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Replacement plant for Pyracanthus

GillyWilly2GillyWilly2 Posts: 19
edited November 2019 in Plants
We have had to remove a large pyracanthus as it was causing subsidence to a building and looking for something to replace it.  It is north facing, limestone wall, in clay soil.  Would  be good to find something evergreen with colour.  And not too vigorous roots to cause subsidence or is it the amount of water they take out of the soil.  Any suggestions please?  Thanks


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,233
    I'm surprised a Pyracantha would cause subsidence; yes it is the water uptake that causes subsidence although roots can cause physical damage as well if they grow into soft mortar within brickwork etc. You could try a clematis, although they're not evergreen.
  • The insurance sent an arboricultural consultant who said Pyracantha had to come out as it took so much water out of the clay soil.  It was pretty big and growing up side of a listed building, so foundations won't be as deep as newer properties.  Thank you for suggestion of clematis.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,081
    I'm very surprised at that too.Pyracantha is often grown on/against walls and I've never heard of anyone have a problem with the roots.
    There are certainly loads of clematis to choose from, although, as @WillDB says, not many are evergreen. You can get a succession of flowers by using a few different types, depending on the space you want to cover. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thank you!
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,899
    edited November 2019
    How about some kind of climbing rose to support the clematisussses?

    Roses don’t have enormous roots and they lurve clay.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,233
    Rose, great idea. Reminds me... where's my Mme Alfred Carriere got to, I though it would have arrived by now. Curse you, Sarah Raven!

  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,035
    Another surprised by Pyracantha doing that. I would have thought the natural changes in moisture levels of the soil (especially following very wet or very dry years) would do more than the plant, but now they have decreed, I guess you have to get rid. Insurance companies, and those who work for them, always seem to blame the plants, logical or not...

    Whatever you plant, make sure you plant 18” from the wall if a climber, or more if a bushy shrub (look at the ‘spread’ dimensions and allow for that). I dug out a couple of roses recently and the roots went down a good 2ft and then further down into the bedrock! They need a lot of water too, especially until they are fully established, which can take a few years. You will need to improve the soil by digging in some well rotted manure or compost as well.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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