What tree should I plant? Picture and details inside

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by xxclaymanxx, May 21, 2015.

  1. xxclaymanxx

    xxclaymanxx New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Hello everyone,

    I recently bought a small townhouse in Vancouver. The townhouse overlooks a small grass courtyard. This is great, but right now we have a lack of privacy due to large windows on the courtyard side.

    I am looking for some suggestions as to what type of tree would be suitable to provide some privacy. I have attached a photo so you can see where I plan on planting the tree, and also get an idea of what the tree needs to cover.

    Please note that this location gets a lot of sun - it is basically full sun throughout the day. Also, the tree will be planted in an in-ground concrete structure that measures about 6 feet wide by 2.5 feet deep. I hope this will be sufficient for the root structure, but that is all the space I have to work with. You will also notice that the location I intend to plant the tree (see picture) currently has a shrub in it. I am willing to remove this if necessary.

    Thanks very much for any suggestions.
     

    Attached Files:

    • ubc.jpg
      ubc.jpg
      File size:
      198.7 KB
      Views:
      159
  2. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,032
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    North Vancouver, B.C., Canada
    Acer palmatum Sangokaku

    Known for it's brilliant coral bark, and fall is a golden wonder… all year interest in the yardscape...
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  3. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    111
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    QUESTION to the experts here - how bad are curly willow roots?
    I mean, it is ideal in my other aspects
    1. small leaves (not big slippery wet leaves like our Vancouver typical autumn leaf drop)
    2. nice look - feathery, bright green foliage, lets some light in, pretty twiggy branches
    3. grows fast (tho this could be downside too)
    4. narrow - or can be trimmed up (is the townhouse owner allowed to have trees overhanging the sidewalk that appears to be in front of the property?)

    I agree, the fact that it is deciduous means no leaves in winter for privacy - but the twiggy outline in winter is pretty and would let the little sunlight that happens in Vcvr in to the patio / home.

    they look great with little twinkly LED "warm white" lights on them

    BUT - my only hesitation - the roots. Any info anyone?

    also - how long does a curly willow live - lifespan - assuming proper water and so forth.
     
  4. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    111
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC Canada
    i've been thinking about this - and I like the scale of those little townhouses (around UBC and Yaletown etc) - and I like Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) because it does well and is a pleasing scale for your entry/patio - however, it would be difficult to get it to grow to 20 feet tall in an urban setting. (Manning Park maybe)

    Mine in cottage semi-suburbia small town at the coast are 10 feet after about 5 years in good soil.

    I find them somewhat forgiving - and then I grow Clematis thru them etc. That might not be the right design look for this particular townhouse architecture style (the OP)

    i have had good success with vine maple in large patio planters - and also directly in the ground. No disease, small leaves are easy to clean up if necessary (ie a slippery patio / sidewalk / staircase.

    maybe there are some other taller thinner maples? (versus the large spreading "canopy" (or umbrella-like" maples. Vine maples are "native" and tend to grow more upright than some of the decorative "Japanese" maples. EXPERTS here?

    not a garden suggestion - but thinking of window covering to go with your garden - have you seen the window blinds (interior) that go UP from the lower window sill as opposed to down from the top of the window - I am sure it's Hunter Douglas and other brands too - in any event, they are handy for situations like the large floor to ceiling upstairs windows and would be consistent with your modern architecture look. (the effect is that you can still see sky and sunlight - without showing to anyone viewing from lower elevation the fact that those windows are your office or bedroom etc.). A good professional blinds sales and installer company will know about this if you have not already found some.

    also - I like the tree that came with your townhouse - looks nice in the photo.

    are you on a busy street or is it more back streets (like out at UBC campus etc) - dust and salt (chemicals they put on the icy streets and sidewalks are often sprayed these days - and it can harm your plants.)
     
  5. xxclaymanxx

    xxclaymanxx New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    K Baron - thank you for the suggestion: beautiful tree! I will give it some more thought.

    Georgia Straight - excellent and thoughtful responses. Thank you. Much appreciated. A couple comments. First, yes: I think it is OK to have a tree that overhangs the walkway (as you had inquired re: the curly willow). That is actually a very cool idea - I like the "web" look of the willow in the winter when it is leafless. Would be beautiful to still have some light come through. Second, the picture above (showing my townhouse and entrance) is actually from a raised courtyard, thus no busy street or dust/salt to worry about. But good points, and thank you for raising them. Finally, I really like the idea of the blinds that go upwards. I never thought of that. I had considered the possibility of adding a film to the glass, but I think your idea may actually be better. Thank you!
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,804
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Very bad! Willows have the most damaging roots of any tree. Advice here is not to plant them less than 40 metres from buildings when on shrinkable clay soils.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,178
    Likes Received:
    319
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Curly willow too big and sloppy of a tree for such a setting, unless pruned low annually, to function essentially as a shrub. And then I would choose a kind with extra color, such as the one sold using the Scarlet Curls marketing name.
     
  8. xxclaymanxx

    xxclaymanxx New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Ok thanks, good point on the messiness of the willow.

    Any other suggestions for trees are appreciated. This is a very important decision for me!
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,178
    Likes Received:
    319
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Setting created by modernistic rectilinear architecture makes me think windmill palm.
     

Share This Page