Big box/ ubiquitous corner conifer alternatives

cearbhaillJune 16, 2012

My mother just purchased a new home with zero landscaping, so I have been elected to design, install, and maintain two front beds purely for curb appeal. The home's exterior is not attractive at all (it's quite ugly actually), so I am being sorely tested, LOL.

I need a large conifer for a corner with southern exposure in zone 6b eastern Kentucky- the soil contains some clay but is actually pretty decent with pH on the slightly acid side. If I was going to a big box store I would choose either a Blue Point juniper or an Emerald Green arborvitae because that is what is available.

Can we think of any easy to source alternatives that I might be overlooking?

The issue will be size and availability- while I am content to buy small, easily shipped plants for myself my Mom is 80 years old and so we need larger plants for more instant gratification. I am finding what very few local nurseries I have to be reluctant to order things for me- they want to sell me what they have which is Blue Points and Emerald Greens. We are in a very rural area with very few choices. Travel to buy will not happen.

I am also in need of three good sized single leader DeGroot's.

So I am asking for 1) corner alternatives as well as 2) sources for shipping larger plants- at least in the six foot range.

Am I an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis?

Sorry- Big Bang joke.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

see mels post on juniper.. for my thoughts on such ... link below ...

call your county extension office.. and discuss tip blight in your area .. or hit the WWW ....

you have no option besides bigbox .. within 50 miles ???

or is it a budget thing ???

and yes.. you are screwed .. lol


ps: you know the bottom line is basically going to be.. plant whatever you can find.. CHEAP.. and make mom happy.. and be done with it.. rather than worry over the esoteric decisions of a bunch of experts as to what is 'good' or 'perfect' ... i dont like either of your suggestions.. for a myriad of reasons.. will mom care????? will you get extra brownie points for the perfect plant.. should the cost be quadruple??? build a nice bed.. space them properly from the foundation.. and dig hole and insert plant.. and be done with it .. if she is anything like my 82 y.o. mom .... she will be happy it is done and over ... and will not give a wit over what they are ... and will call whatever you plant.. a pine tree .. lol ...

Here is a link that might be useful: mels post

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Haha Ken, you are right.
She would not know a Dwarf Spruce from a Chief Joseph- to her they are all "evergreens."

I do have my heart set on the three DeGroots, though.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:31PM
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I long ago learned my lesson on any of the scopulorums in high humidity.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:34PM
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are deer a problem? I'd hate to see you find the perfect tree and find it devoured out there in the country. You know what they do to Arborvitae.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Yes, deer will be free roaming.
That said I have never had one munch any of my arborvitae and they scarf down the daylilies right next to them.
And since I got my deersticks they haven't even eaten those.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:32AM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

Ooh, what's a deerstick? That sounds like something a client could use!!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Link below- they absolutely work great.
My Mom swore by them for years while I scoffed.
I finally got fed up after deer ate some particularly special plants and let her give me a few.
I haven't had deer damage since and I have some fat tasty daylily buds out there right now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer sticks

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:43PM
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greenhaven(SW MI z6)

YOU ROCK!!! I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about this product. I hope it works as well as you say, for my clients are finally getting a little weary of the smell of the repellent they have been using. ;o)

Thank you very much, I have ordered extras to keep on hand.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:11PM
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