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Clematis and fir trees

sunnysarahsunnysarah Posts: 62

Hi, I have two fir trees about 6-7ft tall not very wide though, would like to cut them down but have a thing about cutting trees down even fir trees so I was wondering if a clematis would cope with rambling up them. Looking at ones in the group 3 range so it can die back down in the winter. I know I`ll have to give them plenty of food as trees will take quite a bit. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,252

    Hello sunnysarah. What a strange image you have conjured up in my mind.

    I can't decide how far apart these two poor trees might be, how they came to be there and what the original plan was for them. Fir trees grow to a tremendous height so you, or someone in the future, is definitely going to have to bite the bullet eventually. Unless they are halfway up a mountainside and have plenty of scope for growth. In which case, why hide them?

    If  they are a few feet apart maybe they would be able to support a hammock in a few years time?

    I can't really see a clematis forming an attractive partnership with two fir trees, but my imagination isn't the best. Why grow clematis - to disguise the trees? They won't put up with that for very long and then you will have three unhappy plants to deal with instead of two!

    Are they old Christmas trees? I inherited a garden once with a selection of ever-diminishing sizes of trees from Christmasses past. I dug them up, drove to a quiet spot and planted them au naturel. No idea how they got on. Probably got dug up the following December by someone keen to have a free yule log!

    Sometimes one just has to be hard hearted, I'm afraid.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • sunnysarahsunnysarah Posts: 62

    I didn't put them there, inherited when I moved in. They are not leylandi and can be easy kept in check by taking the tops out. Just thought it would be another way of getting a climbing plant in my garden.

  • flowering roseflowering rose Posts: 1,632

    I would cut them down as they will cause nothing but trouble and turn the soil acid .My neighbour allowed one to climb a leylandi and although it looked great for a time it became just as much a problem and the trees had to be cut down as they over took not only his garden but the one next door.image

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,252

    No, sorry, I can't see the attraction either. Taking the top off a tree, that wants to be 150 feet high, at 12 feet off the ground will just create a nightmare. The trunk will thicken up and the branches will sprout all over the place. Eurrgh. 

    A clematis is a nice airy thing.  Invest in a pergola type of idea and buy it a rose as a companion. They will be the best of friends and in keeping with each other so far as size and shape go. Much prettier.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • sunnysarahsunnysarah Posts: 62

    They are not leylandi, and absolutely not causing any problems for my neighbour. Ive been in my home 4 yrs now and have hardly grown anymore in that time, not all fir trees are thugs. In fact the one I took the top off hasn't grown higher or thicker. The only issue I see with having a climber meandering its way round is the soil condition from the trees. Thanks for your comments, think I`ll research some more before I make  decision.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,148

    Hi Sarah, are they conifers as opposed to a 'Christmas tree' type fir? The ground would be poor for quite a distance round them so Clematis would always struggle to do well. If you really want to try one I'd suggest a montana type which are the vigorous, fence/wall covering kind that flower at this time of year - small flowers, pink or white varieties, but you'd still have to improve the ground a lot and plant a good distance away initially to give it a chance.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • sunnysarahsunnysarah Posts: 62

    Thanks fairygirl, that was my main concern


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