Planting fast growing trees in Whistler Thuja plicata; Acer rubrum 'Armstrong'

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by ShannonM, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. ShannonM

    ShannonM New Member

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    Here in Whistler (zone 5), I am planning to plant both Acer rubrum 'Armstrong', and Thuja plicata. My goal is to create a privacy barrier between houses that are three stories tall. It is a narrow area (approx 20'), and I realise that T.plicata is not a columnar tree, but the hedging cedars are too slow growing and not tall enough.
    I would appreciate any advice on:
    1) other large, fast growing evergreens
    2) planting the tallest trees possible, what is the maximum size root ball that could be planted manually by a couple of strong people with a wheelbarrow.
     
  2. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Are there any underground services / utilities in ground where you want to plant?

    Any overhead wires?

    Remember Firesmart Guidelines - for wildfire risk reduction - which is a real risk in Whistler www.firesmartcanada.ca
    (There is also info on Wildfire BC website too)

    Does you local govt resort municipality have any bylaws re blocking views or later - removing trees (permits?)

    Sometimes boundary plantings (hedges ) have height limits just like fence bylaws

    Water use limits for maintaining your tree wall?

    Quaking aspen comes to mind - but huge warning about roots and then you can get runners sprouting up elsewhere - so research first

    I suggest also next time you are downtown to look at some of the well designed plantings around the newer condos near the Bayshore Westin --- or some of the well behaved street trees around the office towers etc - there's that public tiny park to the immediate north of Christ Church Cathedral at Georgia & Burrard.

    I bet a walk around Whistler village or up near Fairmont Hotel would lend some inspiration too ... if any bumpy sidewalks due to tree roots - you likely don't want that type near your house foundations or water / sewer etc (or your neighbors')!
     
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  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    All good advice. You are fortunate that in Whistler you could also likely call the city landscape architect and ask for the city's experiences with trees locally (it's a small enough community that that should be easy to do!)
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    EXPERT question - I can understand why the OP has suggested Acer rubrum Armstong (upright and fast growing) - but would you experts say generally that fast growing usually means
    1. short life (like native alders - they are fast growing and maybe in 20 yr, they are crashing over in the first big wind of the autumn)
    2. more roots? (a risk if there are utilities and foundations and sidewalks, fences, etc)
    I'm curious.
    ps - maybe the OP can find a way to screen views to the sundeck or wherever the views are not as private as they wish. I'm a big fan of Acer circinatum (vine maple) in large containers on wheels ... and if you move, you can plant them out ... minimal water but depends on container and soil used.

    (edit to add --- the vine maples are really pretty but obviously deciduous - as would the Acer rubrum be too --- gutters, hot tubs, etc need to be cleaned at leaf-fall time.)

    also in large containers on a deck near Whistler - I have good luck with the Cornus "red twig dogwood" Arctic Fire --- leafy in summer - red twigs in winter, very pretty ... again leaf drop clean-up

    both the vine maple and red twig look great with LED twinkle lights in the winter (white xmas lights, solar or hydro)
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, that is the general rule of thumb at least re: 1. Fast-growing usually means weaker wood and dying at a young age... though there are exceptions (coast redwood, for example). I don't know enough about root systems to be an expert on that.
     

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