Any good ideas for a plant for my yard?

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In summary, the birches in the southernmost part of the yard died last year, and the current owner is considering replacing them with either more birches or a different kind of tree. The birches were around 5 years old, and the current owner is not sure why they died. The birches would have been about 25 feet tall, so replacing them with anything taller would not be possible. The current owner is looking for a tree that can survive in a very shaded environment, can survive New Jersey weather, and will fit in the yard. The birches were smaller than most of the trees available in the neighborhood, and the current owner is considering replacing them with two different kinds of evergreen trees or
  • #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
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
hutchphd said:
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
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
Office_Shredder said:
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
Hostas and ferns do well in shade.
 
  • #9
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.)
 

What factors should I consider when choosing a plant for my yard?

When choosing a plant for your yard, it's important to consider the climate in your area, the amount of sunlight the plant will receive, and the type of soil in your yard. You should also think about the size and growth habits of the plant, as well as any potential pests or diseases that may affect it.

What are some low-maintenance plant options for my yard?

If you're looking for low-maintenance plants for your yard, some good options include succulents, native plants, and perennial flowers. These types of plants require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance than other varieties.

Will certain plants attract pests or wildlife to my yard?

Some plants can attract pests or wildlife to your yard, such as fruit trees, plants with fragrant flowers, and plants with nectar or seeds. If you want to avoid unwanted visitors, it's best to research which plants are known to attract pests or wildlife before choosing them for your yard.

What are some plants that can add color or texture to my yard?

There are many plants that can add color and texture to your yard, such as flowering plants like roses, hydrangeas, and lilies, as well as foliage plants like ferns, hostas, and ornamental grasses. It's important to choose plants with a variety of colors and textures to create visual interest in your yard.

Can I grow edible plants in my yard?

Yes, there are many edible plants that you can grow in your yard, such as herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Just make sure to research which types of plants are best suited for your climate and growing conditions, and be aware of any potential pests or diseases that may affect them.

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