fast growing shade tree for large container garden

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by ajperkins, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. ajperkins

    ajperkins Member

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    hi there... i'm in washington, dc and the owner of a new north facing terrace (750 square feet). i've got some 48 inch pots and would like to plant a fast growing shade tree that will take to windy conditions and tolerate dry soil. sun in summer, no sun fall/winter. any ideas??

    thanks!

    jane
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Buy specimens of slower-growing, denser, more refined kinds that are up to size (or nearly so) now instead of smaller starts of fast-growing ones that will be likely to prove too open- and large-growing. (As a rule, compact, cute, dense trees are slow-growing and fast-growing trees are coarse, sparse and overwhelming in close quarters). Inquire locally for specific suggestions. And if you really pine for instant screening, a fence or trellis may be the best option.
     
  3. Dee M.

    Dee M. Active Member 10 Years

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    I agree about going to a good local nursery and asking their opinion. I am on the West Coast so things are diiferent. Why would it be dry? Maybe you could get a automatic system if you have trouble watering, they can be inexpensive and easy to install. I also have to say that a lot depends on the conditions in the winter because a bad winter where the container freezes solid for a long time can kill otherwise hardy plants. If I don't pay attention to those two potential problems some trees off the top of my head are Crepe Myrtle, Crapapple, Albizzia [ a common name on the East Coast is Mimosa], Clerodendron, Eucalyptus, some smaller maples [ not Japanese], Ligustrum, Photinia
     
  4. Ian J. Egloff

    Ian J. Egloff Member

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    I've got a small bay tree. Not the the hedge but the seasoning kind.
    They are cheap when young fine with dry and some wind if properly supported when it is growing.
    You can encourage it to grow up rather than out and get a nice canopy with early spring nipping of the buds.
    It does not always look great, you have to prune the old branches, and it will be green all year.
    Also with large plants in pots, I usually dump them every 2 or 3 years and prune the roots. Not an easy task with a big plant and always risky. They don't grow much that year.
    Good luck.
    Ian
     
  5. stargrass

    stargrass Member

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    Could a large shrub suffice? What about tall perrenials? Hey! If you plant several containers of bamboo - a taller variety... Would that work? Keep bamboo in pots though a) they can become VERY invasive, b) you can move and shift for shade, privacy, etc.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Running bamboos run, clumping do not.
     
  7. stargrass

    stargrass Member

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    It's nice to have options!
     
  8. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    You shouldn't have to worry about the invasiveness of running bamboos if they are going to be grown in containers. But They are unlikely to do well if there isn't enough sunlight. There are very few temperate bamboos that do well in shade. On the other hand, if the bamboo is tall enough, it's culms (canes) may reach a height tall enough for the foliage to be out of the shadows. Indocalamus tessellatus is a fast growing shade loving bamboo, but is unlikely to reach more than 36 inches in a container. And the other problem is that they need a consistently moist growing media and does not tolerate drying out well. As previously mentioned, a simple set up of automated drip irrigation may overcome that.

    Some one suggested a bay tree. I thought the suggestion is an excellent one. I have one of those on on our deck. It started off as a small rooted plant less than a foot tall. It's now 4 years old and is 6 feet tall. All that growth was achieved in a position with 5 hours sun per day. Would be worth considering. You can pay a bit more to get a larger specimen if you don't want to wait too long for it to get to size. Some of the smaller maples can also be grown in containers and they can tolerate a bit of shade as well. I am no expert on maples, however, and the folks frequenting the Acer forum may be able to give you some suggestions.
     
  9. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    trembling aspen or perhaps Lombary Poplar. in the long run they will need to be managed for size of course but its tough to find a fast growing and small growing tree. for evergreen you could consider italian cypress.
     
  10. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I have some of the columnar apple trees in containers at the side of my house. I expect they need to be watered regularly and should be staked/supported if the area is windy but they are very nice in the pots growing tall and relatively straight with the bonus of fruit. Several in a row would make a nice screen. A fast growing large tree will require a lot of root space and would be a challenge to grow in a pot after a year or two.
     
  11. B_S_R_58

    B_S_R_58 Member

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    Have you ever concidered BUTTERFLY BUSHES ? I live in eastern Kentucky & they do extremely well here & they grow fast.
     
  12. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi, for something different I would sugest Eucalyptus gunnii,E.niphophila & E.coccifera, these gums are all hardy and don't mind the wind, grow them in acid to neutral soil which is fairly free draining, at planting add a pinch of bone meal.You can grow them as a small tree, prune them to keep them to the shape you want,or you can cut them down, and can be grown as pollarded tree,once established, they are fast growers, and very decorative,hope this helps.
    Ashizuru.
     

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