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[ Garden Talk ]
April 10, 2007
I live a few kilometers on Blackwater road and all the pine trees that boarder my property from the road are now all dead. I am looking for trees and/or bushes that I can plant along the road side to give me back my privacy and help dampen the noise from the road. I do have many small spruce in my yard that I was thinking of transplanting and also putting some of the willows that are in the yard there also to fill in. My hard is very hard clay and the trees will not get much water. Should I go with my thoughts? If so how should I prepar the area for replanting? What else might work there. Thanks.
(April 18, 2007)
You are on the right track by planting native willows and spruce. I would also suggest saskatoon bushes.They will eventually reach a height of 10-12ft to provide the privacy along with white flowers in spring, berries and nice fall colour.They are low maintenance and drought tolerant. Other shrubs to consider are Amur Maple reaching a height of 15 ft. and hardy shrub roses. As for evergreens, the spruce and pine will give you the privacy all year long.I would plant some pine back in as the smaller seedlings should not succumb to the mountain pine beetle.Once they become established this epidemic will have passed. The key to establishment of these new shrubs will be in amending the soil and watering properly through the first growing season. In each planting hole you should add one third compost or peat moss to the native soil. This will improve the air space in the soil resulting in better water and nutrient holding capacity. Mix this in to the native soil. It is important in heavy clay soils to dig the hole wider rather than deeper. this will allow the roots to spread out. If the soil is broken up and the compost added the roots will be able to establish themselves through the clay. Once the hole has been dug, fill it with water before placing the plant in the hole. Let it drain into the soil then place your plant in the hole and once again fill it with water before backfilling. This allows the ground to become saturated. Build a well around the planting hole so the water will not run away. A good deep soaking will train the roots to grow deep rather than a shallow watering that keeps the roots near the surface. Make sure you water during the dry periods during summer and give the new plants a good soaking in fall .