Any good ideas for a plant for my yard?

  • #1
Office_Shredder
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I have a small yard (25 feet wide) and the southernmost part of it is almost always shaded by a school that is adjacent.

The previous owners had 5 paper birch trees plants in the shaded portion, three across the back edge then two planted about 10 feet closer to my house on the left and right sides of the house. They all died last year (my first year of owning them :() and I'm trying to decide what to plant instead. I think they main things I would want are
- will do ok in a very shaded environment
- can survive New Jersey weather
- will fit in the yard.

Maybe I should just replace them with more birches? They have the advantage of growing straight up. I would be ok with something with a bit of width to it, but there's not that much space and most trees I have looked at don't sound like they do well in full shade.

I've spent a bit of time googling and mostly have found that websites are willing to tell you a plant can survive in full shade in an advertisement them when you go to buy it will instead say partial shade to full sun. I asked one nursery for suggestions and they said they did not have anything to sell me, which was a bit of a downer. Maybe I just need to accept that I can't plant full trees in that area.
 

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  • #2
hutchphd
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How old were the birches? Why did they die?
Do you want a full size tree? All the same kind? Do you want some evergreen?
 
  • #4
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How old were the birches? Why did they die?
Do you want a full size tree? All the same kind? Do you want some evergreen?

A wind storm snapped three of them in half, the other two just did not come out of dormancy after winter.

I don't know why they died. I've heard they're susceptible to pests, but also they don't get any sun, so they might of just been dying over the last couple years.

I think practically speaking the width requirement is going to prevent getting any trees more than like 25 feet tall, it would be nice to get something that is even that tall just to block the view of the school a bit.

I have a couple evergreens closer to the house, getting a couple more would be fine. The yard really de-greens in winter so a little more green would be nice. I don't think all the trees need to be the same.

There are actually two little mini evergreens that kind of framed one of the birches. The half of the trees that points back at the school are completely bare, which doesn't affect their visual appeal but does kind of demonstrate how little sun they get in the back there.
 
  • #5
hutchphd
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Find a plant Nursery that has knowledgeable folks. They can usually provide just what you need and know local conditions. Personally I am very happy (in Indiana) with a smoke tree (20 ft) at my back fence. It gets pretty good sun though. Plants are remarkably cheap entertainment...I am enamored of my neighbor's Buddleia for its ability to attract butterflies and hummingbirds although they can be invasive. Get diggin'.
 
  • #6
Rive
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main things I would want are
- will do ok in a very shaded environment
- can survive New Jersey weather
- will fit in the yard.
The way we usually do this is top take a walk around and check the plants in the yards of the neighbourhood.

As you already noticed the selling type websites are usually adding a bit of oooomph to everything.

Maybe some ivy instead of a tree? Slow, but great survivor.
 
  • #8
DaveC426913
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Hostas and ferns do well in shade.
 
  • #9
BigDon
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As do fuchsias. Golden Gate Park's Botanical Gardens have a fuchsia variety know as "Gartenmeister Bonstedt" that is over 120 years old. Biggest fuchsia I've ever seen. Initially I took it to be a dozen separate ones instead of one big one.

(Also, I can't believe I spelled that right on the first try.)
 

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