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friend wants tree for very small lawn


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: friend wants tree for very small lawn Reply with quote

A friend of mine asked me about a tree to suit a very small lawn, it is only 5m x 3m and he wants to have a tree in the centre .Also there is a wooden fence around it. Has anyone any suggestions?
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont plant a tree in the centre of the lawn it would look silly, I would suggest Amelanchier or Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree)
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greengage wrote:
dont plant a tree in the centre of the lawn it would look silly
??

Quote:
I would suggest Amelanchier or Cercis siliquastrum (Judas Tree)
?? are they not trees?
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A fence around it? The tree, or the whole area? If your friend wants to plant any tree, it will need to sit in an circle (at least 1m diameter) of grass free conditions for at least two years. This means a light suppressing "mulch mat" of cardboard or mypex, or using glyphosate. You could use bark chips, or leaf mould to hide the barrier for aesthetic effect.

Look at the above suggestions. I'd also suggest Prunus "Amanagowa", or perhaps "Morus alba pendula" The weeping white Mulberry. For a more mediterranean look, try a half standard bay tree (Lauris nobilis) which could be clipped to any shape. If you want to stay native, a decent sized Arbutus unedo (Killarney Strawberry tree), though they are slower growing, therefore more expensive.

Even when established, you should not really mow grass within 1 foot of the stem (you risk damaging surface roots), and NEVER take a strimmer anywhere near the trunk, or you run the risk of ring barking the tree in a couple of seconds. The tree will inevitably have a detrimental effect on the lawn within its "drip line" ie: under the limits of the foliage), if it is growing well. If it does not, the grass will eventually outcompete the tree, and the tree may suffer.

It can be done, but it is a tricky situation, so extra care has to be taken with the management of the tree, and the lawn.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
A fence around it? The tree, or the whole area? If your friend wants to plant any tree, it will need to sit in an circle (at least 1m diameter) of grass free conditions for at least two years. This means a light suppressing "mulch mat" of cardboard or mypex, or using glyphosate. You could use bark chips, or leaf mould to hide the barrier for aesthetic effect.

Look at the above suggestions. I'd also suggest Prunus "Amanagowa", or perhaps "Morus alba pendula" The weeping white Mulberry. For a more mediterranean look, try a half standard bay tree (Lauris nobilis) which could be clipped to any shape. If you want to stay native, a decent sized Arbutus unedo (Killarney Strawberry tree), though they are slower growing, therefore more expensive.

Even when established, you should not really mow grass within 1 foot of the stem (you risk damaging surface roots), and NEVER take a strimmer anywhere near the trunk, or you run the risk of ring barking the tree in a couple of seconds. The tree will inevitably have a detrimental effect on the lawn within its "drip line" ie: under the limits of the foliage), if it is growing well. If it does not, the grass will eventually outcompete the tree, and the tree may suffer.

It can be done, but it is a tricky situation, so extra care has to be taken with the management of the tree, and the lawn.
the fence is around the whole area which is 5mx3m
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, given that the lawn is so small (and therefore a bugger to mow, especially with the fence), I would replace it with either weed suppressing membrane and slate or gravel, or just remove the grass and have a bed. I would plant a mix of bulbs, herbs, herbacious perennials, and in the middle I would put something like this : http://www.flemings.com.au/ballerina.asp
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tippben wrote:
Personally, given that the lawn is so small (and therefore a bugger to mow, especially with the fence), I would replace it with either weed suppressing membrane and slate or gravel,
so would i but he likes the grass/lawn

Quote:
i would put something like this : http://www.flemings.com.au/ballerina.asp
that gets quite big too doesn't it? in a house near where he lives there is a 5 m drive with several trees along it. what might they be, minature trees? or else they wil end up too big?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would second the suggestion of an Amelanchier.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another idea: Malus John Downie...a lovely crab apple with blossom in the spring and attractive small fruits in the autumn.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Another idea: Malus John Downie...a lovely crab apple with blossom in the spring and attractive small fruits in the autumn.
http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/malus-john-downie/2037.html grows to 10 m high?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooops, sorry about that Banner, I had no idea it grew that tall. We moved house about 15 years after planting it and it still seemed like a manageably small tree at that stage. Too bad, it's a lovely tree.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sive wrote:
Ooooops, sorry about that Banner, I had no idea it grew that tall. We moved house about 15 years after planting it and it still seemed like a manageably small tree at that stage. Too bad, it's a lovely tree.
LOL go back and have a look see how high t is now
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A "small" tree is one that grows to a maximum height of approximately 30'/10 metres. They are understory trees, or woodland edge trees. Unless it is a top grafted weeping form, anything else will either need to be pruned, in which case you'll need a slow growing evergreen, or something like the ballerina apple I linked. If a maximum height of 10-15' is desired, with little work needed, you'll have to go for a large shrub instead. If you want something small, slow growing, but already at a height (6'+) that will make an instant impact, expect to pay a lot for it (we're talking hundreds).
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.gardeningexpress.co.uk/ProductDetails.asp?ProductID=1910 ?

Would this be ok he likes it?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not ideal. I wouldn't. Cherries are surface rooting, so that will make cutting the lawn very difficult without damaging the roots. P. cerasifera "pissardii nigra" also gets quite large; there are lots where we live, and the one outside our house is 40' high and 40' wide. They're also more difficult to prune, as they need to be pruned in June/July to avoid the risk of infection by "Silver Leaf" fungus. This is a difficult job, as they'll be in full leaf, so it's harder to see what you're doing, and they cannot be pruned hard.

If he likes the purple foliage, maybe this? http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/r400/cercis-canadensis-forest-pansy.aspx this could be kept in check during the winter, when the leaves are off and it's easier to see what you're doing, with no problems at all. It is much slower growing (about 1' a year), so easier to manage.
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