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Climber to cover a bare tree trunk

Hey there,

I have a tall blue-ish tree that I think is a juniper, with a bare trunk where I snipped off some dead branches. I don't like the look of it but I don't want to take the tree down. I was thinking of putting a rambling rose up it, specifically an Adelaide d'Orleans or a rambling rector. I'm also thinking of an evergreen clematis like armandii.

Will this look ok? Do you have any other suggestions? The bare part of the trunk is about 2 m high and the tree is about 4.5 m tall.  

Thanks!

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Posts

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,196

    Rambling Rector is huge, can grow to 6 or 7 metres. The soil below conifers can be quite dry and poor as they have fibrous roots near the surface.

    Personally, I think the tree is too near the house and the window and I would remove it and put something shorter and prettier there.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,377

    Rampaging rector would not be a good choice in that position unless you're after extreme privacy.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,677

    The two choices are not suitable for what you want it to do. Their scale alone will over-power the space. It might be better to grow a little herbaceous Clematis around the base and allow it to scramble its way up and into the top part of the tree.

    But I think the Scottish Flame Flower, Tropaeolum Speciosum would be the ideal climber for this spot. Any excess growth, easily pulled away. It's neat and in keeping with the size and space. They can act as ground cover around the base and allowed to work its way up the trunk without seeing any stems. They will add a little disorder and contrast to the controlled look.

  • Borderline says:

    It might be better to grow a little herbaceous Clematis around the base and allow it to scramble its way up and into the top part of the tree.

    But I think the Scottish Flame Flower, Tropaeolum Speciosum would be the ideal climber for this spot. 

    See original post

     The Scottish flame flower sounds perfect for Glasgow image

    Is the Clematis Armandii not suitable then? Should I look at a spring flowering variety?

    Thanks for your advice!

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 19,196

    But Clematis Armandii is a spring flowering clematis. It can grow to over 5 metres tall and 2 1/2 m wide. It likes a neutral to alkaline soil.

    The flame flower likes it cool and moist and an acid to neutral soil.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Oh thanks for clarifying image

    I'm a bit new to all this, as you can probably tell!

    Thanks for all your help!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,677

    It's a good point Busy-Lizzie touched on. The type of soil you have and the kind of aspect. It helps to choose plants that are much more suitable. The Scottish Flame Flower will still grow in sun and more free draining soil, but if you have quite alkaline soil, they will not like it. Your soil from the photos look moist, but I could be entirely wrong.

    Clematis is still another option. I do believe it will suit the style of planting already. The Armandii, whilst a robust climber, I think it can quickly take over and before you know it, you may end up with bare stems in that spot. It's a kind of plant that requires height and spread, so if you have that, then that's ideal. If not, I would steer clear of it.

  • Sorry, but I also agree with Busy that the tree is far too close to your house, in time it will blot out the light into your rooms and could damage any damp course or cause damp to that corner of the house.  However I am pleased to see that you have an air vent close to the tree which will help to bring air into the foundations and rooms. 

    Any climbing or small shrub will look lovely and you have some lovely plants in the garden, but please think carefully before planting and blocking off any more of the front of the house.

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