Border Trees


Old 04-19-06, 01:43 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ca
Posts: 746
Border Trees

I'm replanting a 6' wide border from scratch. I removed 4 flowering plum trees which werre somewhat attractive but shaded the garden excessively and were getting a little too large for the size of the border. My list of medium size plants includes Camelias, Peonies, Clematis etc. I have decided that it may be worth considering planting a small/medium ornamental tree or 2. I have been reading the western garden book and flowering cherry or dogwood seems like a good choice. Of course I'm not really sure if it's a good choice for a border. Here would be my requirements -

1. Fits well in a 6' or so border. It would be about 3' away from a 6' high fence. The flowering plum trees actually fit well despite their large size because they were teardrop shaped so most of the branches were above the fence. From what I can tell flowering cherry are more oval shaped. Most of the flowering cherry trees listed in the western garden book are 25' high/wide or more although I have found there are often smaller varieties available that are not listed. Also, if the tree takes 10 years to reach this height and/or it can be controlled somewhat by pruning it's a non issue. Does anyone have a flowering cherry or dogwood in a 6' wide border next to a fence?

2. The location is on a eastern facing fence so most of the shade from the tree would be outside my yard. Since I will have perrenials planted around the tree (not directly beneath but close) I wouldn't want a tree that has dense foilage that completely blocks light from reaching nearby plants. Filtered sunlight is OK but not total shade. The western garden book says that flowering cherry is perfect to garden under but I'm not totally sure what they mean. How dense is flowering cherry foilage?

3. Of course I'd like a dramatic display of spring flowers on the tree, preferably before the foilage develops. Even though this only lasts a few weeks at most it's worth it. I believe cherry trees also make nice fall colors which is a bonus.

Thanks for any advice - it's real hit and miss for good advice from the nurseries.
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Old 04-19-06, 03:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,128
Border Trees

What part of the world are you in? Zone?

Old 04-19-06, 03:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Ca
Posts: 746
Zone 9. Some cherry are up to zone 8 only but most are good to zone 9 according to Western Garden.

Found this picture - Although it's not any taller than the flowering plums I had it is way too wide for the location.

Last edited by AlexH; 04-19-06 at 06:20 PM.
Old 05-02-06, 03:34 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Alex,

Take a look at these. Any that are listed as small tree or shrub can be pruned and shaped as a tree. Do check the hardiness zones on these as I may have missed that on some.

Callistemon citrinus - Lemon or crimson bottlebrush

Bauhinia variegata - Orchid tree or purple orchid tree

Cercis canadensis - Eastern redbud

Cornus florida - Dogwood

Illicium floridanum - Florida anise, purple anise, star-anise

Lagerstroemia indica - crepe myrtle

Magnolia stellata - Star magnolia (probably my first choice for fragrance)

Plumeria - frangipani - several different varieties.

Prunus campanulata - Taiwan cherry is short lived but lovely.

Ternstroemia gymnanthera - Cleyera

Vaccinium arboreum - sparkleberry, farkleberry

Viburnum odoratissimum - sweet viburnum

That should get you started.


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