Vetra
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What large shrub or small tree near the house?

Hi, first time on this board. I'm looking for some advice to replace what I think was a cedar tree that didn't quite make it through our brutal winter here in Chicago. In the pictures I attached I'm looking to replace the evergreen on the left that just about flattened out from the weight of a late season heavy and just didn't snap back. In a way, I'm kind of glad , the tree was getting kind of scraggly.

Any as you can see the yard is heavily wooded--I would like to add a dash of red fall foliage as most trees turn a brilliant yellow--pretty but kind of monotonous. Ideally I would like something with a three season interest--flowers in the spring, nice summer foliage and good fall color.

I was thinking of serviceberry in a clump form---it seems to have all the characteristics I am looking for. My question is how quickly does it reach full mature size--supposedly 20-30 feet. Can it be kept smaller through pruning without ruing the plant. I am looking for some type of large shrub that will fill the space near the window, but be able to be planted close to the house.

Any other suggestions--flowering dogwoods? crabapples? ornamental pears? Any advice greatly appreciated, thanks
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ElizabethB
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Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: What large shrub or small tree near the house?

Vetra - welcome to the forum. You will get lots of good advice. The forum members are friendly and knowledgeable.

I actively worked as a Landscape Contractor for 10 years and still do consulting work. Whatever you decide on make sure the mature size is suitable for the space. Do not depend on pruning to keep a large shrub or small tree confined. Mother Nature will win every time and in 5 years you will be replacing your plant. Rule of thumb. If the mature diameter of a plant is 4' the radius is 2'. Plant the root ball no less than 3' from the house. Plant the root ball away from the house 1/2 of the mature radius of the plant. Select a plant whose mature height is what you want. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can control the height by chopping on it. If you plant a grouping allow for mature diameter between each plant and stagger the plants. Mother Nature does not do straight lines.

Sorry I can not give you specific plant recommendations but do research any plant that you consider. South Louisiana plants are not compatible with Chicago's climate.

Good luck
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What large shrub or small tree near the house?

I think serviceberry is a good choice. It is rated as hardy down to zone TWO, so it should be able to take anything that Chicago winter throws at it. There are dwarf serviceberries (saskatoon serviceberry, juneberry) that only get about 6 feet tall. Birds love those berries.

You should know what kind of soil you have though. Serviceberry likes somewhat acidic soil. If yours is alkaline, like mine, you will have to keep working on acidifying it to keep it happy.
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NatureHillsNursery
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Re: What large shrub or small tree near the house?

Sorry to hear about the loss of your Cedar, but on the upside, it’s a great opportunity to pick out something new! I'm in Michigan so I completely understand how hard this past winter was on plants. I think Serviceberry is a good choice, but there are also some Burning Bush varieties that might work well. They have the bright red coloring that you’d like in the fall, and some have berries through winter too. The only thing you may lack is spring interest, but I have a couple that have a red tint to their leaves in spring that is quite attractive. As there are many varieties, it’s something to consider.

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