Sun-proof Dwarf Evergreen Choices??

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by WesternWilson, Jun 5, 2023.

  1. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    I am on the hunt for what to plant in my front doorside garden, which is a pie shaped, south facing sun trap. It is not a huge area, roughly 10" wide at the widest part of the pie, and about the same back to the middle of the pie arc to the back corner.

    I considered a Japanese Umbrella Pine, so beautiful, but am concerned at how fast it may overgrow the space.

    I would prefer something columnar, and that would top out at about 15'. And which is realistically available for purchase locally!

    Open to suggestions! many thanks, all for your help.
     
  2. DerekK

    DerekK Active Member

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    West Vancouver, B.C.
    A plant that I have 3 of, Golden Irish Yew, might work. In my experience they are bullet-proof and nicely slow growing. The 2 oldest which are about 12 years old are about 15-18" in diameter without any shearing at all. The height is about 10' with only being trimmed twice. I do not give any supplemental water to my garden except for newly planted plants to get them established and the Yews look as good as the day I planted them. They are in full sun and have easily withstood the very hot summers and a few quite cold winters without any issue.

    Just make sure you get the 'fastigiate' (upright) variety rather than the normal Irish Yew. I purchased mine from Art's Nursery in Surrey and they list them on their website currently.

    taxus-baccata-fastigiata-aurea
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    A heat pocket should be seen as a special spot, to be used for something that needs it. Something comparatively unusual this far north. Like a pineapple guava, a pittosporum or a pomegranate. With the columnar requirement shaving the range of choice way down. And likely to produce a stiffly formal, out of context effect. Unless you have the architecture for it, have already made a corresponding formal garden. Also, no woody plants top out - even the tallest redwoods grow taller every year.
     
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  4. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    The yew is a top contender...I planted two in a bed close by to accentuate wall space on either side of a big window. And yews are affordable! Yes the effect is a bit formal.

    My other option is a standard form of something evergreen ie. Ceanothus or Ligustrum (Sweet Privet).
     
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    gulf island, bc, canada
    You might try and source a dwarf umbrella pine. Sciadopitys verticillata ‘Richie's Cushion’ in particular comes to mind, and has a yellow/gold flush to the new growth. They are all a bit chunky/bushy though, more pyramidal than columnar, and might be too wide for space regardless.
     

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