tree recommendations? I'm a newbie!

jillyliciousApril 20, 2009

Hi folks! This forum is a godsend! I've been perusing for an hour now and guess it's time for me to join to get more info.

I live on an acreage W of High River (35 minutes south of Calgary.) The soil is dry and there's a lot of wind. I am looking for a tall narrow hardy tree, fast growth, drought resistant. Our house faces SE so the area will get a LOT of sun.

What would you recommend? The tree will be along the house in front of the parking pad (which is gravel.) I'm a little unsure about what to plant to reduce the likelihood of damage to the foundation. I don't mind suckers or raking leaves (I have two 35 yr old poplars so that's old news.)

Does anyone have a recommendation? Thanks so much!

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Pudge 2b

Maybe a pyramidal Mountain Ash? I planted one three years ago which up and died that same year because we had too much rain. I planted another (its replacement) the next year in a drier area of the yard and it is quite happy. So although some sites will say Mountain Ash needs moist soil, my tree guy told me they prefer dryish. I love this tree and can't wait until mine grows some more.

Another that might work for you is Sutherland Caragana.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:53PM
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How close to the house can I plant a mountain ash? For me to center it in my flowerbed it would only be a couple of feet from the house - will that pose a problem later on?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 11:11PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

Hi, I live just east of Black Diamond. In my yard I have Shubert Chokecherry, which has the beautiful purple leaves. A green ash, a rescue crab, a couple of apples. All are doing very well and don't get any water beside what comes from the rainbarrel. And of course poplars and spruce. I'm trying to get a couple of plums going but they are struggling. Cheryl

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:44AM
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I wouldn't put any tree a couple of feet from the house. They have roots and if roots find the smallest crack they will go into your foundation. The trunk gets bigger and so do the roots and it could cause major problems. Then there are the leaves which will end up on your roof. The absolute closest I would plant any tree is 4 feet away and it would be an evergreen foundation plant that is less than 8 feet at maturity. If you want height in your flowerbed use a trellis with a climbing vine or tall flowers like munks hood. Of course if it's windy there You might have a problem with tall flowers falling over when they are in full bloom. A trellis and vine are the way to go

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Hmm... thanks everyone. I had my misgivings about planting a tree close to the house, so this helped. Maybe I will have to rethink the shape & size of the flowerbed.

What about lilac close to a house?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:59AM
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As soon as you said "tall, narrow, fast-growing" my mind jumped to the Swedish Columnar Aspen. We (central Alberta)have 8 of these trees, 3 planted near our deck and 5 along the north side of the yard. They were planted 5 feet apart, say a metre and a half, if metric is prefered. They are tough and routinely put on between 4-6 feet a year once they get going. The trees by the deck are going into their 5th full season and are now about 35-40 feet tall. The 5 we planted on the north side had their first full season last summer and each of them grew at least 3 feet. All these trees get water when we water the yard, so I can't comment on drought resistance. They do send out runner roots which occasionally pop up as volunteer tree sprouts in random places, but these are easily taken care of with a mower. The neighbour to the south had one pop up in his yard and he likes them so much that he is going to let that one grow.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Thanks! I love the look of the Swedish Columnar Aspen and think I will use them for a screen along the south end of the yard by our barn - they'll have loads of room to fill out there. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:14AM
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I've seen people who plant shrubs and small trees right up near the foundation. 2 feet of flower bed does not have enough room for either. Believe me when I say you wouldn't like the looks of any shrub or tree that close to the house. Besides the foundation, you have to take the eaves of the house into consideration.

There is a wealth of information on plant tags. They give you the height and width of most perennials and trees and shrubs. When you are considering planting anything look all around, up and down, the space where you are going to plant and imagine that plant growing there at maturity.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:55PM
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