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SeanOChuinn
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Location: Laois

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:19 pm    Post subject: Tree advice Reply with quote

Hello this is a first time post from a not so knowledgeable gardening person!!! Myself and my wife are about to set off down the road on house building and have been lucky enough to purchased a 4 acre site and are about to kick off development in the next 6 months or so.

The house will be towards the back of the site so we will have a long sloped drive way in from road frontage to house and we really wanted to try grow some trees along the drive way that would add colour and privacy and really add to our enjoyment the property.

The ideas we had in mind were maybe some trees that gave nice colourful foliage and blossoms during different seasons of the year, maybe mixes of pinks and white. Hoping that we could keep them all in or around the 15ft-20ft height so as not to cut off views closer to the house and to easily allow for yearly maintenance. Something very similar to the picture attached is what we had in mind with maybe a little more colour mix than just pink! So my questions:

* I know nothing happens over night but how long would we be talking about for trees to grow to those kinds of heights? 10 or 15 years maybe?
*Is it possible to buy and successfully plant older type trees? Or are we talking about saplings been grown from scratch?
*What types of trees could you suggest that would work in this type of a scenario that would bring colour with foliage and blossoms.
*Can anyone tell me what are the trees in the picture?

The ground is good dry fertile soil, no marsh or wetness and has always grown good fields of grass so can only assume would be fertile, not sure about acidity or other factors that may be important to consider for types of tree choice.

Thank you everyone.



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tagwex
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 23 Feb 2010
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaaaaaysus I had all this written out and then pressed the wrong button and now I have to do it again.

Welcome along Sean, plenty of advice to be had here, you will have to decipher it yourself as to whether it is good or not! I am no expert on tree choices for certain situations but a few of the others are and they should be along shortly. Those are cherry blossoms.
My advice would be to go to public parks or open estate gardens and glean what info you can from those that maintain them.
A tree of any height can be sourced if you are prepared to spend accordingly for the instant mature look. Some here will almost insist on you 'keeping it native' and that is well and good but it also needs to fit in with your expectations.
More info on soil type, location, orientation, sheltered or up on a hill, near a coast etc etc will aid the resident experts to give you a better idea. Somebody is bound to mention a rowan.

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Sue Deacon
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Location: West Fermanagh

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sean, and welcome.

Tagwex is right about the cherry trees. I think they are Prunus 'Kanzan', often used in Municiple parks and gardens. There are loads more cherries, birches and, as Tagwex says, rowans, all small trees.

It would help if you could post photos of the site and of the view from the house (or where it will be). Soil type and prevailing winds would help too.

It may be you will need to plant a windbreak hedge or row of trees. These can go in ASAP.

These days you can buy trees of almost any size. You are only limited by the size of your bank balance. Laughing But quite often a smaller tree will settle in quicker than a more mature one and would soon catch up in size. Also the bigger the tree the more support it will need until established.

I love these sort of projects, they are my field (excuse the pun) of expertise. I will never try to push my ideas on anyone but, by asking what YOU want from your garden it will help me, and everyone else give you the info. you need.

Ooh, exciting times! Post some photos please. Very Happy Good luck with the build.

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SeanOChuinn
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. So some more information then, The site is South facing, reasonable shelter, but really no great obstruction to any prevailing winds. The soil type I'm not 100% sure of but in a 4 mile radius we do have some peat moss bog land, so can only assume the land on site would be of some what the same nature. We are in the Laois area so no coast at all near us. The ground has mainly and successfully been growing grass for the last number of years has no lying water and appears to be quite fertile.

The attached picture is looking down the site towards the direction the house will be facing with a primary south facing view. The entrance (as per local council) will be some what to the left of the pole that is visible and we'd hope the drive way would have some gentle roll up toward the house on a very medium incline. We'd like to try direct the drive way to the left hand side and have natural wild lawns to both side of the tree lined drive way. There is a large windowed front room to the right hand side of the house so keep the drive way and then naturally these tress to the left we will eliminate any obstruction to the view. Hopefully by the time the drive way would reach the gate it'd be low enough to not obstruct the view from back at the house.

Yes, I know its very early to be talking about this stuff now with out even a sod turned yet, but I like to things well planned and need all the help I can get with this!!



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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never too early! It sounds great.

It's late now, but will get my thinking cap on and get back to you. Smile

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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a great looking site! The first thing I notice is there is no point of reference, apart from the distant post. It is hard to imagine how big the trees will be and if they will block your view at any time.

In the old days you would 'simply' get a team of men to stand in various places holding poles the height of the proposed trees. Very Happy

May I suggest that you invest in a CAD programme. Professional landscape ones are horrendously expensive and the amateur ones are pathetic (full of paddling pools and dog kennels). I used to do Artist's Impressions for Architects and I found that 'Floor Plan' is a reasonable package with a landscape section.

It is VERY basic, the trees look like they were drawn by a 4 year old. But you could easily block in the outline of your house and use the landscape bit to play around with the garden design. When you switch to 3D you can 'walk around' the site and get an idea of screening and views.

Your are only going to do this once, I think it would be worth it. It has always helped me.

As for the trees themselves, my Gardener's bible is 'the Hillier Gardener's Guide to Trees and Shrubs'. I use it all the time. It has 100's of photo's and descriptions of all sorts of trees/shrubs and tips on the best ones for particular sites.

Take loads of photo's and start a scrap book of things you like. You will surprise yourself with what you achieve and it is always nice to have a record of these things - did it REALLY look like that, I don't remember?!

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Good guy
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum, Sean. I hope you find it useful and informative. It is wonderful to find someone planning a new house, who is so enthusiastic about getting the rest of the site right, so early on.

Here are my few thoughts:
-It is a big piece of land so you have an opportunity to use different parts of it in different ways
-think about being able to walk around the whole plot, from one kind of space into another - elements of surprise are important
-try to arrange it so that as it matures, it becomes impossible to see the whole site at once - obstructing the eye sparks curiosity in the onlooker
-visit mature gardens and parks, take loads of photos for your scrapbook, ask lots of questions
-pay attention to the views from principal windows
-the landscape looks pretty featureless in your photo; you can provide focal points within your garden to focus the eye and you can frame views by e.g. leaving a gap in a hedge to provide a vista - done well at Oakfield Park in Donegal (website)
-plant mixed hedging asap similar to what grows around local fields
-Sue's suggestion re CAD is a good one and you can always draw 'for real' in the landscape using strong canes to denote trees, groups of smaller ones to show shrubby areas; draw lines on the ground using a rope to make curves; these can then be 'drawn over' with light coloured sand and your imagination can fill in the rest.
Above all - have fun!
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SeanOChuinn
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, yes I do use Sktetchup a lot for all of the house designs so I might try and use it for landscaping options. Lots of pre-built trees similar to my original picture of what we have in mind that I could add to the layout. Its a really good idea to maybe start pre planting some hedge rows towards the front of the site. Was thinking a mix of copper and green beech hedges that should add lovely colour at different times of the year.

I'm definitely excited about having a blank sheet as such, and its also exciting to have so much time to work on it and develop it. I see it as something that will be a life long project.

Am I right to assume that buying younger trees and just having patience would be better than buying more mature trees and run the risk of them not taking and dying??
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where you want to plant a lot of trees and the group will have its own impact, it makes sense to buy your trees - bare-root or rootballed if deciduous. It's worth spending money on specimen trees for particular sites, though.
As for hedges, there are lots of flowering and fruiting species you can include which grow well in most parts of Ireland, many of which have attractive seasonally changing foliage:
whitethorn, blackthorn, hazel, guelder rose, holly, mountain ash, elder are just some.
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second that, though some of the more ornamental varieties of those trees may need a little more cosseting - but they are worth it.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

20' is very small for a tree. Those cherries will easily grow to30'+ in height and width. They are difficult to prune, so I'd avoid them. My initial thoughts are Sorbus aucuparia, as it responds well to pruning, gives you early leaf, white flowers, red berries, and red autumn colour. Malus crab apples, like "John Downie" or "Golden Hornet. The only drawback with these is that the windfall fruit can be a bit messy on tarmac. Cretageous monogyna "Crimson Cloud", a whitethorn (hawthorn) with red tinted petals like a daisy, but a single flower, so you also get the red fruits. Double flowered cultivars, like "Rosea flora plena" are sterile.
But yeah, I love rowans, so I'd plant a double row of S. aucuparia "Sheerwater's Seedling"
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the Rowan idea, Tippben, they are lovely trees. There were some really beautiful ones behind the building at work, until an extension was built and they were ripped out. The flowers, the fruit, the attractive foliage - what's not to like? Besides which, Rowan berry and crab apple jelly is delightful!
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some beautiful Birch trees as well. My favourite at the moment is Betula utilis, the Himalayan Birch. It has very white bark that stands out a treat in winter. It doesn't grow as big as the native downy birch.

There are a number of smaller, Japanese cherries that have small white or pink blossoms in spring and coloured foliage in autumn. They grow as far north as Hokkaido, so should be tough enough to survive our climate!

As far as specimen trees are concerned, I wouldn't be without my Tibetan Cherry, Prunus serrula. The flowers aren't much to write home about but the bark is stunning - like polished mahogany. I planted 2 liquidamber at my friends house. In the summer they are columns of dense, green foliage, in the autumn 2 flame-red candles.

Anybody would think I liked trees! Very Happy

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tagwex
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Sean. Bet you are sorry you asked now!!!! Too much to pick from.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Sue Deacon
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it is a big site!
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