Suggested trees near house

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  #1  
Old 08-04-06, 07:47 AM
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Suggested trees near house

I'm looking for advice on planting trees to give the house that softened, welcoming appearance. Currently, we have no worthwhile landscaping, so essentially we have a blank canvas. Located in Northern NJ, so I think we're zone 6a/b.

I know that we don't want anything too close to the house that might cause problems, so that's why I'm looking for help. For the beds I've carved out (in my head), I'd like the trees to be set about 10' off the house, one at each side of the front lawn. I don't want anything too big, as I don't want the house to be hidden. I'd like something that flowers at some time of the year, to add some addtl interest to the area. I like some of the darker leaf options, such as a flowering plum. Been looking at various sites on the internet, including the Rutgers Nursery site, but just can't get a real good sense of what might fit and look good in this area. Lot is approx 110' wide, with a driveway on the far right, so we're probably looking at a 80'-90' opening for where these two trees will be.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-04-06, 07:05 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Whales,

It's wonderful, and wise, that you are researching before you plant! So many times people plant and then start asking questions. It is generally recommended that no tree be any closer then 15' from a building. Keep in mind that would be the outer edge of the mature canopy. Tree roots will grow BEYOND the mature canopy and could cause problems, even with trees that don't have aggressive roots. The size and placement of the trees should be determined by the size of the house and property. If you have a large house a small tree might look out of place and awkward. I would recommend you start by looking at these sites, some of which are about foundation plantings. There's lots of great info here. You probably already know some of the basic stuff.

Basic garden design - this first one has lots of helpful links you can look through:
http://www.doityourself.com/scat/gardendesigning
http://www.garden.org/articles/artic...q=show&id=1364
http://www.411homerepair.com/garden/...Mistakes.shtml

Tree placement:
http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplo...ort/g06900.htm
http://www.lpb.org/programs/forest/plantguide.html
http://www.homeadvisor.co.uk/trees.htm

Tree roots and how they grow.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/WO017
http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/02926.html

This site lists several trees by mature size.
http://mnpower.com/treebook/scientific.html

You can search for tree ideas here. The more you fill in the less ideas you get.
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/treeselector/search.cfm

Foundation planting and design. At this first site scroll down to the last question about 3/4 of the way down the page.
http://www.carrollgardens.com/eNewsl...050120-lib.asp
http://www.taunton.com/finegardening/pages/g00003.asp
http://www.scnla.com/Article%20of%20...nth_11_03.html
http://www.scnla.com/Article%20of%20...onth_10_03.htm

Consider attracting wildlife to your garden with your plantings with shrubs and trees that produce berries. It will bring life to your winter garden, keep birds around in spring who feed bugs to their babies and add color and movement to the garden. We have a cowbird couple that set up houskeeping this year and I noticed there are less stinkbugs. I reecently read that stinkbugs are a favorite of cowbirds.
http://www.doityourself.com/scat/attractingwildlife
http://www.gardenguides.com/articles/berrybirds.htm

Look at lots of magazines to get ideas for the style you like - formal or informal and cut out the pictures and start a scrap book. There are books in the library on landscape design with lots of ideas. Here's some sites with pictures that offer some interesting pics to get ideas from.
http://www.roddaandsons.com/index.html
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/...apedesignbylee
http://homesteadlandscape.com/

Hold on to these sites as they have some great info on trees. This first one has no pretty pics, but lots if important info on such things as surface roots, tree litter, mature size, etc. The last site is a Florida site and may not have all the trees you want to research, but some good info and pics. You can always search at google for more tree info and even click on 'Images' for multiple pics. Try searching with the botanical/scientific names.
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/trees/index.htm
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/
http://www.floridata.com/lists/trees.cfm

So now I've written a novel and I'm just getting to some tree ideas! For dark leaved trees here's what comes to mind.
There are upright Japanese maples with some beautiful color all season long that can take full sun if those are the conditions you have. Purchase these in leaf as the colors for the same named variety can vary, especially if you choose 'Bloodgood'. This site has loads of Japanese maples you can look at. You might want to start with their tree finder and select 'upright' for the 'Growth Habit'.
http://www.mountainmaples.com/WS4D_C..._15/index.html
http://www.mountainmaples.com/WS4D_C..._8/search.html

Purple leaf Sand cherry - Prunus cistena can be prone to many pests and diseases but offers fruit to the birds.
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/p/prucis/prucis1.html

Purple leaf plums - Prunus cerasifera are prone to many diseases and pests and are short lived. Offers fruit to the birds.
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/treesel...eleafplum.html
http://treegrowersdiary.com/purpleleafplum.html

Forest pansy redbud - Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' not a long lived tree but so pretty. Offers berries to the birds.
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/c/cercan/cercan1.html

Some pretty flowering trees.
http://www.beautifulgardenslandscapi...ntsgallery.htm

The ones I would consider for myself would be:
Crabapple - get the smaller apples as the birds do better with them.
http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_trees_sh...806281,00.html
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c...ids-table.html

Star magnolia - Magnilia stellata is fragrant and a slow grower but beautiful in bloom.
http://images.google.com/images?svnu...ia&btnG=Search

Sourwood - Oxydendrum is my all time favorite for 4 season interest! It's a medium sized tree and a bit of a slow grower. Great fall color too!
http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...ch&sa=N&tab=wi
http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/o/oxyarb/oxyarb1.html
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/c..._arboreum.html

If you decide to mailorder plant material you can check references here and even search by state and plant material.
http://davesgarden.com/gwd/

Hope I didn't overload you with info.
Newt
 
  #3  
Old 08-05-06, 10:51 AM
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Newt, Wow! Thanks for all that info. While it will probably take me a week to get through everything, the few links I've clicked through so far have been great.

Hopefully, I'll be able to make some decisions shortly and get this property looking good.

I really appreciate it.

Dan
 
  #4  
Old 08-06-06, 11:05 PM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Dan,

I wondered if you would think I wanted you to stay up all night reading. It is alot to digest, but I figure you will find a couple of design sites that you feel comfortable with and they will hopefully help you. I especially like the ones about foundation planting and thought those would be most helpful. Designing a landscape can be a long process, but the more time you invest now the less money you will waste and the happier you will be with the outcome.

Keep in mind too that you could hire a landscape designer to help you with a design once you have a better sense of what it is you want to see in the end. They can suggest a plant list or not. You can do the planting or not. Sometimes it's a worthwhile investment.

Newt
 
  #5  
Old 08-07-06, 01:09 PM
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Working with a landscape designer is an excellent idea. The design can be planted in stages so the budget does not get hit all at once. As suggested, research plants and consider height and width at maturity, soil & moisture & light requirements, potential insect & disease pests, debris in the landscape, and maintenance required.
 
  #6  
Old 08-24-06, 08:36 AM
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Thanks for everybody's help. I ended up going with two thundercloud plums and one Magnolia 'Betty'. I took much of the advice provided here when making my decisions, so thank you very much. It's interesting, that as you do the research, sometimes it directs you away from what you want, and sometimes it confirms your original thoughts. I know the one negative that was presented for the plums was a short life, listed at around 20 years. At first this turned me off, but then I considered the likelihood that in 20 years, I'll probably be looking to change things up anyway. I've still got a ways to go in completing the landscaping on my front and side yards, but will hopefully get some pics taken in the spring to share here.
 
  #7  
Old 08-24-06, 09:38 AM
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Whales, you are very welcome! Nice choices! If you need sites on how to plant trees, water and mulch just ask.

Newt
 
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