Shrub suggestions

Pat SonntagSeptember 27, 2005

Have just removed some very large yews and would like some suggestions on what to replace them with. Need something that will grow well on the north side of house = partially under a catalpa tree. Can grow as high as 10 feet = but larger will block sunroom windows.

Thanks for your help!!

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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Oakleaf hydrangea!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 9:58PM
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daisy_me(Z6b IL)

I 2nd the oakleaf hydrangea. You also may want to check into the various viburnums that are available.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 12:40PM
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Hurray for getting rid of huge old yews! :) I did that on the north side of my IN house, too, and put in Viburnum carlesii (Korean spice bush) -- and the fragrance in the spring was heavenly. The flowers are pretty pale pink clusters with one of my favorite scents in the whole plant kingdom. Diseases and pests don't bother it much (they didn't bother it at all in the years I grew them, roughly 15 years). Runs about 6' or slightly taller. Nice foliage and great fall color (burgandy, red, sometimes a bit of orange -- depends on the weather). Can you tell I like it? :) It would be a nice companion to the oakleaf hydrangea. I'm including a link so you can look at some photos. The hardiness zone for it, in the few websites I looked at, said hardy to 4 and hardy to 5, so check with a nursery you trust, but I'm thinking it's ok there. If not, there should be some other really nice viburnums, as someone else suggested.

Here's one link, with another below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Korean spice bush

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 6:17PM
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pam_aa(z5 Berwyn Il.)

Those are great shrubs. Here's a great web site that's very helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscape Plants of the Upper Midwest

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:37AM
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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Euonimus will give great fall color- dogwoods will lend a natural feel- Viburnums, Shadblow, pussywillows, snowberry, elderberries, nannyberries, and many more will provide cover and food for the birds- and if you miss the evergreens- try fir trees- they retain a nice shape and do well in shadier conditions-
So many choices-

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 7:04PM
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joandaugh(Z5 Chicago)

Um . . . "As Demeter's apprehension leads into autumn . . ." (snicker). Pretty bush and great photos on the Korean Spice Bush link, but geez, whoever wrote it has spent too much time in the sun (hope it's nobody here).

I am still trying to get my red twig dogwood bought and in the ground and afraid I'm running out of time. I keep going back and forth about which kind because it will be in a very large planter but I can't have it get too big (more than 5 feet). It sounds to me like they're OK with pruning though, and the brightest red branches in the winter are off new growth.

I really want a red twig dogwood for the winter season interest, but should I consider something else if I have the size constraint?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 6:23PM
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roadtrip(z6 OH)

I love Oakleaf, but watch what cultivar your getting if you opt to go down that road. The 'Pee Wee' Oakleafs I bought this fall will only get 3-4' heigh, which is just right for where I wanted to put them. Some of the Oakleafs I looked at got up to 8' and would quickly outgrow the same spot.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 8:50PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)


My Cornus alba 'Ivory Halo' is five years old. I cut it down to the ground each spring. It has never grown more than 4 1/2 ft. tall. The leaves are pretty all summer long, the stems are not as pretty as the green leaved Cornus alba 'Sibirica', though, but both my 'Sibirica' grows to 7' this year....their fifth year in my garden as well and I cut them to the ground every spring just like 'Ivory Halo'.

I also have a few Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Flame'. I love this one too, because it is so cheerful in the depth of winter. It suckers, though. The leaves are yellowish green - very pretty year round.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 9:28PM
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joandaugh(Z5 Chicago)

pitimpinai--thanks so much for the information. So many pretty dogwood shrubs. I am originally from Washington State and it's hard to get used to a dogwood that's not a large tree. I think Ivory Halo is exactly what I was looking for. I have seen them around and admired them.

I suppose it is too late to plant it this year for the best result. I will have to content myself with dreams of spring. There is a big empty spot waiting in the middle of my planter. I was hoping to at least plant something like some purple fountain grass to fill the space now but even clearance plants are getting pretty scarce. Maybe I could pile some pumpkins. At least make the squirrels happy. There is volunteer garlic coming up now . . .

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 4:14PM
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Pat Sonntag

Thanks so much for all your responses. I have been off line for awhile and changing providers so didn't get most of your messages. I have gone with summersweet "hummingbird" in pink, which was a suggestion at the nursery. Not a lot left at this time of year. Had wanted red twig dogwood, but could not find any. Really glad to get rid of the yews!!!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:02AM
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joandaugh(Z5 Chicago)

I got my Ivory Halo dogwood today and put it in, since it's SO beautiful still. It was 20% off at Lurvey's in Des Plaines. They had many different kinds of cornus but I got this on pitimpinai's recommendation (above). When my husband fell in love with another variegated dogwood, the yard person confirmed that he thought Ivory Halo was nicer. I'm so excited --it has put the finishing touch on my very large planter (is anything ever finished though). It also has some veronica & gaura "pink fountain," both of which are still blooming. And tons of wild garlic because I filled it with dirt from another part of the yard. Darn it--does anybody need garlic?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 6:45PM
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