Help Choose Plants for Border

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

We have a border along the side of the house where we have removed the invasive multiflora rose bush that was planted there many years ago.
I want to plant 3 trees or perhaps tall Lilac plants there about 8 to 10' apart.
My first thought was to use flowering pear trees, the improved Cleveland
Select type but read that they can have issues. I came across the
Eastern Red Bud and think that these might be a good choice. I also
came across Kwanza flowering Cherry trees.
We'd like something that flowers and will look nice.
The location gets about 6 to 8 hours of sun so I think that most plants will
do fine there.

I realize that most trees should be planted about 20' apart but I'm planning to
start with small 6' trees, once they grow to 12 to 15 feet I could cut down
the middle one and have 16 to 20' spacing.

Any suggestions as to which of these will be the best.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

OK so the choice has to be to suit your needs for A) your enjoyment, B) how much mess LEAF FALL y7ou want to clear up and C) most important, your soil type, clay, wet, dry, acidic, rich loom, all that to be taken into account before you select the tree's as some need acidic soil, some a bit moisture retentive but not waterlogged, some rich with added humus.

The next and most important thing to think about when planting any amount of tree's close to ANY property is the root spread / size, you need to look at the height, then the Canopy spread.
The canopy spread/TOP WIDTH equals the width / spread of how far the roots will spread.
So when you plant your nice dainty little tree in the soil, it soon becomes a large tree after about ten years, the spread of the roots will be as about the spread of the branches atop the trunk.

The next thing is, IF you want flowering tree's or fruit like cherry, you need also another tree to pollinate, male + female to get flowers /fertilisation / fruit.

The best thing to do is to do lot's of research about the type you select, then ask a tree expert like someone from parks department, golf course or any GOO garden store or tree Nursery.

Hope this gives you some food for thought as there should be no requirement to CUT down a perfectly healthy tree IF you plan the layout well before the planting stage.
Don't forget, trees are needed in our environment to help keep the air clean, helps provide wildlife with a home, a sanctuary and enjoyment for everyone within it's sight.

Best of luck and Kind Regards.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Thanks WeeNel,

Are you sure that a pollinator is required to produce flowers? It says for
example that the flowering pear needs one to produce fruit but not flowers.
We don't want fruit, just some pretty flowers.

I did look into types that would grow in our area and soil. Most things
grow well in our soil. There seems to be good deep top soil where we want
to put these.
I went to look at them and the Cleveland Select pear trees looked
best with a thick trunk and lots of buds on them, so I bought them:

They are not too fussy about the soil but as with most plants well drained
is best.
I am a bit concerned about their invasive nature, and the thick thorny
thicket that can grow as a result as mentioned in that article. We already
have a lot of thorny thicket but I think it is multiflora rose that was planted
in several locations. We also have highly invasive Oriental Bittersweet
and Virginia Creeper growing wild but have removed it from all the beds
in the yard.

The Eastern Redbud is native to the North East coast line where we
are but it doesn't really look like it would make a good border tree.

We have dug three holes, perhaps I'll put the trees at the ends spaced
16' and put some low growing Lilacs in between them.

This message was edited Apr 14, 2014 4:17 PM

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Look at how much room you actually have for a tree.
Take a tape measure and a friend out there and see if the tree you want will fit.

Ornamental Pears get BIG. Pyrus calleryana 'Cleveland Select' is somewhat narrower than many, but can still get 15-20' wide. I would plant them no closer to buildings or each other than 15'.
Redbuds are just about the same size, but not as dense. Cercis canadensis can be a large shrub or a tree depending on how it is pruned, but I would not crowd these any closer, either. They are slower growing.
Prunus serrulata 'Kwanzan' spreads a similar size. Faster growing than Redbud. The variety 'Amanogawa' is narrower, almost columnar, though it spreads out some with age. I would suggest 10' minimum spacing if you used 'Amanogawa'. They can get 12' wide.
Lilacs, Syringa vulgaris and others (several species, hybrids and many varieties) can be dwarfs to large shrubs and the largest shrubs can be trained to be multi-trunk trees. If the area is not large enough to permit the above plants, then look into what varieties of Lilac grow and flower well in your area.
None of these plants need a pollinator to produce flowers, and they are not normally grown for fruit.

No, do not plant 3, promising to remove one.
When trees are near each other they tend to grow less foliage and branches where they are crowded. When the middle plant is removed it leaves a bare area that is slow to fill in.
MUCH better to select the right plant, and just plant the proper quantity and spacing.

Another way to get a faster screen, if there is room, is to plant the trees in a zig-zag line, in the case of 3 it makes a triangle (probably a long narrow one). Or plant different species. Plant the trees away from, but opposite a window. The leaves and branches will grow higher than the window offering shade without blocking the view. Plant a large shrub on a tall, blank wall.
Perhaps the opposite is true, especially a 2 story house. Plant a large shrub under the 2nd story window and it does not grow tall enough to block the view. Plant the trees to the side so there may be some ends of the branches seen from the window, but not enough to block the view from the window.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

OK, I ended up putting in 4 Cleveland Select pear trees about 10' apart, I measured and they look good and are thriving. I put them in last April and they have really grown, probably over a foot in height, and about 50% in the trunk. They are small, but they flowered this year which is what I was looking for.

I read that they do not produce pears, but I can't believe it , pears are growing on them. They seem to really like the location.

I put these in because I was tired of all the always dark green arbor vitae forgetting that their leaves will drop and then we have no border. Luckily neither house has first floor windows on that side so there really is no need for this border other than cosmetic.

Contra Costa County, CA(Zone 9b)

Even the ornamental pears can set some fruit. Usually it is dry and gritty, not a tasty edible fruit.

A dormant tree is still a bit of a screen, even when the branches are bare.

Trumbull, CT(Zone 7a)

Picture of the trees about a year ago in April of 2016, planted 4 then 3 the next year:
I read, after planting the first 4, that these are hated by some professionals because
they've been bred to grow fast and have many negative qualities. They have a nasty
smell for one. Wish I had done more research before hand. Anyway, they look pretty good:

This message was edited Apr 4, 2017 3:47 PM

Thumbnail by PeteB7

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