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The biggest tree challenge!

Hey all. So here’s a good one... I want to plant a row of “something” (tree) evergreen in a tough spot:

1. The area is behind a shed, a strip of land about 10 x 2ft next to a tall fence

2. there is a mature oak tree on the other side of the fence, but it’s canopy is way above the fence line. I essentially want to fill a gap between the fence top and canopy.

3. it’ll get 0 sun until it reaches around 9 feet, even then it’ll be shady most of the time

4. am I asking the impossible :-)


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    You might be struggling right enough, but you could try Cotoneaster. They can cope with pretty much anything, but some aren't evergreen so you'd need to check. 
    You'd need to be vigilant in getting it established too, so that may involve a bit of effort.

    Some evergreen shrubs will take full shade too - but you also need to be able to manage anything once it gets to the height you want, as they won't just stop growing. Eleagnus, Laurel etc, but again - it's about getting them established in the first place that's the problem. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 4,714
    edited November 2020
    Very few trees or shrubs will stay in a 2ft wide space.
    That is a hard ask.
    Cotoneaster can be wonderful but may grow to be 10 -12ft in diameter.
    Pic below shows yellow berried Cotoneaster Rothchildianus...a single shrub.
    used to hide our chicken old home.

    Red berried one is on a bank in a local car park. It is massive. High and wide.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    I'm assuming the shed will contain on one side, and the fence on the other  :)
    Maintenance of anything is the real problem I feel. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    I'm getting rather confused with your garden. You have posted a lot of photos of an oak tree and asked for suggestions so Is this the same spot or a different area?
  • @Fairygirl @Silver surfer thanks so much for these suggestions, I’d never even heard of this tree. I’ll check them out!!! @K67 no need for confusion :wink: I have been on a journey with this garden, and it’s a challenge. I have a bank of oaks at the back, which clearly planted for, but don’t actually provide proper screening from the building behind. I have asked about general planting, design and considerations, all baring in mind the effect these huge trees have. @Fairygirl has been particularly helpful in this. This question arises as I have recently cleared an area behind the shed and I’d like to see what I can plant there.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    Here is one of your previous threads:
    Do you mean the area behind the shed, between the shed and the fence, right under the oak? Honestly, I think nothing will grow there.
    Your best chance for adding some greenery above the shed line and under the oak canopy would be to grow something climbing (or trainable on the fence) on the right side of the shed, where it can get some light, and to train it on the trellis. But it looks like something's already there.
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    Another option could be to get/make a very tall pot (maybe a 50x100x100cm bottomless trough - not filling the whole length because you need an access there) and grow a very small tree or a shrub in it. The ground so close to the oak won't be usable anyway. You would need to get something with a bigger part of the canopy already over the shed roof line.
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530
    I've read that hazel tolerates dry shade.  A kind couple of forum members gave me several of their self-seeded hazels, and they will be going into the gap between the garage and the boundary fence, which is about five feet wide.  I'll be keeping them coppiced.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,872
    It's still about maintenance. It's perfectly possible to have something growing in there, it's getting in to maintain the shed and fence, as well as the plant, that will be the ongoing problem.  :)
    If it was mine, I'd grow a climber and train it, having planted it where I can get access to it. That's absolutely possible. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Nothing will grow in such a small space without light, air , nourishment or water, plus the roots ofthe oaks on the other side of the fence probably have reached the fence line by now so no soil avaiable.
    Aclimber on your shed with a trellis seems a possible option.
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