is this weeping nootka cypress the right tree for me?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Schoujill, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    Hi there,
    I live in Abbotsford BC. We are hoping to plant a narrow evergreen tree beside our house for a bit of greenery and privacy. As you can see our house is close to our neighbors.
    Went to a local nursery and was sold this tree for $75.
    As I read more about it, I have become worried that it is going to get too wide for this space. I feel like height would be okay, as our house is tall. But too wide will become a problem.
    I am so disappointed as I thought it was going to stay narrow and be the perfect tree.

    Tree experts: Please advise!! And if this tree is not the right tree, what would you recommend?
    Thanks so much in advance.
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It tends to stay narrow with just a few longer branches, not wide overall. I'd be inclined to keep it; if you really can't tolerate the odd longer branch, they could be pruned back when they get too long. It is also slow-growing, so it's likely to be decades before it gets really wide.
     
  3. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    REALLY ? that's the best news ever. I asked just on a gardening FB page I joined and got advice there that it would be way too large and would send roots out eventually destroying our walkway and maybe even the house foundation.. and that it would eventually need to be cut down?
     
  4. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    How far is your property line from the house? It doesn't look to be more than about 3 feet to me. Have you thought about how your current or future neighbour will feel about a tree in your yard encroaching on his? It's just a matter of time. Even newly purchased, the tree in your photo is about a wide as it can ever be and still grow within the available space. I suggest you take a bit of time to google 'Narrow evergreens' or 'Trees for tight spaces'. In just a few minutes, I found these that may be better choices for your confined area. Even if your local nursery doesn't have the tree you want in stock, they should be able to order one in for you.

    ‘Twisted Growth’ deodar cedar
    Name:
    Cedrus deodara ‘Twisted Growth’
    Zones: 6 to 9
    Size: 8 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide
    Conditions: Full sun; well-drained soil

    Weeping Norway Spruce
    Picea abies 'Pendula'
    6' tall 3' wide

    Weeping White Spruce
    Picea glauca 'Pendula'
    18' tall 3' wide

    DeGroot Spire Cedar
    Thuja occidentalis 'DeGroot Spire'
    8' tall 2' wide
     
  5. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    Hi Margot, yes my consideration of encroaching onto my neighbors property is one of the main reasons I’m looking into this before planting. Yes, I think it’s maybe 4ft to our property line.
    Thanks so much for weighing in. While I’m disappointed, I’m glad that I’m figuring this out now.
    Up until now I was really set on this weeping cedar looking tree, and so I hadn’t researched alternatives.
    I also have heard very mixed reviews about how narrow/prunable this one stays- have you read michaels review above?
    I know I have seen quite tall, very narrow trees almost exactly like this. So I must just have the wrong variety.

    Thanks so much for sharing these options! I love weeping Norway spruce but not how they kind of fold over. The others look great though.
    Now to figure out if I can sell this tree or...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2018
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I'd still go for keeping it. Yes, it may eventually get too large, but that's decades away yet. No reason you can't get 40 or 50 years safe growth out of it. If it was my house, I'd certainly want a good-sized tree there to break up the bleakness of the houses. And I suspect re-selling it would be impossible.
     
  7. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Is your tree a named cultivar ? It's probably had fertilizer applied.
    'Green Arrow' and 'Strict Weeping' are quite narrow.
    I'm growing 'Green Arrow', rather glaucous, and it is about a meter and a half wide at about 7 meters tall. With no fertilizer.
    Have seen 'Strict Weeping' at Brian Minter's and it was even more narrow. I think they should both be locally available , if you decide to change. A grower around Chilliwack raises both, if I remember right. They need staking for a few years.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  8. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Hi Schoujill - you are to be commended for taking the time to do the research necessary to choose just the right tree to grow beside your home. Right Plant; Right Place - right? My personal experience with Weeping Nootka Cypress is limited . . . I'd loved them for years but one I bought about 10 years ago up and died a couple of years ago even though it was growing in a textbook perfect location. For whatever reason, the tree disagreed. By the time it died, it was perhaps 4 feet in diameter and 8 feet tall. It would not be my first choice for the situation you have described but you never know - it could be perfect. When you look at the worst case scenario where you come to realize in 10 or more years that it has become far too large, what do you do? You take it down and plant something else. Worth the risk in my opinion if you really want to give this tree a chance.

    On the other hand, you could probably take it back to the nursery/garden centre and ask for your money back or a credit; just explain that the salesperson did not fully understand the site limitations when they recommended a weeping cypress.
     
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  9. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. The meter and a half with of the green arrow is definitely what I'm looking for. But yes, I think I've seen those and they almost look TOO skinny and wimpy (?) I will have to check this out.
     
  10. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    Thanks again for the reply, Margot. I'm sorry yours died! That's so sad!
    Maybe I'll try my luck, and see how it goes. You're right, it's worth a try, as long as the roots don't cause a problem...
    I guess also... $75 for a tree is a lot so I don't want to make a mistake.

    The only problem about going back is that it was a wholesale nursery-- which I didn't realize. But the owner kindly let me get a tree anyway. So I'd feel bad going back and bothering him again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  11. Schoujill

    Schoujill New Member

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    Haha you think my house is bleak?
    But yes, I have really been wanting a tree there!!
    How narrow do you think I can conceivably keep it over say the next ten years?
    Do you know this tree well? Wondering your advice on if the roots will do damage to our concrete walkway or anything else?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  12. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    Please don't take this as encouragement to return the tree to the nursery - wholesale or retail makes no nevermind - as long as too much time has not elapsed since you purchased the tree and so long as it is in good health, the nursery will be able to resell it. At the same time they will gain your goodwill and hopefully more sales to you in future plus others you tell how great they are to deal with.
     
  13. Margot

    Margot Contributor

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    I just stumbled across this weeping cedar cultivar that may fit the bill for you - you'd need to return or sell the one you have bought I know but this one sounds perfect for your tight situation.

    Chamaecyparis nootakatensis ‘Van den Akker’

    See: View Plant | Great Plant Picks
     

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