Hedge Selection

captainjz16September 9, 2013

In planning on planting a sweet viburnum hedge around my rear property line and a lower hedge of veriagated arboricola directly in front of it for a contrast.

Any thoughts?

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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Do you mind trimming hedges? Sweet viburnum is actually a small tree and requires regular hedge trimming to maintain shorter height. I have a long hedge of it down the side of my property and spend more time than I'd like keeping at 5' tall. It would like to be 15' tall (or more) and when I get behind, it heads that direction in a hurry!

Also, if you plant the variegated schefflera arboricola in front, leave enough room between the two rows so that you can access the viburnum to hedge trim it. The space left between will not be noticeable from the yard and you will thank yourself later. I promise.

Carol in Jacksonville

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

You did say, "Any thoughts?", so here goes my two pennies:

I am guessing you are going for a formal look given your limitation to two shrubs? Is this from desire or simply because this is how 'most people' do it. I only ask because my first idea of putting in a hedge was pretty much on the same note, except I was looking at Schillings Hollies for the lower shrub. But over the past year I have learned that I actually prefer the look of an informal hedge. Instead of building a hedge-wall out of one type of shrub, mix them up. Properly spaced, you will still get the screening/privacy effect, but with the different leaves, textures, colors, growth habits and heights, it ends up looking a lot more organic in the end. Plus you end up attracting a greater variety of song birds this way and get to see them moving from shrub to shrub. Just my thoughts. :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Thanks for the input. That's a great idea leaving the space between the two rows. Ideally, we want the hedge to get to 8-9' as the rear property line abuts a commercial property and we want to block it out.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 2:41PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Oh trust me - I'm already trimming mine using ladders and step ladders and leaning waaaaaaaaay out to reach it all - leave about twice as much space as you think you'll need when you plant those cute little tiny bushes.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:22PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Carol, that's exactly why I planted Sweet Viburnums along the north side of my house. After seeing how huge they get at the Discovery Gardens and how much shade just two of them can create, I figured this shrub would be a good way to get some 'quick' shade on that side of my house. I'm working them 'up' to give them more of a tree shape than standard shrubs. They didn't put on a whole lot of upward growth this summer though as they seemed to put more energy into leafing out than forming new stem growth.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:23PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

They require trimming every 2-3 weeks - if I had to do over, I would not use them for a hedge. However, I would try one as an evergreen tree. I recommended it to someone a couple weeks ago but someone else vetoed the suggestion. I even posted the U of F (IFAS/EDIS) link that said they are underused in tree form. I don't think the original poster ever came back and let us know of the final decision. I'm glad you are using them as trees, Leekle. Post photos when you get time. I would love to see them.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Only because you asked, Carol:

There's nothing really to show with these yet. They are both around 3 ft tall right now, which I guess means they did indeed grow over the summer. I think when I planted them last November they were around 2 ft tall. It wasn't until the onset of spring that I started pruning them up. They are both planted about 4 1/2 ft away from the house. A little close, but my 'property line' is at 5 ft. If I keep limbing them up, I can encourage them to go more vertical until they get about to the roof line and then let them go horizontal and shade that area of the roof during the summer months.

This one was the most problematic for pruning. Few of it's trunks were growing in directions that I wanted them to. So for now I'm kind of letting some of the 'wonky' trunks go where they want and I will try to find it's form as it gets bigger. Had I the idea of limbing these up when I got them, I would have paid more attention to trunk growth at the time.

This one was easier to prune, and find the form, but I think I need to remove one more trunk. There is one that is hard to see in this image that is starting to grow toward the house and it needs to be removed. This one is also a favorite of aphids. The first one hasn't been hit by aphids since it was planted, but this one needs constant supervision (they are about 8 ft apart. Every day or every other day I am blasting it with the hose to knock the aphids off, but they just keep coming back. And for some reason, the ladybugs don't want to hunt these aphids. They have cleaned my grape vine, my parsley, my... well, they've cleaned a lot of my plants, but they just seem to avoid this plant. This one also has more leaf flushes than the other. You can even see two suckers coming up (these were removed after the picture was taken.) I 'blame' this extra growth as a reaction to the aphid problem.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:25AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Thanks for the photos. Mine get aphids in early spring with the lush new (sweet) growth. I have never done anything at all to treat - the aphids disappear in a few weeks without my help. I think yours will follow the "sleep, creep, leap" theory, at least that's what mine did: the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap! I bet these will be wonderful trees in a few short years - and a bonus - evergreen!


Here is a link that might be useful: UF - Sweet Viburnum as Landscape Trees

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Michael AKA Leekle2ManE - Zone 9a - Lady Lake

Yep, evergreen and against the north side of the house. So lush looking in winter and blocking the cold winds! I will also be putting a couple of Wax Myrtles along this side on Arbor Day. More evergreen! Once they all get some size on them, I will under plant with other evergreen plants of different varieties, dwarf hollies, dwarf Walters Viburnums and... umm... I need to research more dwarf evergreens... Maybe saw palmettos and definitely some coontie. For now I'm just pulling up all the grass and weeds that had grown into the mulch around the Sweets since the pictures have me feeling a little ashamed. Yes... they are indeed mulched.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 11:07AM
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