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Best conifers for 'hot spots'? (6 Replies)

Posted August 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Anybody have specific suggestions for good choices for places with a lot of reflected heat, e.g. next to the asphalt driveway, stone walkway, etc? These are all full-sun locations, and I’m figuring that I want to focus on pines, junipers and maybe some Picea pungens. But I’d love any advice or tips that anyone might have. I’m in a summer-dry area but everything is irrigated with drip.

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Posted August 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I think any of the myriad Cedrus cultivars would like to be cooked like that.

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Posted August 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Including deodaras? Funny, I didn’t think of the Cedrus but it gets piping hot in Lebanon I am sure. I stupidly planted an Abies balsamea next to the driveway and I think that it will hang on until I move it this fall but boy is it unhappy. I feel its reproachful look every time I pass it.

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Posted August 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I wouldn’t include deodara. Afterall, how similar is your climate to the Himalayas?

Abies balsamea in the California sun? No way. Stick with the Mediterranean cultivars (pinsapo, cephalonica, numidica) and those that are slightly north of Med (alba, nordmanniana, cilicica). There are also a lot of hybrids. Those are the firs built for the heat.

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Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:21 am

Yes very good points. And I do need to pay more attention to where things come from. The Abies pinsapo do well here. I have had some real issues with the reflected heat from the stone – I can grow the C. deodara just fine in full sun but it needs irrigation and to be far away from the driveway. Thx Dave

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Posted August 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

We have a pungens ‘glauca prostrata’ right next to the street. If you’re considering junipers, don’t forget true cypresses; lots of natives close to you.

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Posted August 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Good point – I did forget about the cypresses. Glad that I posted this – I now have a ‘shopping list’ for my hot spots. Thanks all.

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