Planting Design under immature Maples

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JimmyStew, May 25, 2008.

  1. JimmyStew

    JimmyStew LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    I'm working on a design for a client the will be a mixed shrub border along a 150'+ fence-line. The kicker is, there will be 5 red maples spaced along the fence. So I need to use shrubs that will tolerate the relatively dense shade the trees will eventually create. Problem is, most plants that will tolerate that shade will not tolerate the full sun that they will get for the next few years until the trees get more mature. The plan will call for using 2.5"-3" cal. trees. Any suggestions on dealing with this?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Red Maples are not going to establish and take off quickly enough to 'shade out' sunny bushes any time soon. Select the shrubs from the 'sunny to partial shade' category.

    Remember the sun comes in at an angle, and sunny plants do better in the shade, than shade plants do in the sun.
  3. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Sort of common-place, but azaleas can handle sun or shade.
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Like MDV said, most broadleaf evergreens do well in the sun and will tolerate shade. Holly, Rhododendron, azalea, euonymus, cherry laurel, skimmia, ...

    Hydrangeas are good and have good summer color.

    The biggest problem down the road will be the surface roots from the maples.
  5. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    This man knows of what he speaks, and should be given comensurate weight as far as his advice goes. Spot on. The maple roots can kill a shrub at 40 feet, unless it's fed regularly and waterd regularly as well. Anything near the drip line is in danger. Maple are table slobs, and will drain soil of moisture and nutrients like John Belushi at a food fight.

    Educate the customer on these issues, and upsell shrub feedings and the like. If I run into objections on those sort of "extras", I tell them to Google on the subject. A Google search will support this. I love to say... "I have no secrets.... just Google it." Works every time.

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