Table of contents:
- Types of conifers for the site
- Formation of conifers
- Species conifers at their summer cottage
- Influence of microclimate
Video: Conifers For A Summer Residence - How To Choose The Right One?
2023 Author: Ava Durham | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 07:13
Conifers are all-season, and the more people live outside the city (in their houses all the time, or often there), the more popular they become. However, there is a problem. “I love pine trees, I planted seven of them, brought them from the forest. Along the fence, after 2 meters,”says the owner of the 15 hectare plot. From such phrases it becomes very sad.
Pine grows at a rate of up to a meter per year. The crown diameter is 4-5 meters. It is clear that such a planting will very quickly become thickened, it will be necessary to replant or even cut down trees, and it is impossible to create a “small pine forest” in this way. Of course, you can go this way, it's the master's business, but after all, 7-8 species of pines and at least two dozen of their varieties are available for sale in the Moscow region. A variety of firs, junipers, no less. Yes, they cost money, unlike wild plants, but the main problem is not the means, but the lack of information.
Two main questions are usually the most critical: how quickly does this cute tiny green lump grow and how resistant is it to our frost, rain, sun? I will try to answer them on the basis of my own experience - twenty years of growing conifers in the Moscow region and the Tver region. All facts in the following presentation are only my own observations, not statistically reliable generalizations.
- Types of conifers for the site
- Formation of conifers
- Species conifers at their summer cottage
- Influence of microclimate
Types of conifers for the site
Siberian cedar pine, Siberian cedar (Pinus sibirica) is a very resistant plant, the only problem is fungal infection, shute in damp cold weather in spring. It is successfully blocked by fungicides.
Seedlings of Siberian fir (Abies sibirica), up to a meter high, we took several times from the forest. They have always taken root well. They grow rapidly, 20 - 30 cm per year. The bottom of the tree is not bare, unlike pine and ordinary spruce. At the age of 30, the height of the tree grown in the summer cottage is 7 meters, the crown width at ground level is more than 3 meters.
The needles are fragrant, soft, bright, but the shute is very strongly affected, it is necessary to monitor the appearance of the first signs of fungal infection and immediately take action.
The subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) 'Compacta' survives, but can suffer severely from both sunburn and frost. It takes a long time to recover. There is no point in making it, for example, with a blue accent.
Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) ' Green Globe' is very resistant, but as it is a globular variety, only a small part of the crown is above the snow level. Does not burn in the sun.
The common juniper (Juniperus communis) is an excellent choice. Species brought from the forest take root only at a young age, up to about a meter high. Larger ones are likely to die, but in any case, species plants have another problem - the exposure of the bottom of the trunk and lower branches with age. Columnar varieties - Suecica, Hibernica, Meyer - do not lose needles. This juniper is not afraid of frost, sun, or fungal infection. There are very interesting creeping varieties Repanda, fountain-shaped Wallis, vase-like Jako.
The weeping Horstmann juniper usually looks somewhat pathetic in a shopping center with drooping shoots, but it grows very quickly, more than 20 cm per year, its flexible branches can be given any direction, you just need to tie them to a support until they become powerful enough. Thus, you can form a spreading weeping crown. Although the species is called "ordinary", many varieties look unusual and even exotic. Common juniper can be cut well.
Juniper virginiana (Juniperus virginiana) is also problem-free, the columnar varieties Blue Arrow and Moonlight do not burn or freeze. The crown of the Blue Arrow is denser, at the age of 20, the height is 4 meters, the diameter of the crown is about 130 cm.
Juniper Virginia 'Gray Owl' - resistant, grows quickly, about 20 centimeters per year. This is a creeping species, quickly covering a significant area: more than 2 sq. meters at the age of 10 years.
Juniper Chinese (Juniperus chinensis) 'Spartan', zone 5, grew well for several years, but winter with frosts down to -40 killed it. It burns in the spring sun. The same species, but the Blaauw variety is completely resistant, survived the same harsh winter with freezing of the ends of the shoots, does not burn in the sun.
Juniper Cossack (Juniperus sabina) 'Tamariscifolia' - completely stable, grows by 10-15 cm per year, it can withstand even strong shading, but thins out without the sun.
Juniper medium (Juniperus media) 'Gold Coast' - the growths of the last year freeze even in normal winters, separate fragments are blown out, but the crown is quickly recovering.
Juniper scaly (Juniperus squamata) 'Lodery' burns in the sun, keeps well in the shade, grows slowly.
Juniper scaly 'Blue Star' systematically blows out. The view as a whole, judging by the reviews on the internet, creates more problems than satisfies.
Pea cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) species is completely stable. The inner parts are warmed up from the snow, the bush can fall apart, but it quickly restores both its shape and needles. The pea cypress 'Boulevard' looks attractive, but it burns very strongly in the spring sun. It develops successfully only in the shade, without direct sunlight in the middle of the day, grows slowly.
Lawson's cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is unstable, died out in the very first, even not very severe, winter. Officially, it belongs to climate zone 5, and this is completely justified.
Of the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) varieties, the columnar form, Fastigiata, can be recommended for a small plot. It is not only really very narrow - about 50 cm diameter of the crown at the age of 5 years - but also grows as fast as the species plant - more than 50 cm per year. The color of the needles is saturated, green-blue, completely unlike the species pine.
Weymouth pine (Pinus strobus) winters well and does not burn. The needles are variegated, very pleasant to the touch. It grows by about 10 - 15 cm per year on good soil, more modest in poor conditions. We must not forget about its susceptibility to fungal diseases, especially rust. It is necessary to plant as far as possible from black currants, the carrier of this infection, monitor and process in a timely manner.
Black pine (Pinus nigra): in spite of the outward brutality it is still zone 5. In an open place in a severe winter, a rather large specimen has completely died out. Small globular forms winter steadily in sheltered positions.
Mountain pine (Pinus mugo) is a problem-free species.
Low varieties of gray spruce, Canadian spruce (Picea glauca), especially Conica, are sold on every corner. You do not need to count on it: it burns out in the spring sun very strongly and very quickly, and then it recovers over the years.
A much safer choice is JW Daisy's. Does not freeze, does not fade, is not affected by fungus. The spring light yellow-green growth does not lose its brightness for a whole month, the rest of the time - the correct green pyramid. At the age of 13, the height is 80 cm, the diameter is about 60 cm.
Common spruce (Picea abies): in fact, it is extraordinary, at all. There are many varieties with multi-colored growths, slow growth, unusual cones, spherical, vase-shaped, weeping varieties, and all this - without any problems with burning and freezing. Columnar varieties, such as Cupressiana, take up very little space. Tompa or Will's Zwerg look almost the same as the varieties eaten with dove, but are absolutely resistant, including to the sun.
The prickly spruce (Picea pungens) is also a completely problem-free species. There are varieties with different strength of growth, with external similarity in different varieties, the color of the growths, the shape and density of the crown, and cones differ noticeably. Since the crown of almost all these spruces is quite transparent, you need to immediately choose a seedling of the correct neat shape. It will be difficult or even unrealistic to correct such shortcomings later.
Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) is a wonderful compromise: exotic, but not too much, it does not immediately strike the eye. It looks like an ordinary spruce, and at the same time - not like it, especially close. The needles are slightly bluish due to the lower sides of the needles, but not bright, much greener than that of prickly spruces. Species plants give an interesting characteristic silhouette: a very narrow crown. Full resistance to frost and sun, no fungi, species spruce grow quickly, up to half a meter a year. There are globular varieties - Karel, pyramidal, but medium-sized - Nana (this is not a globular variety, although young seedlings look like a ball), with a bright growth - Roter Austrieb.
Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) 'Jeddeloh', species, and 'Albospica'. They do not grow in the sun, they feel oppressed, the needles are dull, the tips of the shoots dry out. They bloom in the shade, give a steady growth, the needles darken and become brighter. The growth rate is low, no more than a centimeter and a half per year.
Microbiota (Microbiota). Resistant species, replacement of creeping junipers for shady areas. Can grow out under snow and fallen leaves.
The weeping variety of western thuja (Thuja occidentalis) - 'Filiformis' - is frost-resistant, does not burn, is not affected by fungi, grows relatively quickly and has a rather exotic look.
Until now, both regarding flowering plants and regarding conifers, there is an opinion: the more exotic they are, the more beautiful and better it will be on the site. It is very interesting to collect collections, but for the garden as a whole, the harmony of the combination of components, a healthy and well-groomed type of plants are much more important. Weak and painful specimens will never become a real decoration, no matter how you conjure over them. Therefore, it is worth giving preference to proven, reliable species, and then, within the species, look for varieties that are suitable for a particular design idea.
Formation of conifers
"Oh, where my pine has grown, I have to cut it out!" "This juniper has completely crushed the flowers, I will replant." Such phrases are often heard, and this is a great pity. Traditionally, our gardeners are sensitive to each sprout, including conifers, and do not dare to remove or shorten it until it becomes, already large and powerful, a real problem. It is not necessary to bring the matter to the saw, especially since on conifers, in contrast to deciduous ones, traces of removal of large parts of the crown will be very noticeable.
For the best results, you need to constantly monitor where the growth is directed. It is especially necessary to monitor this in late spring, when the shoots of the current year are advanced. Undesirable ones can be stopped even at the stage of bud opening, simply by pinching it off. Thus, you can reliably give the desired shape, and most importantly, maintain the desired size, prevent any coniferous plants from growing uncontrollably. After removing the shoot, three or four replacing ones will begin to grow instead, the crown will become thicker, denser.
Of course, if we are talking about a spruce with a height of at least one and a half meters, you may not have time to pluck out everything unnecessary. You can prune spruces, pines, and junipers with pruning shears, but the sooner this is done, while the shoots of the current year are not yet lignified, the better.
Fences made of ordinary spruce, which are cut and plucked annually, are dense, completely impassable, neat. It should be remembered that as soon as you stop removing the tops, cutting or plucking them, the trees will immediately go up sharply and the bottom of the hedge will be exposed. If this happened to a hawthorn hedge, for example, you can cut it to a stump and it will grow back, you can restore its shape. With a spruce hedge, this is impossible, so systematic supervision is necessary.
You can also use other methods of forming the crown of coniferous plants, usually used on fruit plants: put braces, fix the trunk or branch in the right direction - for weeping forms, it is advisable just not to injure the bark. Bare, elongated, damaged branches, everything that only spoils the view, can be removed at any time, both in summer and in winter, if they are not very large, of course. The main thing is not to think that the form arises by itself once and for all. It can and should be corrected.
Species conifers at their summer cottage
You can bring any coniferous plant from the forest and it will most likely take root, especially if there is no heat and land during transplantation. But, firstly, you need to assess the diameter of the future crown and understand if there is so much space on the site that you want to devote to this particular tree and more, most likely, to nothing else. Second, you need to decide if you will artificially curb growth. If yes, then this should be done every year, otherwise the crown of the spruce, for example, will look very unnatural. Thirdly, the needles on the roof, branches hitting the windows, roots breaking the blind area are bad for the building, the tree will have to be cut or even removed. It is necessary to estimate how far you need to retreat from the buildings. Fourth, the shadow: where will it fall? How thick will it be and how quickly will it appear? Don't forget about the neighbors:will they like your pine tree? Will she not interfere with them and cause conflicts for the next 20 years?
There is one more nuance - standardization. Suppose there is a plan to make a green hedge or a small alley. Finding 5 identical junipers in the forest is almost impossible, and buying them in the nursery is simple and easy. Given the size of our summer cottages, in many cases it is preferable to plant varietal plants.
Influence of microclimate
The position of the site and the position of the plant on the site seriously affect the survival of conifers. In the gardens of professional collectors, you can see perfectly developed magnolias a kilometer from the Moscow Ring Road, large yews and other vulnerable plants.
In the Botanical Garden of Moscow State University there is a huge aristolochia and many other thermophilic plants. But this does not mean at all that they will feel as good in another area near Moscow. The wind, the proximity of buildings - especially if it is a house of permanent residence, warm, illumination, water table - all this matters. You need to soberly assess your chances. In general, in the Moscow region everything that belongs to zone 5 and above will not winter stable. If you still want to take a chance, then you need to be aware that such a coniferous plant should not be made a soloist, a key element of the composition. It can please you for a year, five years - until the next severe winter, and then die. It is better to conduct such risky experiments not in the most conspicuous place.
If some "sissies", including the yew varieties of Chinese juniper, oriental spruce grow and winter safely on your site in the middle lane - rejoice in your luck. If you can see that such new settlers are oppressed and do not want to grow, they freeze, try to transplant them to a more secluded place, protected from the wind or sun.
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