Fast growing shade tree recs

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Stephen Schram, Jan 6, 2020.

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  1. Stephen Schram

    Stephen Schram New Member

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    Hi there,

    I live in Vancouver and I need a shade tree. Our deck faces south and the sun is intense in the summer. I'm looking for recommendations for something relatively fast growing, with a low root impact. Sycamore was mentioned as an option. Any more ideas?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    How long are you willing to wait? Even fast-growing trees take many years to produce substantial pools of shade, are often kinds that will go on to eventually overwhelm anything less than a parklike setting - if you are thinking in terms of the side of the house being well shaded within a few years then you are talking about an unsuitable location for a large growing tree.

    Such as a Platanus, which is one of the most massive kinds seen in the local planted landscape. And one that also produces allergenic hairs.

    Probably pretty much every time when effectively instant shade from a tree is being visualized and asked for what is really needed is solutions like patio umbrellas, arbors, trellises or awnings.
     
  3. Puddleton

    Puddleton Active Member 10 Years

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    Rons points are very salient
    Depending on your deck height.
    Albizia julibrissin would be my suggestion.
    Over 1 metre per year (in the right conditions)
    Keep in mind that any tree that grows fast can sometime die fast (10 -20yrs).
    Tree borers love them down our way
     
  4. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    With a south-facing deck, you have lots of options. Building a tall trellis and planting fast-growing deciduous vines would allow you to select a configuration that shades critical areas in the summer and lets light in during the winter. I've built a simple trellis of free bamboo poles attached to our deck railing for growing dessert grapes; it provide plenty of shade as well as fruit.
     
  5. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Needs much hotter summers to do well than Vancouver gets
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  8. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    I believe there were other suggestions in that earlier thread plus the reference to official city tree list

    If you have a naturescape you could have the typical red elderberry - the birds love the berries

    Fast growing is not always your friend long term ..... example : Willow

    (And I am a big fan of Curly willow ... just in a place it can’t invade and tangle like a septic system or concrete paths or the buried pipes to and from the city street or your house foundation )
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Needs much hotter summers to do well than Vancouver gets

    The generally similar climate of Seattle has not prevented it from being common in plantings there, where it was known in at least one instance to have grown 50' tall by 2005.

    Persian Walnut is a very nice tree

    Any time a large-growing nut tree is planted the planter better be willing to eventually have nuts dropping all over the place in season. And be comfortable with hosting the animals theses nuts attract.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  10. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    As Ron B points out - above - the fruit / nuts attract a variety of guests fr pretty birds to loud crows (or raccoons and rats which most of don’t want at our homes )

    So I agree - careful with productive trees / shrubs

    Someone else earlier pointed out that in our part of the world it’s helpful to have some sun in the winter to keep the patio free of ice or slime and it warms the house - not to mention soul.
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    But how many decades did it take to get there?
     
  12. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Ron B - what about Katsura ... it’s on the city list .... tho w/o knowing fr OP the exact space avail for tree at 10 yr age (maturity?) - it’s hard to suggest anything

    I like Katsura for its small leaves and fall colour and bare branches in winter

    The other MAJOR consideration for this OP is water restrictions in summer pretty much everywhere in the PacNW of NAm.
     
  13. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    This comment was made about Albizia julibrissen. These trees do well in Vancouver and are popular here, but they are very late leafing out (sometimes not until June) and among the first to lose their leaves in the fall, so for a lot of the year, they do not provide much shade. On the other hand, they do provide the shade during the hot summer months (well I don't think Vancouver gets hot summer months), and they let in light during the rest of the year.
     
  14. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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  15. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Active Member

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    Can you tell us how high up you are trying to shade?

    Is it shade for the entire house or simply shade so humans can sit out in the deck area?

    Is this a ground floor deck or upstairs deck?

    I imagine you’ve got a normal Vancouver street lot? So really not much space for large plantings

    I would be sure to read the info and rules fr the city too.
     
  16. Brimborion

    Brimborion New Member

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    Yeah if you want it to shade the entire house, fast growing tree might not be the best solution for you.
     

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