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Tree recommendations for my site please.

Hi, I'm new here. I'm an expat living in the SW of France who is I'm looking for some advice please.

I had an empty plot of land next to my property but now it's been sold and the builders have arrive!! ahhh!!

They have permission to build a semi-detached two storey house right along side my perimeter hedge, bang in the middle of the plot which will over look my, before now, lovely secluded garden. My hedge is only 2 m high and cannot be left to grow higher due to local bylaws. Thus the problem!

So after watching GW and Monty's lovely 'long walk' with his lime trees and box hedging, I thought to myself..just the ticket! If I were to plant some sort of tree screening to make a walk between my hedge and garden that would work well and provide a nice feature to the garden.

Only problem is, there is a rainwater runoff pipe laid in the ground just along the hedge on my side, so I'll have to make the walk quite wide to avoid any potential root damage to the pipe from the new trees.

So the point or question at hand. Can anyone please recommend a tree that has limited root damage potential, that would act as a screen with a height of up to say 5 or 6 metres max.and could be either pruned to shape or pollarded like Monty's limes. To add to the search, I have a clay acid soil that gets pretty soggy in winter but dry in summer. (no loam or free draining I'm afraid).

Any suggestions most welcome, fruit trees included.

Love, peace and gardening,

All the best,

Bruce.

 

 

 

 

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,543

    Hi Bruce image

    What a good idea!

    I think a row of pleached hornbeam would look great - and it would keep it's leaves for most of the winter too - I think it would be happy in SW France but you'd better check - apparently hornbeam can be a host for truffles!

    http://www.buckingham-nurseries.co.uk/acatalog/product_10215.html

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 6,344

    Hi Bruce

    That could look fab!  I agree with Dove's choice; hornbeam is happy in heavy soil and would provide excellent screening.  Not sure about invasiveness of roots, but I guess you could get a root barrier (as used to subdue bamboo) and sink it next to the drain if you were worried.

    Pleached malus (crab apple) can look stunning, but wouldn't give you as much privacy in winter.

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,992

    I live in Dordogne and have a hornbeam hedge. I watered it the first summer, now I don't bother and it's fine. Mine is just a classic hedge, but you can trim them to different shapes. You can pleach them as in this article.  https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=155 

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thank you so much for you fast replies everyone.

    The pleached trees are certainly a good idea for creating a block screen. I would however prefer something little more bushy and wild looking TBH. I have looked at sargent cherries (prunus sargenti) , crab apples and maples too. But I am not sure how well they would sit in my heavy soil and of course they would loose leaf in winter.

    Any other suggestion would be welcome.

     

  • You could try Quercus ilex, the holm oak. These are evergreen are can be clipped to shape, you could perhaps raise the crown so that you have a hedge on stilts!

  • Thank you Rhod, may get a bit to big though. I think crab apple is looking to be the favourite for the moment, unless anyone has any other suggestions.

     

    Thanks again for all your advice everyone.

     

    Keep it green.

     

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,992

    I think crab apples would be lovely, I often recommend them, blossom in spring and fruit in autumn, but you were asking for something like Monty's pleached limes in the beginning.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,543

    Don't think crab apples will work if you're wanting to pollard every season like Monty's limes - I'm pretty sure most crab apples flower and fruit on wood produced the previous season, so if you pollard every winter you'll get no blossom or fruit.  image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Yes, of course you are right Dovefromabove. Sorry, I had in mind without pollarding, but yearly pruning to achieve the shape I'd like. Or even high level pleached.

    They should look quite nice, and I can make some nice jams with the fruit.image

     

     

     

     

  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 6,344

    There are pleached crab apples at the Alnwick garden in Northumberland, if my memory is correct.  Malus 'Profusion' I think.  They looked stunning!  Wonderful hornbeam tunnels too, with windows for glimpses of the garden and cascade.

    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
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