mladensk

Looking for advice on type of tree to plant

Susan Mladenovich
June 20, 2016

We live in Whitby Ontario Canada which is apparently zone 5. We back onto a forested area but I would like to plant a tree in our yard. Several reasons. 1. Break up large backyard. 2. Add visual interest. 3. Block neighbours.


We we are on a pie shaped lot and our patio is at the side of the house so we don't see the neighbours. But we have taken down our above ground pool and we are deciding on what kind of sitting area.

Whatever type of tree it can't be fruit bearing because we have woodland creatures who love the bounty.

i prefer something that doesn't have fluffy things on it either. We have one out front that the town planted and it blows off white fluffy stuff everywhere.

I have 3 photos. The first is the view from the corner of the patio if we stand right at the edge. It is showing the view we want to block. We want to plant the tree between the shed and the fence. The second picture is a panoramic view from left to right with the neighbours near the far right of the view. The 3rd photo is the view from our future sitting area. The last view is from our existing patio

Comments (61)

  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    the crepe myrtles will most likely die back to the ground then come back, more of a shrub if you think about it, but a nice thing to have.

    cornus kousa is hardy to zone 5

    as well as:

    cornus kousa 'satomi'

    Paulownia tomentosa

    Acer saccharum

    if you want more I can add to this list


  • Toronado3800 Zone 6 St Louis

    Check and see if Paulownia tomentosa is listed as an invasive weed not to be planted on your area. You may be in a cold enough zone.

  • Related Discussions

    Need advice on planting new shrubs in front of foundation

    Q

    Comments (7)
    You probably want an evergreen that won't show the foundation. Although some types of deciduous shrubs can also have winter interest like the Cotoneaster apiculatus pictured below. Also, you need to measure a few things. First measure the space you want them to fit height, depth, width. When planting shrubs remember that the roots spread out the way the branches do so don't plant them smack up against the house. People often plant shrubs too close to each other or too close to foundations without taking into account the size the mature shrub will be. This is also a mistake when someone picks out a shrub that grows so large it covers the windows. Also do you want something that will bloom in the spring or summer and attract bees or do you prefer something that does not have flowers? Here's a primer I found about foundation plantings that covers a lot of material: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/other/landscaping/hgic1702.html
    ...See More

    Advice needed Craftsman Style - Trees needed

    Q

    Comments (8)
    Here is an article from the LA Times about a yard done by Gabriela Yariv for a Greene & Greene home in Pasadena: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-pippert3-2009oct03-story.html To gain graduated heights in the front yard, Yariv used a Bloodgood Maple (as you are considering), Gingko, and Arbutus 'Marina" (Strawberry Trees). You likely do not have the depth in your yard for the Gingko, but you do for the Bloodgood and the Arbutus (perhaps Arbutus unedo 'Compacta,' the dwarf strawberry tree). As I understand you, your house faces east, so the taller of the houses on either side of you is to the north. If I were you, I'd curve the edges of the lawn toward the pathways at the inside corners and toward the outer wall at the outside corners to create larger planting areas for the trees. Then, in the open area created by the curve at the northeastern outer corner, I'd install three Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' in a loose triangle to frame the house and yard from the street on that side (without blocking the window). Then, in the open area created by the curve at the outer southeastern corner, I'd install the taller Bloodgood maple to frame the house on that other side. You might also consider installing one more Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' on the southern side in the open area created by the curve of the lawn toward the interior pathway leading around that side of the house.
    ...See More

    I need advice on my Dragonfruit tree

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Hi Zac. You need the kind of expertise you'll find if you post your query on Gardenweb. Still, I hope someone here can help. Good luck.
    ...See More

    Help! Exterior of Home Looks Like Big Gray Box!! Need Advice!

    Q

    Comments (11)
    We also will be getting the roof redone in the near future. Do that first. When the roof is on and done, choose paint colors. Also, I would also appreciate any advice on what type of professionals I should be researching to help with exterior renovations. An architectural color consultant can help with roof, paint colors, fundamental design tweaks.
    ...See More
  • brandon7 TN_zone

    We're constantly hearing from GardenWeb members about various types of crApe myrtles not making it in solidly zone 6 areas. The specific cultivar definitely makes a difference, but a great many crApe myrtle cultivars just aren't reliable in zone 6, even as die-back shrubs. Most reports that I see suggest that the die-back-but-survive range is about one full zone, at most.

    Besides that, and as NHBabs alluded to, a small die-back shrub (woody herbaceous perennial) is probably not what Susan was wanting.

    _____________________________________

    "I've seen the...expression "limbed up" a couple of times. What does that mean?"

    Limbing up means to remove the lower limbs of a tree or shrub. This is done for various reasons, including to allow physical access (like the ability to mow under the tree), to let in more light under the tree (so plants that might not do well in heavy shade can be grown under the tree), and for aesthetic reasons.

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Can anyone recommend an app or program to do a rough layout rather than hand drawing.
  • edlincoln

    Crepe Myrtle is ridiculous advice to give someone asking for a tree to plant in zone 5.

    Redbud is tricky. The wild versions grow in your area, but the fancy cultivars tend to be less tolerant of hard winters. Would work better if you could get a volunteer from someone's yard or buy from a native plant society that uses local seed sources,.

    Dogwood is a decent suggestion.

    What about american mountain ash? Cold tolerant and pretty, if short lived,. Canadian serviceberry? More of a shrub, though. Or tulip poplar? Gorgeous fast growing native, although possibly a bit big.

  • wisconsitom

    As I always do, I recommend you-OP- decide what size and shape of tree you want in a given location, long before breaking things down to this or that species, let alone cultivar. So, in this example, is it a "shade tree" you desire...that is, a large-growing, probably deciduous broadleaved tree? Is it a large-growing conifer, with its likely conical shape? Is it a smaller-growing ornamental tree of some type? These are the preliminary questions. All else should follow, only once these questions have been answered.

    To immediately jump to specific tree types, let alone specific cultivars, is bass ackwards, according to me and just about every legitimate design professional in the world. Not saying I'm one ( legitimate designer), but I can function in that capacity if called to. You want to answer the big questions first, not what kind of bark a plant has or some such minutia.

  • Smivies (Ontario - 5b)

    How large a tree? All the trees recommended are small trees except for the Sugar Maple and Tulip Poplar (which are both very large).

    Crepe Myrtles are a waste of time if you can even find one for sale. Ditto for Paulownia.

    Kousa Dogwood will do well. Flowering Dogwood is trickier (unless you can find someone selling the SW Ontario natives). Cornus 'Venus' is lovely and is hardy.

    A plain Redbud will be fine but not the red or gold leafed varieties.

    Magnolia? Lots to choose from.

    Japanese Maple 'Bloodgood', Korean Maple, Manchurian Striped Maple

    Ivory Silk tree lilac

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    "Pro" might be a generous description in this case as the 'pro' in question sells yard art at a farmers market. And a selection of what looks to be home raised plants which tend to be heavily weighted towards NC invasive species, like Russian olive, Nandina domestica and Paulownia tomentosa.

    Apparently all it takes to be a pro on Houzz is to sign up as one.

  • gardener365

    Remember she doesn't want fruit. Mountain Ash & dogwoods, etc. all have berries.

    I would go with the standout Acer griseum which is very popular among people on these forums who have taste for beautiful trees that really aren't known to common homeowners. At the same rate, it takes a substantial planting of (3) trees to produce filled seed. So, a single Acer griseum will produce seed, however the seed will not produce offspring, that is, unless several/many are planted in your area.

    Korean maple/Acer pseudosieboldianum is another excellent choice as are magnolias; so is redbud.

    Paperbark will get going much-much faster than Korean maple, however . . . and will probably do the job Susan needs.

    Acer triflorum is another great maple that's related to Paperbark maple and would do an excellent job, too. It has the same requirements of multiple specimens to produce filled seed. It and paperbark in combination will hybridize and produce filled seed, but again, I believe it is going to be rare that several neighbors of hers will have these trees.

    Definitely a lengthy answer on my part, but, I wanted to add details that most of us are aware of, however that Susan likely isn't. And to be quite honest my impression is that the tree is to be planted between her shed and her home, but, I can't be sure with the limited information provided. Susan it would be very easy for you to take a photo and mark an X where the tree is to go.

    Dax

  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    gardener365, who grows dogwoods for the berries? they are usually used as ornamental trees. Tulip Poplar would be a good idea for a shade tree.

    what about:

    Prunus yedoensis (this is an ORNAMENTAL cherry)

    Pinus parviflora

    Quercus phellos

    Nyssa sylvatica

    gingko biloba (fruitless variety)

    Acer Platanoides

    Acer Platanoides 'Royal Red'

    see what you think of these, I still have more to list.





  • brandon7 TN_zone

    I think some of the comments above, referring to Caldwell H&G, may be a little over the top (or, overly aggressive?). Everyone here gives advice, at some time or other, that many others may not agree with. That doesn't make the advisor a bad person, and neither does signing up as a GW "pro". I think, if anything, GW's way of providing the "pro" label without proper caveats may be a little bit of a problem here. Just because someone makes money from a trade, doesn't mean they are claiming to be an expert in the field. There's nothing wrong with pointing out areas of disagreement or concern, but let's don't get personal. Give Caldwell a break.

  • Toronado3800 Zone 6 St Louis

    I really like nyssa sylvatica also

  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    just to clear it up, Houzz has to approve you to be a pro after you signup, I waited for like a week

  • davidrt28 (zone 7)

    " GW's way of providing the "pro" label without proper caveats may be a little bit of a problem here."

    And furthermore a lot of "pro" advice is just bad advice. Some nursery workers are obviously "professionals" in the sense they derive their livelihood and sustenance from a salary in that industry, but they can, for example, recommend you buy fertilizer for your newly planted tree. Which is a terrible recommendation in most cases, and certainly in the case I recently dealt with. It's not like this was an orange tree on Florida sand. (relative bought an already very expensive tree from a fancy Philly area nursery)

    Generally speaking I feel like we are entering the age of the idiocracy, but please don't get me started! I don't even need to mention politics, so let's not go there. An IT/professional services company in the DC area I formerly worked for has a recruiter sending out emails with gross, glaring grammatical errors...as though she thought she was sending texts to her friends and not professional messages to potential employees. Such nonsense would have been inconceivable 10 years ago.

  • wisconsitom

    My wife occasionally receives a Phalanopsis or other relatively "easy" orchid as a gift. The "pro" literature that comes with these items says to place an ice cube in the pot once a week. Hey, I'm no orchid expert but I do at least know this is not how orchids are best handled, insofar as watering is concerned. I told her when she got rid of a dead one that those instructions are of a kind with the tags sold with nearly all potted nursery stock; You've all seen this: "Dig the hole as deep as the plant was grown in the pot", or "Loosen the soil for 6 inches at the bottom of the hole".....the list goes on in these "professional" tags. And of course, as most of us here do know, it's all nonsense.

  • gardener365

    Caldwell, she doesn't want berries. That doesn't mean she was going to eat them. Maybe just maybe she doesn't want any additional fauna attractions.

    Let's agree on something, berries are a part of the written premise. And I will no-longer further discuss this issue.

    I'm not mad but you touched a nerve with me, and I'd like to be your friend going forward.

    Dax


  • Susan Mladenovich
    Ok sorry to have started a fight.

    No berries. We back onto a large wooded area with lots of birds and other small creatures who I don't want living in my backyard pooping on everything.

    Type of tree. My main thing is to block the neighbours but I don't want something that is going to get so big it becomes a problem. I have plenty of trees to look at behind me.

    I have attached a rough plan based on our survey. The square in the corner is the shed. The circle is a section left by our above ground pool that we haven't decided how to treat. We get full sun in the morning. Lot 18 is south of us.

    The bushy thing by the back of the house is a shrub that has been somehow made treelike through pruning.

    I am attaching a picture looking at where I want to put the tree. I am standing approximately in the middle of the backyard facing said neighbours. They have an above ground pool and their deck is right up against the fence so I would like to block them.

    In the picture there is a tree in their backyard (furthest right) that I like. I guess I could ask then what kind of tree it is but I thought I would ask here. I didn't expect mud slinging.

    So if anyone has any suggestions thank you. Otherwise I will figure it out myself. I don't want to be the cause of discord.

    Susan
  • davidrt28 (zone 7)

    "Ok sorry to have started a fight."

    Not at all, this is just the way we are here! As for avian pooping I have to hasten to point out that birds have a way of landing or nesting in all trees, whether or not they provide food for them. I have a huge holly hedge next to my driveway, there's a brief period in early spring when the berries are quickly devoured by birds, and I've never noticed any more droppings on my car than usual, about 10 feet away.

  • wisconsitom

    ^ I was going to say much the same. Where birds eat berries....and where birds poop out digested berries (and insects, and seeds, and....) are often two different places. Good luck with the poop-free yard idea!

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Well poop free would be heavenly as I have a 110 pound labradoodle that doesn't get walked nearly enough. So I don't think I will poop free for a while.

    I'll ask my neighbors what their tree is. It seems to be alive and well.

    Susan
  • gardener365

    They're tree in the background is a thornless honey locust. They get large Susan and quickly. The foliage though is not large, therefore it doesn't clog gutters so readily.

    I'm going to stand by my suggestion that an Acer griseum (paperbark maple) is an ideal if not excellent choice. Furthermore, you're going to very happy that you planted it when it becomes older and you see the bark throughout all seasons.

    This is one I planted that was a "stick" in a 5-gallon pot and 5' tall when planted in 2002-2003. It had a couple wimpy branches at the tip, and the whole thing was 2" or less in diameter. This is 10-years later:

    And its' bark after 10-years:


    Plus, brilliant, bright red, fall color. They're magnificent trees a medium size location such as one you show.

    Caldwell, appreciate the like above! We cool man, we cool :-)
    Dax

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Gardener365 that looks good. I was trying to explain to my husband that I want a "lollipop " shape so it would block out the part above the fence bit not take over the whole space. I'll have to check the nursery and see if they have this.
  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    yes, gardener365 has a good idea with the paperbark maple. Paperbark maple would work good in the spot. alsoacer platanoides 'crimson king' oracer platanoides 'royal red'. just wanted to add a little bit more ideas, I actually like the paperbark maple.

  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    I like paperbark maple as well. One of the hardier Cercis, redbuds would work. Ginkgo (be sure to get a male to avoid fruit.) All are lovely trees IME.

  • gardener365

    You want a lollipop, buy a single stem/trunk tree. Paperbark maples are sold multi-stemmed from the base and as solitary trunk specimens. Both will achieve a rounded canopy but a multi-stemmed tree will take up more space in relation to people moving around, kids with bikes :) all that type of stuff; however, you may want to look at images for your own preference.


    Dax

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Good morning garden365. We are off to go look at trees now. One question about the paperbark. How far back from the fence should it be planted so that at maturity it doesn't overhang the neighbours yard? I guess I'm asking about the size of the canopy?
  • Susan Mladenovich
    Also is anyone familiar with a reasonable tree seller in the Toronto area or that ships here. How much should I be looking at spending on something similar to what you started with garden365.
  • gardener365

    It would be nice if you could bring it in 15'. If you cannot, 10' is pretty well, minimum.

    Dax

  • gardener365

    150-200 at a nursery.

    Edit: A Canadian nurseryman has a last name of Dannaher. His first name is Darren. I'm not sure of his location in Canada. Let me try to find that for you.

    Dax

  • gardener365

    It's Whistling Gardens & he's located in Wilsonville, Ontario.

    Whistling Gardens

    Dax

  • gardener365

    He has these sizes and prices but call ahead if that's where you're going. Not to mention he has an incredible botanic garden.

    Paperbark Maple Zone 5

    Acer griseum

    #7

    $160.00

    Acer griseum

    #10

    $240.00


    Dax

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Great I'll check that out. I also found these guys. http://www.ontarioplantsource.com/paperbark-maple.html
  • davidrt28 (zone 7)

    Susan, not sure if you are an amateur gardener or not but if you've never planted container stock before, make sure you know what you are doing and correctly break up the root mass. I wouldn't want your $240 investment to go south in a few years due to neglecting that step.

  • gardener365

    Looks great, Susan. Excellent price.

    Her link didn't open for me but here it is:

    Paperbark maple at Ontario Plant Source

    Dax

  • Susan Mladenovich
    Funny story. As we are leaving our driveway to go check out some trees I told my husband that the neighbours about 20 houses up the street have a really nice tree out front. We drive past and low and behold. It's a paperbark maple (judging from the bark).
  • gardener365

    May be a Birch ;)

    Have a great day on your search. Definitely would like to see what/if any you bring home.

    Ciao,

    Dax

  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    yes, I have been looking for some paperbark maples to collect seeds from. I have not seen any planted here around the caldwell county area.

  • Sara Malone Zone 9b

    Have you had success germinating Acer griseum seeds? Germination rates are supposedly extremely low. I have never tried.

  • gardener365

    I was once told that (3) trees is pretty well necessary for filled seed. Apparently, (2) trees still makes a lot of blanks.

    That tree I showed above I thought I'd cut seeds open one day and every one was empty. Of course, there are no other trifoliate maples near it.

    Another occasion I was at an arboretum where a solitary Acer triflorum was just loaded. I collected something like an entire plastic grocery bag full. I got home and got to cutting them and they were all empty. Upon looking at the arboretum's plant list, there also were no other maples in the trifoliate group to pollinate one another.

    I'm looking toward the day that my own collection of trifoliate maples produces filled seed. Mine will be hybrids of griseum, triflorum, and x'Cinnamon Flake'. In 2008 Planted (3) griseum plugs from Heritage seedlings that must have been a foot tall. This year I have seed on two of them, for the first time. Just a few.

    They're probably 4.5' tall; the two with the seed on them. The other is in a damp area with not very good soil and hasn't grown like the others. My x 'Cinnamon Flake' is a new plantings as is my A.triflorum.

    Patience is the key for growing these from seed. That double dormancy I believe they need is time consuming. The rest should be easy ..... I would guess.

    Dax

  • PRO
    Caldwell Home & Garden

    ok, I am not experienced with those types of maples. I usually just grow the native Sugar maples, red maples, and silver maples. I do have some japanese maple 'bloodgood'.

  • gardener365

    If you get into grafting or maybe you already are, Caldwell, Acer saccharum is a great rootstock for trifoliate maples. Gotta graft them low though or the difference in bark will look very amateurish.

    Dax


  • Susan Mladenovich
    So I spoke to the neighbours and she says it's a birch not a maple. It has the same dark peeling park.
  • gardener365

    As many of us would have suspected: most likely a River birch, Betula nigra.

    I'm
    not following your point Susan, but plant what you wish. If I was
    choosing, it would be Paperpark maple 50 to 1 over River birch or some other exfoliating Birch. I'll give someone else the opportunity to tell you many of the downsides of Birches.

    Until another time, be well.

    Dax

  • Susan Mladenovich
    We are going with the maple. I was hoping my neighbour would be able to tell me where she got hers and was surprised it was a river birch. I was looking at the bark and it seemed the same. Shows how much I know, eh? Anyway I am aware that birch trees have a lot of problems and problems are what I am trying to avoid.

    Over the years we have killed a corkscrew hazel, a weeping cedar, a Japanese maple and several other perennials.
  • Toronado3800 Zone 6 St Louis

    Don't let killing a few get to you. I have killed quite a few lol.

    Its the ones which linger on which I "should" replace which I regret now.

  • Smivies (Ontario - 5b)

    River Birch have very few problems...you're thinking of Paper Birch which does have problems.

  • gardener365

    I know smivies. I was just tired.

    Dax

  • wisconsitom

    ...and even paper birch constantly gets an unwarranted and undeserved rap for "having problems". No, it's a lusty, fast-growing early-succession species which asks for little other than full sun and moist soil. Easy as pie, but if you have a stressed-out specimen and you're in the home range of BBB-bronze birch borer-a native insect pest of some birch, your tree could suffer. But the fact it's already predisposed to trouble via being stressed out indicates mistakes on the part of the grower/owner, not an intrinsic problem with the tree itself.

  • gardener365

    Well stated Tom.

    Enjoy your Paperbark maple, Susan.

    I hope to see pictures someday.

    Signing off until then,

    Dax

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268