Backyard Fence line Tree Planning and Dreaming


With the calendar turning over to the new year soon, my mind has naturally drifted outdoors to our backyard to think about what kind of 'tree planning' we should be doing in Spring.  Right after Christmas, I posted my front yard tree succession planting plan.  And because we've been filling our bird feeder, my mind has been focused on the area you see in the photo above.  I've covered this section of yard before with this Fall of 2017 post showing the landscape plan here.

Of note, what I'm showing here differs from what the plan includes, but that's because the plan doesn't call for many new trees, but instead uses the existing trees and augments them with shrubs.

To set the context - or edges - of this image, you can see two trees that I've posted about before.

First, in purple, on the left is the Weeping White Spruce Columnar tree.

And, in red, on the far right is the Weeping Cedar tree that I planted and lost.  I've left the corpse in place until I found a suitable replacement in an attempt to try to understand how placement impacts vitality. 

So, now we can turn to the middle of the photo - where I'm calling for up to four new trees - with three net new ones.

In yellow, I'd like to see another columnar, weeping conifer.  That's a no-brainer.

But, the other three trees are the new ones - and ones worth exploring a little more in depth.

First, in the teal-ish oval, I think we could find a fit for a deciduous columnar tree.  If you look back through this list of columnar trees from Pretty Pink Door, you'll note that there's a Japanese Flowering Cherry tree that she lists.  But...it isn't for Zone 5 (where we live).  But....I found this other varietyAmanogawa Japanese Flowering Cherry.    We already have one flowering Cherry Tree:  The Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree that I planted in 2017, but I think this would be a nice place to add another and have a little bit of a Japanese-inspired garden scene.

Next to that is what I'm thinking should be a columnar/narrow Ginko (to continue the Japanese-inspired theme) or a columnar Oak (to plant something meaningful that lasts multiple lifetimes) in the green oval.  There are a few different columnar Ginkos - including this Fastigiata, the Goldspire that Pretty Purple Door includes in her post, Skytower from FGTs, and this Mayfield variety.    I know that the Growing Place in Naperville also carries a columnar Bald Cypress - which might be a good fit here, too.

Then, continuing to the right, you'll see a blue oval where I'm calling for a Japanese Maple.  I haven't posted about Japanese Maples here on the blog before, but it is something that I've been thinking about for a number of years.  Every season, the big box stores carry some, but I haven't done enough research about them to be sure what I'm after.  This Winter, that changes.  Come Spring, I want to be in a position to have an opinion on what I want and then add it to the backyard.

That's the four trees here with a net new of three.  One replacement.  Should look something like this:

1 Weeping conifer (replacement) like a Cedar
1 Columnar flowering tree and/or a deciduous conifer (Columnar Bald Cypress)
1 Columnar Ginko
1 Japanese Maple

That's a lot to add in one season for this one small area, but gives me a good list to work against.

When you add this to the trees that I've called out in my front yard tree planning post and the initial 2020 'spitballed' to-do list, we're talking some serious tree planting.

4 from this post - including three columnar form.
4 from my front yard planning post - including one or two columnar form.
8 from the 2020 preliminary list - no columnar, but one Contorted Filbert, an Oak and six (or so) fruit trees in a Belgian Fence espalier.

That's 16 total trees contemplated for this year.  Seems awfully aggressive.

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