Little courtyard, big tree
Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:39 PM
I contacted an arborist about my weeping cherry tree that is too large for its space. She took a look and concurred, adding that there could be possible root damage, indicated by something black at the base of the trunk just above the soil line. It also has a large split that runs from the ground up to where the major branches begin to spread out.
We decided it would be counter-productive to spend time and money to drastically prune it back as it would require this kind of attention every year to keep it small. Is a tree service you could recommend, reputable as well as reasonable in their pricing.
I have removed many perennials from the area I care about and relocated to other areas temporarily until the upheaval of having the tree out, and I assume the roots out, too, is over with.
Can you recommend a small ornamental tree that does well in more shade than sun? The little area the current tree is in faces north; it only receives direct sun the latter part of the afternoon, and then, some of that is filtered eventually by other trees. The soil is pretty good, not well-draining, but not clay either. This is where I grow lots of hostas, toad lily, ferns, astilbe, heuchera, columbine, sweet woodruff and sedums. - D.B. -
Here are some top-of-the-head ideas. Let's see if some of the other designers in our Moderator team and Membership have ideas to add.
Well, now that I wrote "ideas" I realize I have more questions than ideas.
Question one. Why a tree, there? Not a single tree I can think of other than a dwarf Japanese maple, one of the green weeping laceleaf types, will stay in scale in that space. And the maples will end up looking like shrubs without regular pruning with an eye to sculpting them as small trees...
That space speaks to me of tree-like shrubs, species that are not at the upper end of "large" in shrub-dom, at that. A nicely formed Clethra. A well branched panicle hydrangea that doesn't have too heavy a flower, like Tardiva. I'm imagining things with light colored bark and flowers, to stand out in front of the brick.
But since I don’t know "why a tree" I can't go much further, yet.
Maybe someone else who looks at this won't have the block I do, and start us down another track!
Oh - an arborist to take the tree down. Why an arborist? It's not something that requires knowing the tree but a manual labor thing. A gardener and a saw can take this tree down.
Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:22 PM
Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:55 AM
If it were my house, that little streak of sunlight on the north end of that west-facing wall would tempt me to try Zephirine Drouhin espaliered up it. It would bring a pink similar to the cherry back into the mix, as well as a little height, without trying to replace the tree. Unless some deciduous tree blocks that sunlight in the summer. Then it won't work.
Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:32 AM
I can picture the rose espaliered on that wall but there isn't enough sunlight in that spot. Only the very last sun of the day reaches it, and there are many trees it ends up being filtered through. Thanks for the ideas.
Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:18 AM
You can have someone grind the stump,or rent a stump grinder if you want to cut it down to ground level or just below. Can't usually plant anything large where a stump's been ground, though, as the grinder rarely gets all the wood out, just makes it less of a tripping hazard. So you can't dig far enough down to plant a big root ball or large pot.
An email question came in yesterday from someone who must have been here, first, to see your photo, DBilicki. He wrote, "I thought weeping cherry was a small tree."
I figured I might as well post a few photos here where the cherry is the starter topic, so people realize your tree did not do anything out of the ordinary in getting that big.
I would seriously consider growing the panicle hydrangea there. Or training a climbing hydrangea to a pretty post. Doesn't take much work, and only annual pruning. I'll see if I can find a photo of one we grow that way at a client's...
First, though, the weeping cherries.
Notice the blue tarp in the background of this cherry....
It's this blue tarp you were seeing. Two houses, two weeping cherries.
Not to say there are not very fine weeping cherries that do stay smaller. It's just that the commonly available weeping cherries are Prunus subhirtella Pendula which is really variable even between plants of the same variety, some broader, some taller. This one has stayed small and horizontal without much pruning so it may be a Yoshino cherry (a P. subhirtella hybrid) or a Fuji cherry...
Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:32 AM
Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:24 PM
Regardless, for this summer at least, I am planning to put a nice, colorful pot on the stump, as someone recommended, maybe including an interesting taller grass along with a couple of "fillers" and "spillers; colors that will show it up in that mostly shady courtyard.
Last fall, in anticipation of removing the tree, I moved all my hostas, astilbes and heucheras to another location to overwinter. I have moved back the majority of them, also placing a tall white phlox toward the front of the bed against the wall, behind the dwarf alberta spruce and the bench, where it will receive the most sun. It seemed to want something taller there.
The plan is to find something to replace the tree later this season when I should be able to snag something at half price, probably a pannicle hydrangea as Janet suggests. Unless I stumble upon something else that might work in that little sun area.
This weekend I'll get some good shots of how the bed looks now and post them.
Thanks again everyone!
Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:26 PM
Consider a piece of garden art for the right hand side of your space - Something light in color, not tall/angular like home and roof line. A rounded type shape no higher than midway of the window. Moved out so it sits angled midway between the edge of the window and edge of the small front brick wall. Place art on a pad facing the spruce then berm in a half circle in back of the art so your shade perennials could be planted on top of the berm to give some height. Larger hosta could go toward the front to fill in and hide the pad...
Hydrangea could go in the left corner..
If bench is moveable, place that over the tree stump or consider a cobalt blue urn shaped planter filled with bright annuals with the right light requirement the area has. Later, the planter could go in front of the small front brick wall....
Possibly with removal of the tree and the space opened up to let in more light, circulation and room for maintanence - a large woody shrub or tree won't be missed in that space...
When the human eye looks at something it stops right of center (which is the right window pane) - by bringing something in to fill the area to the right of the window the eye would rest there then scan back to center and left of center...
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