Nannyberry beside paving stone patio

fillagirlJuly 15, 2011

Hi, I am looking for a quick growing screen so I don't have to look at my neighbor while I'm on my patio, which is very close to the fence.

I only have about a 1.5 feet between the edge of the paving stone and the fence, and have to plant something tall & skinny. The area is sunny and I was thinking of nannyberry.

Any opinions? Concerns are : suckering (will it make the paving stones heave?) odour of nannyberry and berries dropping & staining the stones OR bird feces staining the stone.

If anybody can share knowledge or experience with nannyberries or has other suggestions, it would be great appreciated. Thanks very much!

fillagirl, zone 2b

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A space of about 1.5 feet doesn't seem like enough room for a nannyberry's root system, but I'm not positive. Have you bought it yet? You may want to consider taking a picture of your area to the seller and asking their opinion if they have qualified staff.

How about a fast growing vine? How wide a space do you have to cover?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:13AM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

About 30 years ago I did the same thing. We had poured a large concrete pad next to our house. There was about 2 feet between that and the fence. When I suddenly decided I needed to block out the neighbours, I went looking for a tree. The catalogue I found said that nannyberry was good to provide a screen. I planted 2.
I don't know if I would describe nannyberry as tall and skinny. I think it is more vase shaped.I have had to prune the fence side of the trees a lot. They are probably flatish on that side, but it isn't noticeable.
The concrete pad was a mistake that we eventually removed. I can't remember seeing suckers until we got rid of the pad and I made a flower bed under the trees.
I have no idea if the suckers would be an issue for paving stones which wouldn't be as solid as the pad, but I doubt it.
But the trees do produce berries and will attract birds. That was never a problem for me however. I love that aspect of the tree. Hoards of waxwings come in the fall to eat the berries. They clean off the tree in a matter of a couple days.
I've hesitated in answering your post. Though I have successfully planted in a similar situation, I don't think it is ideal. Plus it sounds as if the birds and the berries would be an issue for you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 8:00AM
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NAF, I have a wide space I need to cover, about 8 feet. I was thinking of doing what north53 did, planting two nannyberries (or whatever else might be a better alternative).

I'm not worried about having birds and berries around, I'm worried about any possible staining on my paving stones. While I don't know if nannyberries stain, after re-reading my post I don't think bird feces should stain anything. I hope not anyway!

I'm not sure what else I could put there. Maybe lilacs, but I think they're wider than a nannyberry.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:57AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

What about a row of pyramid cedars? Even fully mature, they're only about 4' across at the bottom.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 10:36AM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I can try to take a picture from along the fence if that would help in your decision?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:25PM
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How about Junipers? They could probably stand the heat better than the cedars? And look almost as nice.

I'm a little concerned the trees won't get enough water with only a 1.5 foot space, but I'm not an expert.

How about Virginia Creeper? You could plant one or two with some type of trellis so it doesn't attach itself right to the fence.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 2:03PM
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Hello, I was thinking about something that was fast growing and I worry that the cedars will brown as I just planted some and they are already browning. I am going to investigate the nannyberry a bit further, I think it might work. My neighbour has one so I'll have to watch what happens with the berries in the fall.

Thank you for all your comment and ideas.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:40PM
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Do you have an update? Have you decided on nannyberry? What's the neighbour's turning out like?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 3:06PM
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Hi NAF....I am putting nannyberry there but haven't yet as it involves a chain reaction of transplanting (roses, shrubs, etc.) and then I started doing a row of cedars in my yard as well. (One thing leads to another....)

I will plant in the Spring (I have the nannyberries now but in a holding space) and thinking that I can prune them to be as tall and skinny as I want, given the growth patterns.

I noticed yesterday the leaves on the nannyberry were turning a lovely shade of red...hope this plant works out for me!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 4:57PM
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Just wondering if you've planted your nannyberries and how they're doing?

I have a nannyberry sitting here waiting to be planted. If I could just decide where.........

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:13PM
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Hi NAF, I actually just planted the nannyberries in that space a few weeks ago, after considering it for a a while. I think they'll be OK, I am going to shape them into a tree I think....I'll keep you posted. Good luck with your nannyberry, I think they're a very hardy shrub/tree

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:33PM
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