Will Picea Aibes closely follow the contour of a retaining wall?

GeeDaveySeptember 20, 2011

I have a ~3 foot high L-shaped retaining wall that has an ugly cement corner that is about 7 feet in length. (3.5 each side of the corner.

The wall borders a neighbors driveway and the sidewalk that gets a lot of foot traffic. I'd like to cover the wall with a trailing conifer. But I can't have anything that sticks out. It needs to follow the contour very closely.

The bed itself is raised, fast draining, and full-full sun. So I think any conifer will grow there in my climate.

Juniper will do it, i know. But spreading juniper always looks ratty to me. So I'm looking for alternatives.

I love the look of Picea Aibes 'Pendula' I"ve been told that 'Pendula' is erratic and can't be 'trusted' to develop that way.

Would Picea AIbes 'Reflexa' do it? It seems to develop a skirt pretty easily.

Anything else close to that?

Thanks as always.

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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Pendula with other similar forms P.a. Frohburg, P.a. Aarburg, P.a. Wartburg, P.a. Inversa, P.a. Reflexa all in the same boat. There does not seem to be any one stable characteristic in the form.

Picea a. 'Reflexa' aka 'Pendula' will not work for you.

I am not aware of any Picea abies that will follow a contour very closely at all and shearing one for that look is not advisable.

Why not post a photo for more concise help. There are alternatives. What is the width of the wall...very important.

Dave

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:39AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

yeah.. i cant visualize your situation ...

if you start small enough.. it would seem to me.. you could train anything to be what you want it to be ...

e.g. bonsai

ken

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 11:51AM
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GeeDavey

Yeah, sorry. It's simpler than I made it sound.

Here is a photo From GardenWeb

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 9:25PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont have time right now to get my pix out..

i have juniper horizontalis golden carpet .. growing itself down the north side of a wall ...

BTW.. is your name an obscure reference to davey and goliath ... from the wayback machine???

ken

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:49AM
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GeeDavey

ha ha. yes, that's the reference.

I'm leaning toward a red pine to cover it. I like the 'cousin it' look.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 9:56AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

pinus resinosa could not be more wrong for that spot.. than any other species ...

you can NOT put a species tree in there ...

i wont waste my time posting the golden spreader pix .... if you have rejected them in toto ... let me know otherwise .. no real problem either way ...

all forest pines.. species.. are too soft wooded.. and grow to aggressively [about 3 to 5 feet a year] .. and should NOT be planted that close to a house ... let alone hanging on a wall ..

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: pinus resinosa habitat

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:38PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

not to mention the telephone pole and wires ...

neat slide bar if you click the image.. then click the + at the link ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: or just use this link

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 1:40PM
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GeeDavey

No, Japanesse red pine, weeping. Pinus Densiflore Pendula.

I was still referring to my original question about trying to cover that retaining wall.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:05PM
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johnplace

Do weeping conifers actually develop a skirt that would drop down several feet below the root flare? I know some of them can be trained to grow along the ground as desired, but an upright growing with such a long skirt?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:15PM
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dietzjm

How about Picea abies "Formanek" or Picea pungens "Procumbens"? They're not the flattest growers and may occasionally throw up a leader, but anything that does not grow flat against the wall could be easily pruned out.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 4:47PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

I'd say the most durable would probably be Juniperus horizontalis. Either Ken's suggested 'Golden Carpet' or 'Mother Lode'. But mixing two of this, three of another with spruce might not be a bad idea either.

tj

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 6:30PM
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GeeDavey

Oh wow. Yellow juniper. That's a bold corner!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 7:29PM
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mrgpag

you might want to take a look at Juniperus horizontalis 'Monber' Icce Blue Juniper. It's bluish green color would look good cascading down over the concrete walls. This is strictly a ground cover type plant with no vertical growth.
Marshall

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:06PM
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