Nice article...gardening with conifers in the shade

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)March 7, 2014

Its just a sample from the ACS quarterly but nice article. I've also noticed that Picea abies and orientalis do nicely in the shade. Most tend to default to Taxus and Tsuga.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i didnt read the article ...

but from my experience ... there are only two aspects affected by shade ...

first.. annual growth can be stunted ... and if you are working in shade.. one might presume you are space limited.. so who cares if it grows a little slower than it would in full sun ... things simply do not die in lack of full sun ... presuming of course.. we arent talking a dark cave under shade .... [if they die.. its more likely from water competition under the wrong kind of trees]

and second.. color.. if it is sun dependent ... and if that is the case.. why did you pick it for shade anyway ... in other words.. i wouldnt try a skylands in deep shade ... otherwise it will be the green of plain old momma ... Picea orientalis

if i get a chance.. i will read the article in the near future.. or.. in the alternative.. lose focus and forget... lol


ps: being a hosta fiend ... in a prior life.. be sure to understand.. that shade is a very difficult term to define ... one mans shade.. is never another mans shade .... there is hours... how high the canopy is ... etc ... peeps used to measure such with an old fashioned light meter for a camera .... some shade required your camera be wide open .. aperture??? .. and other places.. near closed... same effect with eye glasses that change to sun glasses ... i have been in hosta gardens where my glasses remain dark.. and others where its so dark... the glasses go back to clear ... and mind you.. not much grows in deep dark shade .. and that is why in the forest.. its usually barren under the telephone poles .... there is just not enough light down there.. for even the weeds to thrive .....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 10:55AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Shame on you, you bumped the post and didn't read the article!lol Now you need to and there will be a quiz.

In the article they go into your PS part of your post.

I've scoured the web to find what conifers simply have less vigor in shade but don't thin out. From general observation Abies concolor seems to thin out quite a bit in shade.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:48AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

I loved the article! What a beautiful setting!

That has to be someplace like Oregon where they get a lot of water! I'm not used to all that green! Just sunshine, but sure did enjoy the read and the photos!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:10AM
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That is a great article. Sort of outlines a lot of what I have learned since starting conifer collecting. I have limited spots with full sun and some spots that are full shade to try and deal with. The inability to use Tsuga canadensis is a huge burden for a shade gardener interested in conifers. However, I too have found Chamaecyparis nootkatensis to grow very well in limited light situations. One that I didn't see mentioned that has done extremely well so far is Thuja, specifically 'Green Giant'. Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata' is nice for a full shade upright, but deer love them, so I opted for Buxus sempervirens 'Fastigiata'.

I did not have good luck with Picea glauca 'Pendula' in the shade...severe needle drop and almost lost it, transplanted to full sun in the fall and looks like it will recover. Tsuga chinensis is nice, but only hardy to z6. Tsuga diversifolia is good to z4, and it looks like there will be more cultivars on the horizon as more and more areas are impacted by HWA.

I look forward to trying some Picea orientalis cultivars they mentioned and see how they do. Particularly, Picea orientalis 'Silver Seedling' and also Picea sitchensis 'Bentham's Sunlight', as it might be the only cultivar that still shows gold in shade.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Suzi they are near St. Louis, that's why they want the shade in summer!

I give quite a few conifers afternoon shade to keep them from burning due to our dry summers (ambient humidity very low, not just no rain). 'Skylands' burns in all day full sun here, but under a high canopy where it is shaded for a few hours from the hot afternoon sun in summer it does fine. Same with most of my Pinus parviflora. I shouldn't be planting any Tsuga but the ones that I have are in shade almost all day long.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:26PM
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I do some shade gardens here in North Carolina and am having good luck with Thujopsis dolabrata and have seen one example of Microbiota decussate doing well here and planning on trying that this season.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:13AM
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