Tree or Srub Privacy Screen for Roof Deck

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Beaudawn, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. Beaudawn

    Beaudawn Member

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    I am looking for evergreen trees or shrubs to form a privacy screen on an exposed 4th floor south/east roof deck in Kits. Conditions are hot and sunny in summer and wet and windy in winter. I would like something that is disease and pest resistant. They need to grow to be at least 5 ft. tall. Any suggestions. Thank you
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Watering is needed and problems are possible with anything. What attributes are you looking for in addition to those listed?
     
  3. Beaudawn

    Beaudawn Member

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    Thank you for your reply. Watering is not a problem. The problem is in the winter is is very wet and windy. As for other attributes, I am pretty open to suggestions. I would like them to grow to a least 5 ft. and fast growing would be nice.
     
  4. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Beaudawn: I don't have an appreciation for your particular WINTER climate, but for a similar situation in all respects as you describe, we would use Areca palms. I'm in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and we never see a freeze. Forty degrees Fahrenheit would be exceptionally cold. They are 'clumpers, and, once started, will continue to throw pups. As new ones get to the height you want, you could cut off the older ones.
    I know some bamboos will grow in Seattle, although they would most likely have skimpy 'privacy traits', I guess multiple stalks could give you density. Just thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2006
  5. Buzzbee

    Buzzbee Active Member

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    My two cents worth and I am not an expert but from my experience you could plant cedar plicata's and keep them pruned to the height you want. They grow quickly and seem to be able to withstand the south west wind that hits here in Ladner quite well. It is very wet here usually . We chose this particular kind of tree as we were told they do not get diseases, grow very quickly, and can be maintained to height and width. They will grow very tall however so while they act as a terrific privacy screen, they would need to be pruned regularly.
    I lived in Kits and understand the need for privacy.
     
  6. terrestrial_man

    terrestrial_man Active Member 10 Years

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    I definitely agree with Buzzbee's suggestion on using a tree and trimming to suit your space. The Park Seed Co. has a plant that it advertises as a great hedge. It is a Thuja variety that is rated for zones 5 to 8. It is advertised as "stands up to wind, heavy ice and snow loads, and temperatures to -20F. With planter cultivation the plant would tend to grow shorter than the 50+ feet that it can reach in ground. So perhaps any Thuja variety might show the same resilience as this one (?).
     
  7. HortLine

    HortLine Active Member 10 Years

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    Try a plant that is both a shrub and a vine: Fatshedera lizei.
    It is a plant created in a French Garden and it is known as a bigeneric cross - Ivy and Fatsia. The resulting plant has large 5-lobed leaves 8" across which are very shiny, lush and architectural. This plant will grow 6' in height; the best way to grow it is to tie it into a trellis structure. It is evergreen, making a bold statement all year long. You can control the growth through pinching out sprawling growth and so by encouraging upward growth. This plant solution would be most unusual and attractive. The texture of the leaves provides an almost tropical feel; this is a specimen plant if grown well. You could also plant a vine jasmine ( summer blooming) amongst this green foliage and have a compostion to enjoy all the year through. Think of this planting as a compostion not just a screen.
     
  8. stoneangel

    stoneangel Active Member VCBF Cherry Scout

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    Where would one be able to obtain this plant?

    Also are the jasmine plants showing up at the corner groceries here in vancouver winter hardy?
     
  9. Buzzbee

    Buzzbee Active Member

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    Re jasmine.
    The ones in the grocery stores are grown in green houses, and I found from experience that they are house plants and need specific care to continue blooming.

    I have a much hardier species outside that has managed to survive this past winter's -11 here in Ladner. I purchased it from a local nursery several years ago. We did replace all the clay like soil with fresh soil and nutrients several years ago, so that may have helped also. The fragrance from it is really lovely as are the flowers.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Many kinds of bamboos grow in Seattle (and Vancouver), most plenty dense. VanDusen Botanical Display Garden has an entire Prehistoric Garden featuring bamboos, redwoods and other theme plants. Commonly sold golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) in particular is often seen in pots and planters. If not kept well cared for these do become pale and gaunt (sparse), probably due to leaching of soil-less potting media.

    Grocery store jasmine is probably Jasminum polyanthum, if seen with bunches of powerfully fragrant flowers on twining vines in late winter. These are shipped up from California, where the plant is hardy. Up here it may grow for years on a warm wall or other sheltered position, but will die if it gets seriously cold.
     
  11. tlpenner

    tlpenner Active Member

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    Another plant worth trying if you have a lattice or other framework to support it is the evergreen clematis - Clematis armandii. It is a fast growing evergreen climber but is relatively easy to keep under control and is seasonally drought and flood tolerant (I have used this plant in both situations with no suffering). Leaves are a wonderful glossy green. Bonus is fabulously scented white blossoms in March (just when we really need it!) often with a second or third flush through the summer.

    My other choice would be a bamboo spp. of which there are a few.

    Check them out in person at your local garden store -- you could call the UBC Shop in the Garden to see what they have in, and stroll through the garden as a bonus!

    There is also a reasonable selection of shrubs at David Hunter near Kits. Both are accesible by B-line public transit. Grocery store plants are not usually up to the job as they come straight from the greenhouse to the harsh outdoors.


    PS--I am not a big fan of cedars in small spaces as they are dark and while good wind screens when planted in the ground, tend to topple when in pots as the root ball is too small for the top growth. They are also NOT drought tolerant--witness all the dead hedges around Vancouver from the last two summers. On a balcony you will have to water them continuously--fine if you don't plan a vacation, ever, in summer.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Root ball being too small to support top almost certainly = bound/kinked/circling roots from being kept in small pots too long or in pots that are too small right now. During worst coastal storms on the Pacific shore ancient cedars (Thuja plicata) remain standing while entire stands of other species around them blow down.
     

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