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Conifers of the Year – A Trial in Georgia (32 Replies)

Posted December 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

I’m really open when it comes to distance from house. I’ve tried searching around a bit but haven’t quite found what I’m looking for in terms of front yard landscaping. One corner of the front of the house will be in shade during the afternoon. The other corner will be in sun most of the day and has a small retaining wall which might allow me to remove the dirt there and replace with a well draining mix (not sure if that’s even needed though).

I am partial to firs, too. I would like to get my hands on as many as I can.

The Cupressus sounds like a great idea. Think doing a blue ice and limelight together on each end would be overkill? I also noticed a weeping form which might be perfect if planting two and keeping them staked up for that dr. seuss look!

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Posted December 10, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Raywood’s Weeping is a beautiful tree. They look quite passably like Sequoiadendron giganteum from a short distance.

Have you considered Cedrus deodara? A nice Karl Fuchs for super blue colour and lovely graceful form combined with a Limelight Cupressus or some such might look pretty spectacular. Don’t be afraid to change things up a bit. One combination to soften this corner… another to soften another, for instance.

As for firs, definitely check out the sellers who put them on firma. Akerboom nursery’s consumer side has a bunch of firma grafts at great prices. Forest Lakes Nursery grafts all their firs onto Abies firma. Western Evergreen has several firma grafts, and their bornmuelleriana grafts have done very well for me as well. Sometimes Camellia Forest has firs grafted onto firma. While they have no mail order, Architectural Trees in the North Carolina triangle isn’t light years from Northern Alabama and is worth a day trip, as they have quite a few firma grafts. And you could stop by Appeldoorn Nursery along the way, which also has many firma grafts and some wonderful rare species and specimens. Quite a few options. Just be aware that MANY of the firs, even grafted onto firma, will grow a bit slower in our climate, as they don’t get the cold they generally like. But they’ll grow well and will speed up over time.

A variety of spruces to choose from. Chamaecyparis. Cedrus deodara, atlantica, libani. Cryptomeria japonica. Cupressus galore (glabra, arizonica, x leylandii cultivars, nootkatensis, lusitanica). Pinus (strobus, parviflora, thunbergii, koraiensis, wallichiana, virginiana, etc). Thuja. Thujopsis. A bunch of deciduous conifers for feathery foliage and Autumn colour.

Just pick some mixes of foliage styles to add not just colour but texture contrasts. And enjoy season to season. Sometimes, stuff you plant will die. The general rule is, if you’re not killing a few plants, you’re not planting enough plants. 😉

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Posted December 11, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Neil, do you realize you’ve just provided me with a gold mine? 🙂 All of those nurseries! Thank you. I will be planning a road trip now. 🙂

I have considered Cedrus deodara but a lot of the older ones I see around here are flat topped and really huge (although they’re probably older than I will live hah). I was aiming to stick with trees that stay conical shape.

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