Small to Medium size Deciduous Trees for Backyard

goofyisgreen(Z8 PacNW)June 1, 2009

I'm looking to put two deciduous trees on my back fenceline, about 80 feet from the house, along a 4-foot high wire fence.

This area is directly South of my house.

I have about 40 feet of space to work with. I would like the trees to fill in nicely and block my view of the fence, so I'm thinking about trees that either have nice, full lower-branching, or possibly weeping trees.

The area in question will get about 8 to 10 hours of sun to dappled-sun from mid-morning to late afternoon.

I was thinking about:

1. Dwarf or smaller versions of Mountain Ash (not European Mountain Ash, which gets too big), but North American or Asian varieties of Mountain Ash

2. Crepe Myrtles. I used to like in the East (Mid-Atlantic) and loved these trees. Just wondering if they'll actually bloom in the Pacific NW (I get afternoon sun).

3. Weeping Trees that like sunlight and are pretty comfortable with what will be a dry, sunny location.

Thoughts & Suggestions are much appreciated.

Goofy

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larry_gene

Dang, eucryphias are too evergreen for this application!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 12:27AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

What part of PNW?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 1:52AM
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goofyisgreen(Z8 PacNW)

Location: about 700 yards from Puget Sound, about 1/2way
between Tacoma & Seattle

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 7:26PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Vine maple is good for screening.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 8:03PM
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plantknitter(8)

"full lower branching" brings to mind Parrotia persica to me.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Parrotia could be quite nice but likes a moist soil.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 1:01AM
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gweirdo

I like the suggestion of Parrotia too. Some disagreement in the literature about it's relative drought tolerance - I have found it to be fairly tough in this regard. Gets up to about 40' tall, but there is a fairly hard to come by weeping form ('Pendula') that is reportedly much shorter.

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Pendula'

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Native to a rainy mountainous area. Drought effects often visible on local specimens. One at Lakewold Gardens was 60' tall in 1990.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 12:36PM
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plantknitter(8)

So is the old Parrotia at Emery's garden the weeping form?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:21PM
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beluga01

I second the Parrotia. I have had no luck with crepe myrtles after two tries, here on San Juan Island. Heronswood used to sell several Asian species of Sorbus, (the genus that includes Oregon Ash) which, if you can find them, are gorgeous and easy. How about pear trees? easy to grow in PNW, and you can't beat the fruit. I especially think Clapps is ornamental, with its bright red fruit. Figs? Grows fast, and the leaves are huge. Desert King is the best where i live. The most ornamental fruit tree i grow is a Persimmon. Easy to grow. I get fruit in November, but even if you don't at your location, the big yellow/green shiny leaves make it a winner. Last one from me is the golden chain tree. So easy to grow, i sometimes do it from seed. Grows fairly fast. Can't beat the yellow flowers in spring.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You need a hot spot for crepe myrtles. There is a nice display at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, where there is full sun and asphalt around the planting islands to heat things up.

Oregon ash is an ash (Fraxinus) and not a mountain ash (Sorbus).

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:25PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

You also need to choose crepe myrtle cultivars likely to flower in our climate, not just any will do - same as with orchard apple trees, flowering crabapples and roses.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:26PM
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goofyisgreen(Z8 PacNW)

I went with 3 crepe myrtles from a local nursery.

They fit the bill as far as lower branching (check), nice glossy foliage (check), good fall color and nice bark. They were also relatively inexpensive.

The $64,000 question is will they bloom in this spot, with intermittent morning and afternoon sun. I think I'll be OK either way, although of course I'd prefer them to bloom.

I looked hard to dwarf or Asian forms of Mountain Ash but couldn't find any (I went to 3 pretty big nurseries south of Seattle) that met the bill (I really wanted to stay under 2o feet of height and the most common European and American mountain ashes get larger than this).

Ironically, it is evident that my crepe myrtles are somewhat water sensitive (I suspect they are potted in a potting mixture that is too dry). In the mid-Atlantic (where I used to live), they were legendary for their drought & heat tolerance. The ones I have, I suspect if they went 8 or 9 days without water, they'd be dead.

They'll be planted soon.

Goofy

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 1:50AM
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