Tree advice needed

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Without going into all the detail I need a tree to plant off of one of my patios. We are moving a privacy fence from the edge of the patio to about 6 feet back, to the property line. I'll have a walkway between the fence and a raised garden. While all this is going on, a contractor bought the house next to us, is renovating it and will immediately put it back on the market. He's pissed because in this neighborhood tear downs have been outlawed, which is what he really wanted to do in the first place. He is cutting down anything remotely green and I'm going to lose quite a bit of shade. I need a small tree to plant right off the patio that will grow quickly and have an umbrella type crown. I'm in zone 5 and thinking maybe a Dogwood. There will be partial shade due to the 2 huge oaks it will be living under. I'm looking at something that will get maybe 15 feet high with a 10-15 foot spread. Any ideas? I'm trying to save my shade garden because the asshole next door hasn't a clue that a 100 year old house doesn't need to look like a brand new tract house with a bare sodded lawn. The place will never sell in this neighborhood.
Michael
--
Due to recent cutbacks - The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned
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Consider shade cloth as a temporary solution.
What's the soil type and what is the summer climate like? Heat zone and precipitation, please. Or at least a state.
Kay
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in rec.gardens

The state is Missouri and the soil type is clay but I have vigorously worked the soil for about 7 years. Spring and fall I have used top soil mixed with humus and manure along with sphagnum peat. The soil tends to be on the acidic side but not too acidic. I don't know what the heat zone is but the precipitation is average. The summers can be blistering hot but I water regularly during the summer, at least twice a week if not more. I have so much garden space I have to. Thanks for the response. I hope I've given you enough info.
Michael
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in rec.gardens

Relative to dogwood, how far would the planting hole be from the nearest cement, stone, deck, or anything else that's not just soil?
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in rec.gardens

About 3 feet.
Michael
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in rec.gardens

In that case, forget dogwood. Its native habitat is under bigger trees, with its roots in cool soil under a thick layer of leaf duff. Any pavement that close will warm the nearby soil and the tree will not be happy. In my previous neighborhood, there were numerous badly placed dogwoods. They all looked miserable for the entire 20 years I lived there and observed them.
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I have forgotten it. Gawd, researching this is mind boggling sometimes. I am now leaning towards rose of sharon. I just have to decide which species. I think I'm going to look at more "bush" like trees/shrubs etc.
Michael
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Do you have any REAL local nurseries, preferably run by some grizzled old man whose hands look like tree bark? No matter how much theoretical advice you get here or from books (which I love, but...), in the final analysis, it's good to get local advice from someone real. There are local climate quirks that can be troublesome for certain plants, and there are only two ways to learn these things: Advice from a local person, or personal experience. Personal experience is fine for plants that show results the same season or maybe a year later. But, with a tree, you may not know it's the wrong choice until several years later. At that point, you'll be all pissed off because you have to start over with yet another tree or shrub that takes forever to grow. Not like losing a tomato plant that's easy to grow.
Small example: In spring of 2006, I found that my thyme hadn't survived the winter. This had never happened to me in 20 years of gardening. Went to my favorite nursery, run by a woman whose hands look like tree bark. She said she'd sold 200 thyme plants in a week, something that had never happened before. Customers were all telling her that their thyme plants hadn't survived the winter. Her theory: We'd had viciously cold temps, but little or no snow cover to protect the plants. Ninety minutes away, in Syracuse, they'd had their usual 19 feet of snow, so the problem likely didn't occur there.
So, I'd throw the yellow pages phone book in the car and spend a day visiting nurseries until you speak to someone who sounds like they know what's what.
I'd also seriously consider a very large shrub as a possibility. If you need is shade and privacy, AND you don't need the thing to have a trunk (so you can sit/stand under it), a shrub could be a better idea. Some grow high enough to suit your desire for privacy, and you can trim/shape many of them easily.
Did you ever get either of the Henry Mitchell books I mentioned to you long ago? He's got LOADS of info on the types of things you're looking for.
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Ok, I was just trying to figure out whether we were talking midwestern climate or something a whole lot more arid. One of the mental disjuncts for me in moving from Iowa to Oregon is that we grow many of the plants that are shade plants in the hot, humid midwest in full sun.
So, in thinking about your problem: a good share of tree roots will be down into native soil, so you're looking for something that's an understory tree for slightly acid clay. And it's going to be constantly getting supplemental water.
If it's pretty deep shade, the only thing I can think of that will fit your criteria is pagoda dogwood, Cornus alternifolia, but it doesn't grow all that fast... sort of medium on the scale of tree growth. Do I remember Missouri's been having trouble with dogwood wilts? You'll want to check on that.
For a little more light: amur maple (medium grower, will need to be pruned to form) pagoda dogwood red osier (fast grower, will have to be pruned to form) Eleagnus umbellata (medium grower) golden ninebark (fast grower, will need pruning to form) black locust Robinia pseudacacia 'Umbraculifera' (only with decent drainage) American elder (will need pruning to form, likes more light than you might have) Cercis canadensis, redbud, selected cultivars, but only if it's on the bright side of shady) sweetshrub, Calycanthus floridus, but at least 3-4 hours of sun Ilex decidua, possumhaw (but pruning to form) Ptelea trifoliata, hoptree, but only if you don't mind the smell of the leaves... some people like it, some people think it's awful. will need some pruning
Yet another way to go would be to put up a sort of pergola or arbor and grow some shade tolerant vines on it Akebia quinata, Clematis virginiana, and Campsis radicans would be possibilities, depending on the height of the pergola. The shade might keep Campsis somewhat in bounds, but I'm not sure I'd count on that.
Kay
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On Jun 12, 10:33 pm, "Michael \"Dog3\" Lonergan"

eastern redbud, cionanthus
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wrote:

Redbud is nice but I think it goes to 25'.
Dogwood is an understory tree and will not do good in a lot of sun. If you have some shade from the house, then it might work.
Just remember that roots always go where you don't want them to go so your nice level patio may be uprooted with... well... *roots*... in the future.
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wrote:

This reminds me of an article by the late Henry Mitchell, presented as a chapter in his book "The Essential Earthman". He comments that sometimes you think you want a small tree, but in fact, the small tree will end up being the size of a garage. A large shrub is often better. This may be especially true for Michael's situation, since he seems to be saying there'll only be 6 feet of ground space between the patio, and the fence in its new location.
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"Michael \"Dog3\" Lonergan" wrote:

http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=R400 #
Just today hauled one home from Lowes ($50), will be planting it tomorrow... was an impulse buy, the Forest Pansy reached out and grabbed my... oh never mind. hehe.
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That'll end up being about twice the size as the space Michael specified.
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Perhaps by the time he's passed on... it's a fairly slow grower about like dogwood, will be 30-40 years before it reaches its maximum size. And redbud loves heavy pruning, there's no reason for it to grow any larger than one wants. Anyway, nursery data always lists maximum plant size (not average), sizes that are very rarely achieved except under the most ideal conditions. Most trees just don't grow very fast... unless one plants a tree when they are rather young they will never see it mature. The tree I bought is in a 5 gallon container, is barely a 1" caliper and about 6' tall, really a rather scrawny twig. I'm sure it will take some twenty years before that tree grows large enough for me to sit underneath in it's shade... in twenty years it will be more of a large bush than a tree, and very likely I will no longer be... trees are a legacy, no middle aged man plants trees for himself.
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wrote:

Joe is right, it's way too big, but it sure is beautiful. I am the recipient of some of the previous owner's legacies (sp). It has cost us a small fortune to remove them after they have died. OTOH, I suppose what happens after I die is of no concern... well, it is... really.
Michael
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On Jun 14, 10:46?am, "Michael \"Dog3\" Lonergan"

I suppose it's easy to remark negatively without making a positive suggestion... to me that just proves Joe knows nothing. So, Michael, what have you decided to plant... perhaps a bonsia will be an appropriate size for your space. You can't go much smaller than forest pansy and dogwood and still call it a shade tree, perhaps what you really need is some bush.
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A bit too easy it appears. Joe was right about the size of the tree, right in his concerns about the proximity of slabs or foundations, and right about checking with a local nursery person. But don't feel bad, any one could be forgiven for making a mistake when, as you say, "the Forest Pansy reached out and grabbed my... oh never mind. hehe". Have you and the Forest Pansy set a date yet? I'm not sure we are ready for "genetically modified Forest Pansies".
Oh, and do watch out for splinters.
- Billy Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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Billy Rose wrote:

Hmm, another know nothing sniper who pot-shots but who can't suggest something better... proves absolutely you know zero.
The forest pansy happens to be a perfectly sized tree for the space described and meets all the other criteria... if its aesthetics is unsatisfactory, well that's another issue. The nursery data for plants is the *maximum* size a tree will attain under idesal conditions, but even a rank amatuer gardener knows about pruning and growing conditions. Understory trees planted in partial shade never attain maximum size, if they achieve half that's doing well... and that the space does not present ideal conditions is an asset here, that will automatically retard growth. There are many trees that will fill the request but so far none of the naysayers suggested anything, obviously because they don't know anything. Perhaps Micheal would consider a lace leaf Japanese red maple... there are many types, green and varigated too. They can become quite large after many years but are very easily pruned to manage any size. Actually there are hundreds of trees that will grow in the spot described, size of these typically small and slow growing trees being the very least important factor... nothing that can't be easily corrected with a $5 pruner. Every tree can benefit from regular pruning. I would much rather have a tree that is capable of exceeding my space requirements than one that still after many years will look stunted. Knowlegeable gardeners do not purchase trees strictly by size like they do tee shirts.
I can appreciate humor as well as the next person but unless you along with your comedy offer a viable alternative than all you are is a know nothing envious douchebag.
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(Whack)>

Why a douchebag? Do you mean that in a pejorative way? What do you find repulsive about a douchebag? Why not a pea brain? You might as well insult microcephalics while your at it.
My question to you, Mr. Attention Deficit Disorder, was why did you feel the need to diss Joe when he raised important considerations for planting. Or, are you now the supreme judge of what constitutes a reasonable response? Maybe we should email our responses to you first, for you imprimatur, before we post them.
Just a tad manic today, aren't you?
- Billy Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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