Small Upright Conifers

Bob317(6)August 18, 2011

I want to plant a couple of small upright conifers on the south side of my house. They will be about 18 inches from the house (brick). One site is about 3 feet by 3 feet, surrounded on two sides by concrete sidewalk and driveway. The other site has a concrete driveway on one side and gravel mulch on the other two sides. The soil is clay and quite alkaline. I also have alkaline irrigation water, so many conifers will not survive here. Ideal size would be 4 to 6 feet tall and 18 to 24 inches wide. I'm thinking of either Juniperus scopulorum Medora, or Juniperus communis Miniature. Will Medora require too much pruning to keep it under 6 feet? Will the Miniature take too long to grow to the desired size? Any suggestions on where to buy these. None of the local nurseries currently stock either one.

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

No conifer will stop growing so you may need something that takes to pruning. Perhaps one of the many narrow Taxus baccata cultivars.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:42AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

18 inches is too close to the house ...

god i wish i had a nickle ...

conifers are trees.. they NEVER stop growing.. link to intro to conifers ... apply annual growth rate info to previous sentence .... most size estimates are at 10 years ... and they will be twice as big in 20 years.. etc ...

finally ... in this statement, define too long:

Will the Miniature take too long to grow to the desired size?

really now.. the faster it gets to size.. the faster you are going to have to start cutting it back to maintain the size ... planting trees/conifers.. usually is not about instant gratification ...

welcome to GW... and good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 1:00PM
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Thanks for the comments.
I only expect to be in this house for 10 to 15 years. If "instant gratification" means the shrubs are the appropriate size in 5 years or less, then yeah that's what I'm looking for. I wouldn't mind doing some annual pruning. The question is could I keep the shrubs the desired size without making them look ugly.

tsugajunkie: Since these shrubs will be planted in front of a south-facing brick wall, with no shade, and lots of heat and reflected light from nearby concrete, I would be surprised if any Taxus would do well.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 2:07PM
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