Tree gone - need shade asap. Anyone got a better idea than mine?

bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)June 15, 2008

The next door neighbours took down an elm tree yesterday. It needed to come down, but it did provide a lot of shade for my shade plants. I'm thinking about quickly building something over them with trellis and 2x2s, but was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on an alternative that can be thrown up quickly, is not $$$, and looks ok.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bonnie, I think a trellis or pergola would be your best idea, how are you at dyi? I'm about to experiance the same thing myself but in my case the whole entire garden will change from shade to sun, at least here I can count on foggy days to help, lol, M

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 5:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

I'm handy enough with tools to throw up something, but I'm not good enough to make it look really nice :-) I think a frame with trellis on top is my best bet - I can root some Virginia Creeper and grow it over it for something greener looking. And if I see or hear of a better idea later on, the trellis is something I can reuse elsewhere.

Maybe I should start a new tree :-)

It sounds like you're going to have a huge change Mora! Even with all your fog, all it takes is a couple of sunny days to fry a lot of shade plants. This is a rainy week here, so I'm ok for the next few days, but I gotta get cracking tomorrow!

My mum-in-law suggested a triangular shade cloth that Canadian Tire sells. It's a bit big for my space, but it might be a good idea for you if you can rig it.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 10:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Bonnie,starting a new tree is actually my idea also.There are many fast growing and beautiful trees.Would be nice to have something new and watch it growing.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sharont(z5 can)

I was thinking along the same lines as your Mom, Bonnie. A canopy rig. I don't know if the square 10x10ft types are still available at Canadian Tire or Zellers.
I put one up (have had it for 5 yrs.) to protect perennials, bulbs, shrubs from drying out. I had to dig them all up temporarily this season while I use Round-Up on a severe twitch grass invasion. I put all 1st year seedlings and ungerminated wintersown pots under it as well.
This canopy might be more troublesome due to it's size and continuous watering of shade plants as rain wont reach under and to the middle of the canopy.
While your shade plants are under something temporary, you might grow a Japanese Lilac. These grow quickly if near water run off from a roof or eavestrough down spout and grow to 30 to 40 feet in those conditions.

I can send you wild grape vine if you want to use it on your fabricated trellis! LOL
Keep us posted.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 1:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Hehe - I just gave away a three year old Japanese Lilac I had started from seed, because I don't have the room for it to grow properly (sniff!). I'm really hampered by a lack of space - my backyard is *really* small. The tree in the neighbour's yard provided a perfect amount of shade - the seeds drove me nuts, but I loved the shade :-). If I grew a tree in my yard, it would eventually shade my tomato growing area (and I can not live without tomatoes), so realistically speaking, I'm limited to tall shrubs or short trees as a long term solution. I also have to grow almost everything in a container, so trees won't ever grow that well for me. I was thinking a few regular lilacs might be good. They're tallish and thin, grow fast, and are hardy enough to survive in a big pot. And I can get some from a friend that wants to thin out his overgrown lilacs. A flowering crab might be really nice too. I'll have to do some reasearch into what could survive.

For the short term though... Hmmm... The more I think about it, a canopy of some sort might be needed this year, even if I do put up a trellis. A trellis won't shade as much as the tree did, at least until I can get something green growing over it. I got several new shade plants this spring and they're way too young to tolerate much sun - I'd hate to lose them.

sharon - do you really have a wild grape vine cutting you could send? DH would love it if I grew that! If you do have one, let me know and I'll see if I have anything you'd like in exchange for it.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 2:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


An immediate solution is to use a black netting material (open weave) in place of a canopy. Don't use the triangular shade cloth for the reasons I've cited below.

Instead, save by working on your wood trellis now. Several boxstores provide ready made fence materials (lattices, etc) that can easily be converted into an overhead trellis. You can cover a trellis further with the black netting which I have described. It can be interwoven between trellis slats and can look okay until your vine has grown over it. It will allow for some sunlight and for rainwater. You can also get bamboo or reeds to cover a a trellis to make it look attractive.

I wouldn't recommend the triangular shade cloth. I have 2 of them but it's only great if it remains securely hooked from a height that is 10 to 12 feet tall - plus you need to anchor down the poles. Plus in strong winds, oh boy, I sometimes fear the poles would be yanked off the ground. What's more, it blocks off too much rainwater. We use ours to cover a sitting area and it's very comfortable for that reason. I just don't think it's appropriate for plant protection.

You could grow an aggressive vine such as wistersia in a large planter. And it can with some pruning look like a tree. And if draped over a trellis, it would look fantastic.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am using a castor bean to shade my area that lost its' shade. It isn't permanent, but it is (hopefully) a quick solution to providing some protection for the plants that need it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 6:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bonnie, don't plant Virginia creeper...whatever you do don't plant that, you will live to rue the day that , that plant entered your garden, M

    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Too late Mora - My next door neighbour planted Virginia Creeper on our shared chain link fence about 13 years ago! The only reason I'm not burried alive in it is because I hack back *every* *single* piece that tries to invade my space. I left it on the fence because I was glad to see less of those neighbours :-)

Ianna - I would have a problem with any sort of canopy alone for the same reasons you have. The fence is only six and a half feet tall, and there's nowhere else higher to anchor it. And we do get some seriously strong winds here! I really like your idea of bamboo or reeds on the trellis - I'm going to have to keep my eye open for something reasonably priced that would work.

The trellis is up. My hands are full of splinters and I have a nice big bruise on my thumb, but the plants are not going to fry. It's stable, it looks ok (not great, but then again, I'm not a carpenter!) and it covers the plants fairly well - I'll find out for sure the next time we get a sunny day. If I can't find some bamboo or reeds to cover the top, I'll have to see about some sort of shade cloth or something for this year at least. Once I get some sort of vine growing on it it should both look better and shade better.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2008 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wendy2shoes about a cheapo reed blind from Ikea for the top? (You know..the roll-up type). Just remove the hardware..I think it would achieve the same look as the wired bamboo screens, and be more economical.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The screens are even cheaper in chinatowns. It should be heavy enough not to be blown off though. I have actually used japanese paper blinds to screen off harsh sun.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2008 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How about the amazingly fast-growing Metallicus pinus var. celltowerabscondium ?

For more, see link below....

Here is a link that might be useful: Metallicus pinus var. celltowerabscondium

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 3:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

jaro - rofl! There is a wooden utility pole in the alley (just out of sight in the photo) that would look much better if it was replaced with the M. pinus. I have been trying to train a virginia creeper up it to turn it into a tower of vine, but the creeper seems to have more sense than to attach to the creosote laden pole :-)

So - here's what I have there now. I'll take a look in Chinatown to see if I can find any cheap bamboo or reed blinds that I can adapt for the top. If not, Ikea is still pretty cheap :-)

With the angle of the sun and the fence behind it, the area it covers is perfect. Once I get some vines growing over it and draping off the front, it will provide enough shade and I think it'll look kind of neat.

btw 0 there are crossbeams near the bottom, hidden by the leaves, and it's attached to the fence behind it, so it's really quite stable.

I have to post another pic of the new privacy fence I built to make up for the fact that my old fence was no longer good enough with the tree gone. This fence doesn't provide much shade, except for in the right corner, but it works out well - I now have the shade I needed and I have a more sun on my tomatoes in the early morning. I might need to rig up some sort of extension of my shade trellis if I get many more shade plants, but I can do that without affecting the 'maters.

It still looks kind of messy because I haven't sorted out what plants to put into nice pots there yet :-)


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 12:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brendall(z5 que)

The trellis looks great Bonnie. We were just saying if our tree came down I would have to change my garden around.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sharont(z5 can)

What about the dollar (Dollarama) stores beach mats, reed like, but probably plastic not bamboo. Attached by screw-in cup hooks across the under side of lattice or on the wall where you what more shade???
You did a great job with your construction BTW!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 11:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Thanks guys! I must admit that I'm surprised at how it looks. It's certainly not *fantastic* looking, but I do like it a lot more than I thought I would. And it was fairly cheap to build. I have decided to extend the overhead trellis bit all the way to the fence. It's only another 7 feet or so, but after a few days of watching the sun, I can see that the plants on the left need it. The Astilboides is sucking up water at a huge rate!

I have used those dollar store reed mats in the past to provide a temporary shade, but I found they only lasted a month before they started to come apart. I've never seen plastic ones though - just the grass ones. All the same, they're not a bad idea to keep in mind, just in case! If I can't find a reasonably priced bamboo one in the next week, I'll use them instead, and just replace them when they get too ratty. I'm heading to Chinatown on Wednesday, so I'll take a good look for some bamboo ones then.

It's such a shame when a big tree has to come down - even a weedy one like that Elm (seedlings EVERYWHERE!!). In many ways I'm luckier than most, because all my plants are in pots, and I can move them around to get the ones that need the shade the most under the trellis. I've seen huge shade gardens planted under a single tree in some yards. Looks absolutely beautiful, but if/when that tree has to come down... YIKES!


    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 2:35PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Canadian Garden blogs
I would love to collect a list of Canadian garden blogs...
Crafty Gardener
Overwintering geraniums from a deck planter
The planter is about 6"x2' and has 5 plants in...
Brampton Hardiness Zone
Hello all, Is anyone of you expert on Hardiness Zones. Could...
Raspberry Transplanting
Hi All, We transplanted raspberries yesterday into...
Greeting from new gardener from Newfoundland !!!
Hey, Everyone here im very very very excited to find...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™