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Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Posted by pmsmith2032 5b (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 19, 12 at 10:06

We are looking to plant a row of conifers along the back of our backyard to create some privacy. This area is between a 4' fence and our above ground pool, and is 10' wide at the narrowest point. Here are a couple of pictures that show what we are refering to:

Back of yard facing northeast:
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Back of yard facing southeast (Conifers would be planted to the right of the viburnum in the picture):
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Backyard plan....the area we are refering to is at the top right of the plan:
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We really like the Picea orientalis 'Skylands' but am not sure if this would be a good fit (we understand the shade requirements of smaller trees of this species). We like a more "Christmas tree" shape as opposed the the arborvitaes and junipers.

We are also looking for suggestions for conifers in the area designated as "spruce" in the middle top of the above plan (doesn't have to be spruce).

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

there are two at hidden lakes.. that are 40 feet tall ... and about 15 wide at the base ...

if the pool is going to be there in 20 years.. it will be a problem ..

but it may not be an issue.. because i can not get a skylands to thrive in my z5 ... so depending where you are in z5 .. it might be moot ...

hows that for a lot of info .. with no real answer.. lol

ken


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RE: Picea orientalis 'Skylands' or?

We are located in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. Sounds to me like skyland may be too temperamental for our needs. Do you have any other suggestions Ken for this loaction?


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

i doubt you want to hear it.. lol

put a deck around the pool.. including screening..

and plant things in regard to your conifer addiction .. rather than hoping something will grow big enough in the next decade ... or before the kids lose interest in the pool ...

my best bet.. is that nothing will grow fast enough for screening .. and the day after something planted this year.. will provide a screen.. will be the season you decide the pool has to go ...

there.. i said it. . lol ..

in other words.. you have two hobbies right now.. pool.. and conifers.. and i think you are going to have a real hard time... combining the two effectively ...

and there is absolutely nothing.. that will grow the 12 or 15 feet you need .. that will not shed into the pool ... hence the beauty of lattice e.g.

was i right.. you didnt really want to hear it ... lol ... basically .. playing devils advocate .. i want you to look outside the box you are standing in ....

i wish you all the luck in the world..

ken


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Thanks Ken. I know what you mean about the conifers. I will definitely look into the deck option. Here are a couple of options/problems I can foresee:

1. I'm not sure if we surround the pool with a deck for two reasons. One is that underground utility lines run near the pool on the south side. I am waiting to hear back from the city building inspector on if we can have the deck built over it. The other issue is the amount it will cost to surround the whole pool with a deck. The pool is 27' wide so it might be outside our budget.

2. Increasing the height of the current fence from 4' to 5' or 6'. I'm not sure how much it will help but it definitely wouldn't hurt.

3. Plant something besides conifers. Here again though we might run into issues with leaves/seeds etc in the pool.

I'm open to any options right now and just brainstorming on creating privacy from this directions! Thansk again!


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Pmsmith, I say go ahead and plant but with realistic expectations. Also plant a couple different species of plants. That way when the Emerald Gypsy Picea Blight bug comes to your town it will only get one of your trees.


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

"Skylands' will work for you with proper care until acclimated.

After 10 years they would be to big for the area you have in mind?

You need to go with a pendula or fastigiata form of conifer.

A grouping of Picea glauca 'Pendula' would be a better choice.

What is the over all length of the area you are trying to screen with conifers along the fence. The third one out front will be a filler in the middle.

Draw a scale plan of the area you want to plant conifers only. Give me some numbers of maximum amount of space they can take up.

Most anything you put in there will work for ten years providing you don't want instant gratification and buy big B&B specimens. If you are going to stay long term then you need to plan for something that will not out grow the area AKA Picea g.'Pendula'.

Dave


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

actually.. i was a bit tongue in cheek with the whole deck thing.. that is probably a budget buster ...

i was thinking more in line with a couple 4 x 4 for posts.. and some lattice strung between ... for a rather economical FAST privacy break ...

and then your garden plan below ...

something like at the link below.. without all the decking and railing .... lattice at height ... but you will have to check all that with the code guys.. etc ..

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: something like this


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Thanks for the responses! Below is a plan to scale of our backyard project:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The area we are trying to cover is approximately 30-35' long. The lot behind us is empty and we know of no immediate plans to build (builder went bankrupt and lots have been for sale for over a year now with no building in subdivision). It's hard to tell for sure what the site lines will look like once a house is built but I imagine a tree in the 10-12' range would block both views from the pool and the back deck. We plan on being in the house for at least the next 12-15 years. We are not totally opposed to junipers/arborvitaes if they make the most sense.


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

I see a couple of nice options here...

Option 1 - Take the pool out and plant some more conifers =)

Option 2 - Buy the lot behind you and plant some more conifers =)

No but really, I like Kens idea. On the fence in the center of the pool, a tall latice. Then you can have roses or stuff climb it, perhaps even plant some lower growing shrubs in front of the latice that will get to a height of maybe 2-3'. Then on both the left and right side of that latice, you can plant some taller conifers and go about your design. The latice would only have to be maybe 15' wide. It will allow for almost instant privacy. If you want privacy with a small conifer, it may take 10-15 years. Once it gets tall enough to allow for privacy, it'll be to wide and will need to go.

This way, you can still walk around the pool and wont have something that's 10' wide at the base next to it.


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RE: i think i can sum up my thoughts..

i think i can sum up my thoughts..

the pool is temporary ... make some temporary privacy .. and by temporary.. i mean 5 to 10 years max ..

the garden.. can be a lifetime project ... and conifers are trees.. and when we talk of them.. we talk in decades or centuries..

and i would hate for the pool to be gone in 5 or 10 years.. and you be left with carp plants you had to plant to deal with that ...

the two happiest days of a pool owners life.. are the day he got the pool.. and the day he got rid of the pool .... and i n between its all about how happy the kids are.. while you dump money and chemicals in to a bottomless pit of worry and money .. lol ... not to mention the hours of cleaning it .. and for which the children will never thank you ...... thank god the neighbor has a pool i can use.. lol .. because i will never buy another ....

ken


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Here the person just wants some advice on proper conifer selections to plant along the fence line. At least that's the way I read it.

Instead he gets advice on how to raise his fence, deck his pool and install some Home Depot lattice sections for a screen.

Am I at the right forum or does Ken & Rick think they are at the Porches and Deck forum. LOL

Dave


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

Thanks for all the help! I kind of agree that a lattice screen or trellis on top of the fence will be our best options directly behind the pool. I think we'll probably do two small clumps to the left and right of the center back of the pool. I would imagine clumps of arborvitaes or junipers might work well? Also, any suggestions for the clump designated as "spruce" on the plan above? The area will be about 30' wide and we'd like something with a Christmas tree look.


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

What about some of the following conifers:

Picea engelmannii `Bushs Lace' - Beautiful bluish gray foliage that forms lovely cascading or weeping branches. At 10 years 8' X 3'.

Picea omorika `Berliner's Weeper' - This one grows 2' a year, is bluish green. At 10 years 14' X 4'.

Thuja occidentalis 'Degroot's Spire' - Is a dark green tall narrow conifer. I know this one grows very quickly as I planted a very small cutting and within 2 years it is already 2 1/2' tall and looking gorgeous. It is very narrow also, perhaps 2' to 3' wide in 10 years.

I'm sure there are many others that would fit quite nicely in that area. These came to my mind of plants I've seen in friends gardens that were very narrow. I'm sure you will get more planting ideas. I like the idea of adding a conifer screen.

If you do decide to go with the lattice, you could plant a weeping Larix over the lattice to soften the wooden boldness of the deck.

Good luck in your planning. Your backyard plan on paper looks FANTASTIC. Most importantly, do what you want...it is your yard and if in 10 years you outgrow the pool, so what. You can always make new plans. Have fun with it.


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RE: Picea orientalis �Skylands' or?

We have narrowed our choice for the clump of three designated as "spruce" on the plan above down to either douglas firs or balsam firs. Can anyone offer an opinion on either?


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