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Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

Posted by thisismelissa z4a-S Twin Cities MN (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 9, 10 at 14:52

In the front of my house, right where the walkway to the door meets the driveway, I have a Weeping Siberian Pea Shrub. Anyone approaching the house is taken by its uniqueness and I usually get comments. It was here when we moved in 4 years ago and while I was never a huge fan of this shrub (it's prickly and it suckers), I did like that it was a conversation piece.

Well, in the course of the thaws in the last few days, the snow piled on it from the snowblower has really dragged down the branches and it has split in 3 places. I do not think it's worth saving at this point. So, I'm considering what to replace it with and starting my research now, so I'm ready for spring planting.

It's pretty much a full sun spot on the east side of the house. It's probably not in shade in the summer till at least 4pm. It's a fairly smallish spot. Total diameter, maybe 5-6 feet. We have a maple in the middle of the front yard, so I don't want anything to compete with that (in the 2nd pic, the pea shrub is directly behind the maple).

In my research, I've come across a few that I find interesting, but am very open to suggestions on what to replace this shrub with. I'm pretty certain I want a tree-form and am not glued to the idea of deciduous. Evergreen would be fine too. I like the idea of a hydrangea tree form, but my next door neighbor has this and I do not wanna look copy-catish

My list, so far:

Weeping Pussy Willow (standard)
Japanese Will (standard)
Weeping Caragan (this is the same species as I have now, but I'd opt for the finer textured 'Walker' variety)
Burning Bush (tree form)
Weeping Larch
Dwarf Korean Lilac
high graft "lollipop" globe blue spruce

Please offer your opinions on these trees as well as suggest others. I'm particularly interested in how hardy they are and if they'd take the abuse of being piled with snow from the driveway/walkway.



Please excuse the ugly bed right out front. It has since been re-planted and looks great.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

How about a rose? Aunt Honey doesn't need to be covered for the winter and loves sun.

Sam Kedem south of Hastings will have it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aunt Honey Rose

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

Thanks for the suggestion, but I personally do not care much for roses.

The only roses I have now were here from the previous owners and since it's a climber, I need to keep it since it is trained up the arbor.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

How about a hydrangea paniculata standard? That would compliment the hydrangea bushes you already have.

Are you sure you want to plant anything in that spot with snow piling on in winter? You might have the same problem with snow breaking branches on any small bush/tree. Perhaps move tree/bush to other side?

For other seasons' height you could put an obelisk there and plant a couple of type 3 clematis. Some viticellas bloom all summer/fall ie 'Madame Julia de Correvon'. 'Betty Corning' has smaller flowers with a light fragrance (rare for clematis). I cut my type 3 clematis back to the ground after foliage dies back from frost. The obelisk could be kept in place for winter sculpture or removed and replaced in the spring.

Or, you could place a large ceramic container there which matches your shutter color and swap out plants for spring/summer/fall/ winter interest. Or a grouping of several pots in different sizes.

Knowing what is growing in the raised bed would be helpful.

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

You could try a different variety of hydrangea tree than your neighbor. They all look quite different. How about a ninebark in tree form? I have a summerwine ninebark standard and it is beautiful.

I can't offer any comments on your list since I don't have any experience with any of them.

Lovely home!

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

What about a pinus banksiana 'Uncle Fogy'? You seem to have the deciduous version already, why not? It would still be an interesting and different piece, and it won't sucker. Of course, you'll have to keep it trimmed.

It's the second one down on this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Uncle Fogy

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

Uncle fogy is probably too wide.

Anyway, I decided on a Diablo Ninebark tree form. It's not grafted, and is just the perfect size.... about 5' tall and a cute lollipop shape!

I'm going to LOVE that dark foliage!

RE: Need specimen shrub/tree recommendation

Burning Bush (tree form) I had the beautiful winged bard variety and it was taller than my garage, probably 14 feet wide and lived for over 40 years. I pruned mine into a very large bonsai-like shape to avoid the sidewalk.

Because you already have several evergreen trees,I would recommend a golden leaf mock orange. They can be pruned to the size you want after it flowers with the most wonderfully fragrant blooms.

Why did you plant a tree in front of your window? Move it quickly if it will grow any taller and darken your room and it looks like it will. Beautiful soft needled lower growing taunton yews (shrubs)that stay green all year and you can prune if you want, would be much better. gramma jan

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