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Author Topic: Which fir or spruce for landscaping?  (Read 1682 times)

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Offline RedHawkRidge

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Which fir or spruce for landscaping?
« on: July 15, 2010, 01:29:41 PM »
I've planted various evergreens on my property, e.g., colorado blue spruce, white fir, black hills, etc.  Most of them have branches that died out due to competition from adjacent trees.  I have seen clusters of firs/spruce on other properties that don't seem to suffer from that problem. So some species must be better than others.
Any advice on evergreens that are robust enough to maintain their shape and appearance when planted in groups or lines that eventually merge the trees?

Additional comment:
I just ordered a small qty of Douglas fir to try (thru Arbor Day Foundation).  Don't know if they are okay for Wis winters.  Just finished removing lots of dead branches on some Col Blue spruce that didn't like the crowding in the lower branches.  They sure were handsome before they got so big they crowded together.

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Which fir or spruce for landscaping?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 04:58:57 PM »
Have you tried Norway spruce? I kind of favor Colorado blue spruce in landscaping, but all trees need to be given enough growing space between trees or they will start natural pruning as their limbs get cramped for space.

Offline Clark

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Re: Which fir or spruce for landscaping?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2010, 06:28:25 PM »
The doug fir are marginal for the midwest.  If you're over in Stevens Point sometime check out between the arts building and the College of Natural Resources.  There is an island between the parking lot and several sidewalks.  There are two or three doug firs growing there.  Compared to native species they look fairly weak.  I wouldn't recommend them.

I don't say that simply to poo-poo your decision.  Go ahead and plant them, it might be interesting for you to see how they grow and develop and there's nothing wrong with that.  You might want to put them in a place where you don't need them to provide a critical element in your landscape.   I'd stick with the native species to provide landscape features.

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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Which fir or spruce for landscaping?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2010, 06:37:11 PM »
One of the biggest problems with landscaping is planting for 20-30 years down the road, or even 5 years. my 1st leson in the landscaping course I took 25 years ago, is not how big the tree or shrub is now but what it will grow up to be. Your trees are probably planted to close together, that is why your having dieback in the crowded lower branches. How big will the tree or shrub grow? Most trees and shrubs will be a certain diameter when fully grown, and also each tree species has a certain shape that it will take on when grown with sufficient space. Check out a local arboretum or look across some fields that have lone trees growing in the fencerow, that is a what that tree will look like.
 if it has a enough space to grow.

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