Decorative Plants or Bushes Along Driveway

Hello Newsgroup,
I live in New Jersey and I have a curved driveway which is about 300 feet long. There are mature trees in the front of the house, however there is still some space along the driveway where I can plant some decorative trees and/or bushes in the Spring. My goal is to create a nice and scenic entrance (drive) to my house.
I need some advice as to what plants or bushes I should consider. I am very unknowledgeable in this field so any and all advice would be appreciated. The plants need to be decorative, no more than 20 feet tall when fully grown and should require minimum maintenace, off course. We have a lot of animals (deer etc.) in the area so that is another consideration. There is a brook that goes through the front of our property...that may or may not be a consideration but I thought I would mention it. Only underground utility that goes through the area is the drain pipes. I am thinking may be dogwood or cherry trees but I need more ideas and advice. Thanks.
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Both the cherry and the dogwood will eventually exceed 20 feet when mature, although some grafted weeping forms of cherry can remain quite petite. In fact, most trees will easily exceed 20' in time. A witch hazel or small Japanese maple would be very handsome, if hardy for your zone.
I'd go with a selection of shrubs to form a loose and natural hedge - variegated shrub dogwood, flowering currant, viburnums , the ever-popular, rhody/azalea/pieris trio and maybe hydrangeas if in some shade; spiraea, lilac, weigela, more viburnums, perhaps even some roses if in mostly sun. Be sure to throw in a few evergreen shrubs for winter interest - boxwood, Otto Luyken laurel, Japanese holly or dwarf conifers - lots to choose from.
Not all of these will be necessarily deer resistant (they'll eat anything if hungry enough), but they won't mind being grazed down a bit.
pam - gardengal
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Harry,
What sort of effect are you hoping for? would you like an alle sort of feel, where one feels as if they're driving through a lovely green tunnel on the way to the house? Or, do you want the sky visible, in which case hedging shrubs would be better? Also, what is the general feel and architecture of the house? Formal, semi-formal, ranch, colonial, etc.?
Dave

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Do you really want your driveway to look like a run way? You'll get that effect by planting a row of anything along the driveway, and focus will land on the garage, rather than the front door (where it should be). Most folks want an improved curb appeal, especially when the time comes to sell the house.
On 21 Dec 2003 10:03:28 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (harry manka) wrote:

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A 300' long drive is gonna look like a runway regardless of how or even if it is planted unless it has a bit of slope and/or a graceful curve, which this one apparently does. Plants bordering a drive do not have to look like a row of soldiers - unless one is planting a hedge, plants should NEVER be lined up in a row, anyway. It is unnatural and unnecessarily regimented. However, a graceful sweeping swath of attractive and low growing shrubs staggered with a few taller specimens will soften and invite. I doubt with a 300 foot long drive (roughly the length of a football field) curb appeal is much of an issue - it would take far better eyes than mine to even see the entry from that distance and no doubt the view is already softened with some plantings at the street edge.
pam - gardengal
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Harry,
There are several public gardens in central NJ that you could visit to look at plants that might suffice.
Rutgers gardens in New Brunswick. Arboretums in Somerset and Morristown
A quick web search will turn up many more.
--beeky
harry manka wrote:

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Notice the curved driveway. why the 20' tall limit? most trees get taller. whatever you do, dont plant things near the drive. the snow plow gotta put the snow someplace, bushes will grow and reach out to scratch the cars and need to be trimmed, some bushes and plants spread to the south and the north side is often ugly after a while. do you want to block the view of the house from the street or accent the house? a line of trees is a lot like a line of rocks (necklace) around a pond. If you dont own Tara, forget the line of trees coming to the house. Ingrid
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (harry manka) wrote:

--->>> curved driveway which is about 300

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I appreciate all your comments. Some explanations....
Curb appeal is not really an issue. One is not able to see the house from the street or near the entrance to driveway (except may be in Winter).
The driveway enters the property at 45 deg angle, then sweeps through a large arc and enters into side-entry garage. the house is about 25 feet above the street level.
The house is your standard center hall colonial, it is a very formal layout. There is a red brick walkway in the front. there are 2 front entrances with 5 steps on each entrance.
I said that the trees should be no more than 20 feet tall. What I meant was that the trees cannot be too tall.
Harry
snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote in message (harry manka) wrote:

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Hi again Harry,
Despite what some others have written, I think an alle of mature trees would look fantastic framing the drieway up to the house-- it's a traditional landscape design element and-- when chosen and placed thoughfully-- works wonderfully. Among the conifers for an alle, I'd suggest:
Taxus x media 'Hicksii', Hick's Yew (either as mature trees or hedged)
Calocedrus decurrens, California Incense Cedar. This would be a striking columnar tree, an unusual choice and a real eyecatcher. Over *many* years they will exceed 20 feet in height but always remain quite fastigiate, around 8 feet or so at that height. Dirr writes, "Handsome specimen for large areas and formal plantings; not used enough; the plant that your neighbor will wonder about..."
Cryptomera japonica, Japanese Cryptomeria. Another lovely conifer, although I'd recommend a cultivar such as 'Yoshino' or 'Ben Franklin'. Both will make 30' over many years, but will satisfy your height requirements for a very long time.
Juniperus Virginiana, Eastern Red Cedar or Virginia Juniper. I find this tree picturesque even as a straight species, although it has many wonderful cultivars. Of those, I'd suggest 'Burkii', 'Emerald Sentinel' (very columnar). A great cultivar for hedging or more of s shrub effect would be 'Grey Owl'.
There are dozens of conifers in shrub form that would work well for hedging along the drive, any competent nursery in your area could suggest them.
For a deciduous alle, I'd suggest:
Carpinus caroliniana or Carpinus betulus, Hornbeam
Cercis Canadensis
Cornus florida, American Dogwood ('Barton', 'Cherokee Princess', 'First Lady', and 'Rubra')
Any number of Magnolias.... so many to choose from!
Exposure, drainage, and soil would all play a part in deciding.
Dave
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On Tue, 23 Dec 2003 22:45:42 GMT, "David J Bockman"

Landscape Design 101 says this is a no-no, but it's Harry's house and he can do whatever he wishes to it. I recommend a professional landscaper to take a look at the property.
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Could I ask you to explain what you mean? What is a 'no-no'?
Dave
wrote:

would
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Don't forget witchhazel, fringetree, saskatoons and elder berries. For easy maintenance, get native trees. Here's a couple of links:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/native/index-native.html http://www.dnr.state.md.us/criticalarea/trees.html
Also look for Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees: Eastern Region or Peterson's A Field Guide to Eastern Trees or any other field guide to trees in eastern North America.
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Dave I have to disagree with this one. Incense Cedar is indeed a beautiful tree, but too large, I think for this situation. While slow growing at first, they take off at 2 feet of growth per year, and reach heights of 75 feet. My neighbor has a lovely one that cannot be over 30 years old and it is at least 60 feet with a lower spread of 15 feet!
It is such a sight to be hiking in the forest, and come upon a grand old incense cedar! One of these old "patriarch" trees is awesome, reaching about 100feet with a massive reddish shaggy barked trunk, many people think that they are a redwood. There is one I visit every summer that I think I will measure the diameter next year. They are fairly fire resistant, too. You will find them with their trunk blackened but still healthy and growing. Occasionally one will have lost the inside heartwood, creating a little "room" inside the trunk.
Just my thoughts on Incense Cedar on this Very Blustery Day in Northern California.
Emillie
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Emillie,
Thanks for the feedback. Here in our Zone the largest I have seen are 20 footers at the National Arboretum planted back in the early 1970's. It was based upon their slow growth that I made the suggestion. I see Dirr writes with regard to their size:
"30 to 50' high by 8 to 10' wide; can grow to 125 to 150' high in the wild; national champion is 152' by 49' in Marble Mountains Wilderness, CA."
I would love to see these trees in the wold sometime.
Dave
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I must say that I have learned a lot from all of you and from doing some on the net. Since cost and ease of availability also are concerns, I am kind of narrowing my selection to the following decorative trees...
1. Flowering Dogwood 2. Flowering Cherry 3. Crabapple 4. American Redbud
Of course, I will visit some nurseries and arboretums (sp?) in this area before making the final selection in the early Spring. I welcome any finals comments that you all may have. Once again, I appreciate your inputs.
Harry
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I think all of these are available in quantity at low price from Musser's http://www.musserforests.com / Ingrid
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (harry manka) wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com wrote in message

Recently I received a mailer from Gardeners' Choice on ROYAL PAULOWNIA. Does anyone have any good/bad experience with this tree? Thanks

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As an alle or driveway tree, totally unacceptable, in my opionion. These are superfast, open and gawky trees.
Dave

Musser's
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