Monday, February 8, 2010

Delicious Indecision

We finally did it.  The Dr. Seuss spruce is gone.  Well, almost gone.  When we bought the house, we inherited a Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) planted strategically between us and the neighbors for privacy.  Unfortunately it is directly under power lines and it wanted to be a 60 foot tree.  The poor thing has been topped by ComEd many times so it was pretty much as wide as it was high.  It looked ridiculous.  Yet, it was winter roosting for birds and a great screen between us and our very nice neighbors.  They had a company out recently do so some pruning and the foreman and I made a deal.  So, no more spruce.

This leads to a rather lovely bit of indecision - what to plant in its place.  We love our neighbors, but we don't exactly want to wave at each other through our respective kitchen windows.  Whatever goes in will need to top out at 15 feet tall, be relatively narrow to fit between driveways, handle full sun and pretty alkaline soil, and be dense enough to screen.  Working at a nursery means I have tons and tons of ideas.  I have a soft spot for junipers.  I like their texture and the berries feed the birds.  I'm growing attached to Western arborvitae (Thuja plicata) because it has a more feathery texture and maybe even Techny arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Techny') because I like its purply winter color.  Then there are columnar trees and shrubs.  So many possibilities!! 

What are some of your favorite screening plants?

No more spruce!  Almost 30 feet of space to fill.

The remains of the dearly departed.

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