An arbor out of plants?

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Dorothy, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Dorothy

    Dorothy Member

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    The non profit that I garden for has no money for an arbor. They have a HOT 20 by 16 foot patio area bounded by raised planters. Would it be possible to grow an arbor with shrubs such as buddlea or fast growing small trees? Could one pollard a fast growing tree or shrub for shade in this area?
     
  2. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Dorothy,

    Interesting idea. A buddlea wouldn't be tall enough and would need to be cut back in the spring. Maybe poplar trees? How about linden trees? Can you grow Leyland cypress in your area? How about Arborvitae or Italian cypress?

    Pollarding (topping) trees is NOT a good thing.
    http://www.plantamnesty.org/stoptopping/5reasonstostoptopping.htm

    Newt
     
  3. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    Have you thought of a woven arbor? These can often be done for zero materials cost if you can find an area of willow or other "weed" tree that someone needs or wouldn't mind having cleared. There is actually a name for this type of structure but it escapes me at the moment.
    Ralph
     
  4. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  5. Well Rooted

    Try searching for "living willow structure" on Google. These are tooooo coooool.
     
  6. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well Rooted, what a great idea!!! I saw some really great sites!

    Newt
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Pollarding is not topping, trees that are suitable for this use can put up with it for a long time. They have a severe appearance, but they put up with it.

    A wattle type structure could be a fire hazard, might not conform to codes. What about just buying or having donated a tree and planting it to the south of the sitting area, letting it grow up and form a natural arbor? Is there no room available?
     
  8. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  9. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Dorothy

    Being in Surrey, you might what to check out the composting yard. They have remill site there, for recutting and reselling timber. you may be able to find the material there. They used to give the slabs way to those who asked. ( they may not do it now for the general public but for a non profit group they may help out)
    The remainder they put through the chipper and use it feed their compost piles.

    If not check out some of the smaller mills in the Valley.

    Regards Doug
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    That's what I said: a severe appearance.
     
  11. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Dorothy/Newt

    In surrey and most of the lower mainland budlea will grow to @10 to 15 high and will not die off each year. You can grow them as a loose hedge or as shrub.

    The best area I know to veiw them is on the Chilliwack Lake Road.

    Also if you prune of the top bloom before it seeds, it will continue flowering at most if not all side shoots. In Chilliwack we kept them for on average for @ 10 weeks.

    Regadrs Doug
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Buddleja davidii grows as tall as 20 ft. high in this region. Hard pruning is done to produce a particular effect. The plant will grow fine without it, although it can be a bit trashy. Not really a long-term plant either. A true tree would be better.

    Another problem is that butterfly bush is becoming a pest. Weed control boards are starting to give it the stinkeye.
     
  13. Dorothy

    Dorothy Member

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    thank you all

    This is Dorothy, thanks to everyone, and I agree Buddlea is a bit ugly and weedy, and the wattle wouldn't work unless it was engineered if I grew anything on it (can't have the arbor falling on the old dears) and I will look at the living willow idea. I might just plant an Empress tree that I have that might do it. My problem is that I want shade for the patio this spring and summer, have no budget and limited plants.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    While the Paulownia would be a good choice for rapid growth, it would also quickly become a liability, with the mess it makes - unless nobody would care about large leaves, squishy flowers, and woody fruits being dropped all over the sitting area.

    Sunset Western Garden Book provides a list of deciduous trees suitable for patio areas. Many of them will grow in Vancouver:

    Acer buergeranum
    Acer circinatum
    Acer davidii
    Acer griseum
    Acer palmatum
    Acer tataricum ginnala
    Amelanchier
    Cercis
    Chionanthus
    Chitalpa tashkentensis
    Cladrastis kentuckea
    Cornus florida
    Cornus kousa
    Corylus (most)
    Cotinus coggygria
    Crataegus
    Davidia involucrata
    Franklinia alatamaha
    Halesia carolina
    Koelreuteria
    Magnolia (small)
    Malus
    Oxydendrum arboreum
    Parrotia persica
    Prunus (flowering cherry)
    Prunus cerasifera 'Purple Pony'
    Prunus mume
    Stewartia (small)
     
  15. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Pardon my intrusion.

    Lets' find out if Dorothy wants to fill in the area and if a
    deciduous or an evergreen tree or vine is what is preferred.
    Does she want an accent tree or a tree that will fill in the
    whole area or a series of plants that will complement each
    other? Does she want texture, color at a specific time of the
    year or both? Are the plants to be grown in containers or
    planted in the ground or can there be a mix of both? Can
    we trellis a plant or two? What restrictions other than money
    are we looking at? How much sun will this area get and how
    exposed to cold will the plants be? Is the space to be used
    strictly as a sitting area?

    If a Paulownia is acceptable then I get the feeling that upkeep
    is not an issue here. Besides, this tree does not grow like a
    gangbuster in a cool climate. It will take a while to get up to
    size and all the while we are waiting for it to bloom as it can
    take up to 15 years for that to happen. Even then this tree has
    a propensity not to bloom at all in a Western Garden Book
    zone 1-3 designation. How are the plants to be secured without
    a budget or an appropriation of some funds?

    Jim
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Hi Jim

    Actually, young Paulownia grow as much as 6 ft. per year for me. The common P. tomentosa 'Lilacina' flowers young. 2 other species have been less quick to flower in my garden.

    Rapid, sappy growth of seedlings in their early years tends to freeze back. This phase is soon overcome, however.
     
  17. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi Ron:

    In a Western Garden Book zone 2 I doubt Dorothy
    will be nearly as fortunate. You are in an optimal zone
    for the standard form of Paulownia. They will love your
    marine air. 6 feet a year, yes, that is how they can do here
    once established in the North inland coastal areas, zones
    14-16. They can grow like weeds in Palo Alto, Berkeley
    and Woodside. They grow much slower here and in the
    interior warm belts with our heat and lack of marine air.

    Let's see what Dorothy can do and then we will have a
    better idea as to what trees she may want. I like the
    list of trees you presented. Trident and Japanese Maples
    sounds good to me, even if they are just seedlings. I
    really think Dorothy should be looking at low maintenance,
    non invasive root system trees or nice medium to large
    compact growing shrubs for a patio.

    Jim
     
  18. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think I'm totally confused here. Are we talking about Surrey in the UK or Surrey in Canada? I'm in Maryland in the US, and I was thinking of the UK. I suppose it would be helpful to know where the site is located and the hardiness zone for plant recommendations.

    Newt
     
  19. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I think she's in Surrey, B.C. and Jim read Posts: 2 too fast.
     
  20. Dorothy

    Dorothy Member

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    Thank you again.

    It is a roughly 20 by 20 foot patio area, south facing and in full sun. I wanted an arbor for shade and to grow vines. There is, however, no budget for an arbor and I wondered if I couldn't plant small trees and prune them to force them to arbor over the patio area. For example I have many vine maples on my own property that can be trained in this way. I thought of buddlea because of its speed of growth.
     
  21. I have done this in two areas using Mock Orange and weaving the branches. It is very effective and attractive. Pollarding is not topping. I have pollarded a Flowering Plum and an Ash Maple.
     

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