Evergreen shrubs for foundation planting

miquelyn(z5 MN)May 7, 2009

We are replacing Maney junipers that outgrew their space in front of our colonial-style house. Any suggestions for evergreen shrubs that will not exceed 4' in height or width, and do well in zone 4 would be greatly appreciated. The exposure is western, so we get a lot of sun and wind. Thanks!

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Little Giant and Woodward are both cultivars of Arborvitae that grow slowly, 4-6 feet at best, and make nice foundation plants. Althoug they can reach the 6' mark, they grow so slowly and take so well to an early summer pruning that I would recommend them over a smaller shrub that might look too small against the house for too long. With the wind and sun, they are a better choice than a Yew, which can winterburn in that exposure. I have not run across a Juniper that I like very well, but that is my own prejudice, someone else may come up with a good Juniper variety that might work for you. Good luck, Helen.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:59AM
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I love the avborvitae, but around here they are deer candy. If you have a lot of deer in the area you probably will have to cover them in the winter.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 4:28PM
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miquelyn(z5 MN)

We live in a rapidly growing suburb area, so deer aren't a problem. I think arborvitae probably is the way to go. Is there an arborvitae that has more of an arching shape, or a more casual shape than a tight, rounded globe, yet stays within the 4-6' range?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 3:13AM
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I can't really think of an arb with an arching, more informal shape. Perhaps more selective pruning versus shearing would help keep it looser looking.

You could also look at some of the dwarf spruces such as bird's nest spruce. Can be a bit pricey for a decent sized specimen though.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 7:16AM
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You could try the PJM rhodies. They do retain their leaves in the winter.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 4:32PM
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