Thread: help choosing right tree for topiary effect

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  1. #1

    help choosing right tree for topiary effect

    I live in coastal southern Connecticut and want to palnt three trees that can be shaped into square shape for a classic effect.
    is the White Ash a good specimen for this type of formal look?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: help choosing right tree for topiary effect

    White Ash is a LARGE tree and they grow fast to heights that would be impractical to try to train or cut into shapes. It doesn't have nearly enough branches to do that anyway and it would likely die very quickly if it was pruned into shapes.

    Certain types of junipers are used for the spiral topiaries but if what you're looking to do is shape something like a box, I would suggest using boxwoods. No, they aren't called that for their shape. Boxwoods, although they grow slowly are densely branched and tolerate being sheared into shapes. They are commonly used in those magnificent English gardens across the pond for mazes and things like that. There are certain types of hollies that tolerate that too but hollies sometimes grow fast and that means more shearing more frequently.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: help choosing right tree for topiary effect

    I have something to add to this now that I have discovered what it is I think you want to do.
    Apparently there's all kinds of shapes going on in Europe and based on what I've read recently, they'll shape almost anything over there but the most common and most tolerant LARGE plants for this use are Taxus baccata (english yew) and Carpinus betulus (European Hornbeam) and none other than our very own Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) and Thuja plicata (Western red cedar)

    Here's a website to get you inspired.
    http://www.vf-pflanzen.de/
    (Note: if you go to babelfish.altavista.com and enter this URL and then translate from German to English, you will find it easier to get around the site.

  4. #4
    Oak
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    RE: help choosing right tree for topiary effect

    Holly might be another possiblity for you to consider. Take a look at the
    All About Holly index found on the website of the Holly Society of America, Inc.

    http://www.hollysocam.org/
    Sincerely, Robert
    Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
    - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

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