Tree Finder: Tree Wizard


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RE: Need Tree selection

Drrich, I think you have hit the nail on the head, what I need is either a columnar tree or at the very least slightly rounded.

I will try out the link. Thanks!


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RE: Need Tree selection

Some species of European Hawthorne tend to have a very columnar shape.


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RE: Need Tree selection

In my findings the colomnars (and I have quite a few) are hard to find and they stay real narrow. If you want a tree to grow narrower, you might as do what my very last post suggested or plant regular trees even closer together. They will grower more narrow then.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Agreed, they stay almost abnormally narrow.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Some options for hardy, relatively upright flowering trees - Serviceberry, Columnar Sargent Cherry, or "Golden Glory" Dogwood. The serviceberry would have the most potential for decent fall color, but the other two can sometimes have dark reddish fall color. These are all relatively slow growing, so unless you purchase larger sized plants, you'll have to be patient.

You said "Not so crazy about maples" but you asked "Any trees with red/purple foliage?" - I'm not a fan of Norway maples, but "Crimson Sentry" Norway maple would fit your size requirement and it has dark red/purple foliage. "Apollo" sugar maple is an upright, compact tree with nice fall color. Both of these would be slow growing.

Columnar hornbeam is another option.


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Norway maple wouldn't be good unless it is the columnar form...she doesn't want dense shade...and in any event, even the columnar variety has very dense leafing pattern.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Okay, my wife has decided that she wants a purple leaved tree for the spot. I am also looking into the suggestion of planting two columnar trees next to each other.

I've seen these purple leaved trees that flower reddish pink in spring. Can someone tell me what they are? Not light pink like the crabapple I have but a deeper pink.


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RE: Need Tree selection

You may be thinking of purple leaf plum, which is generally a short-lived tree with multiple pest problems - I'd recommend against it.

If you want purple foliage with a dense upright form on a hardy tree that doesn't grow very large, Crimson Sentry Norway maple (though I'm not a fan of Norway maples in general) would meet the requirements. It's not a flowering tree, however.

If you have reasonably good soil and you irrigate, you could also consider "Red Fox" Katsuratree - it has purple spring foliage (fading to purple/green in summer), and relatively upright form. It is slow-growing but will ultimately become large enough to provide shade. It likes plenty of moisture. Very nice looking tree (see link).

Here is a link that might be useful: red fox katsura


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RE: Need Tree selection

Well we still can't seem to decide. We have dropped the purple foliage requirement.

What it has come down to is we are looking for a tree that will get max 20-30 feet high, be fastigiate or columnar with spread ideally less than 20 feet. Should be flowering, not disease prone and not drop messy fruit.

The Katsura tree looks nice but in the end is too large for the space. I'm worried that Dogwood might have too much of a spread and the landscaper recommends against Cherry trees for a variety of reasons: disease, shortlived etc.

The landscaper has recommended Spring Snow Crabapple tree. No dropping fruit and fits the other characteristics but I read that it is disease prone. Any thoughts?


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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 12:13

My thought is in zone 5 the birds will eat the fruit well before it hits the ground.

Malus rarely is an issue when it comes to fruit in a home landscape.

You have birds right?

Spring Snow is disease prone by the way.

I may have missed it but how fast does this tree need to grow?

Use this site to help get the ball rolling for suggestions. You can put in soil type, moisture, exposure, growth rate, size, etc.

http://www.northscaping.com/Tools/LPS-Engine.asp?10000000


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RE: Need Tree selection

Would need to be moderate to fast growing although I hope to buy a decent sized tree. Thanks for the site.
Are all malus disease prone?


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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 14:38

To a point yes, but certain varieties exhibit better resistance.

Search in the tree forum for "malus good fall color". There is a good discussion on some of the best Malus cultivars available.

I think Malus is a great contender for what your looking for. Sugar Tyme and Pariefire are a couple good choices.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Don't be too quick to write off flowering cherries - some are less prone to pests & diseases than others. Sargent cherry is relatively pest/disease resistant and comes in columnar form (see link and check the cultivars listed). "First Lady" cherry is a newer variety that has darker pink flowers and upright form.

Most of the crabapples at maturity will be wider than tall. Adirondack crabapple is relatively upright and disease resistant.

"Rainbow Pillar" serviceberry has upright growth form.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sargent Cherry


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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Fri, Jul 30, 10 at 18:45

Speaking of Prunus check out Prunus maackii...not in the upper ecchelon of flowering cherries but the bark is phenomonal for the first half of its life, plus its one of the longer lived cherry trees out there.


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I don't usually think of crabapples as providing fall foliage color. Its the fruit. Someone here will know the name of the crab with beautiful yellow fruit. Heavily fruiting, eye catching yellow-gold. I saw it over ten years ago at a nursery and have never forgotten it.

I looked yellow crabs on line and none of the names ring a bell. I'm sure someone knows a good one.
Marie


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RE: Need Tree selection

Really appreciate all the advice guys. I have told the landscaper that I got some expert advice and will be going with the columnar sargent cherry! Will post pics later. Thanks again!


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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 1, 10 at 9:43

Good choice! Just make sure you have decent drainage and your set, its quite adaptable otherwise.


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  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 1, 10 at 9:47

idabean, I beleive Golden Raindrops and Harvest Gold have very nice yellow fruit.

Also my suggestion to search for that topic was my topic. Your right Malus isn't known for fall color but there are a few cultivars that will give you a nice gold fall color, ie Donald Wyman.


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RE: Need Tree selection

If you're still in the hunt for a purple-leaved columnar tree, Fagus sylvatica Dawyck Purple might work.

BTW, the P. maackii will spread out with age, but whaas is right, the bark is very nice.

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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 2, 10 at 9:25

Thats a nice sized P.maackii. I feel like they are pretty slow growing. Most the specimans I see around by me are fairly small (15-20' range).

I planted one at my last home, its 5 years in the ground now and although its very healthy it hasn't grown much.


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RE: Need Tree selection

I was quoted $235 for a 2 inch caliper columnar sargent cherry. Sounds a little expensive but its not commonly found in nurseries in our area. What do you think?


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RE: Need Tree selection

  • Posted by whaas 5a Milwaukee (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 3, 10 at 9:28

Sometimes its hard to be chosey if you are set on a particular tree and they are harder to find in your area AND you want a larger tree.

If its picutre perfect in regards to root flare and branching structure (considering the nature of the tree) it sounds ok but pretty high for a cherry.

The most expensive 2" caliper tree I bought was a $300 Autumn Gold Ginkgo...this is because the tree is extremely slow growing and it had a picture perfect shape for a ginkgo...so I splurged.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Columnar sargent cherry isn't one of the more widely grown cherries, so the price you were quoted sounds reasonable, especially if it includes the planting and a guarantee. You could always opt for a crabapple, but IMO the sargent cherry is worth the difference in cost.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Got the tree for $119. Planted this week now that the weather has cooled down. A little worried about drainage in the spot but the tree comes with a one year warranty. Thanks again for all the advice!


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RE: Need Tree selection

Well, the tree has been in the ground almost two weeks now. We had a week of pretty warm temps and now it has cooled down. I have been watering it at the base directly twice a week. A significant number of leaves on the lower branches have started to turn yellow (one is orange!). Not sure what to make of this? Am I overwatering? Was it the heat? The rest of the leaves look healthy, no drooping of any sort. The tree is in the spot described above, full sun incl hot afternoon sun.
Am I doing something wrong?


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RE: Need Tree selection

Sounds like you're watering it adequately (especially if your soil is mostly clay - be careful not to over water). The early coloration on the lower leaves (and even some leaf drop) is not unusual for a newly planted tree that is under stress and still in the process of acclimating to its new location. It will take a year or two before it becomes established and the leaf size/color and growth rate return to normal. It's also possible if the tree was originally dug this past spring and healed in at the nursery close to adjacent trees, that the lower leaves were partly shaded and are now in full sun exposure for the first time, causing them to turn yellow and fall prematurely.


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RE: Need Tree selection

Thanks everyone for the help. Here is a pic of the tree as promised. Has nice fall color!

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