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Old 05-19-2020, 05:44 PM   #16
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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Here's some pictures of mountain laurel.

They do have to have acid soil, so they might not be good for salt spray from the road, though it looks like you have a long distance.

Looks really nice, but how tall and wide do they grow.


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Old 05-19-2020, 06:21 PM   #17
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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@4rpr you might want to consider @Mystriss 's idea about dogwoods. While they're deciduous, I don't think that's going to matter in the winter much, unless you love to sit outside in the cold. (We certainly didn't in Ohio.) By the time they leaf out, it'll be warm enough to sit outside. I suppose you might not like the thought of people leering in your windows, but maybe draw the curtains . . .

Also, some Rhododendrons might work, as might Mountain Laurel, the state flower of Pennsylvania. They're evergreens, but they have broad leaves and pretty flowers in season.

Might as well enjoy the adventure, and let us know what you do.

We're here to help.

The street directly behind our home is loud and busy. I just canít imagine installing something that would allow more noise to filter through in the winter. It is what it is. We chose this house back in 2005 and we knew this would be a problem as the spruces started growing and now dying off. The issue is investing thousands in something that ďmight workĒ.


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Old 05-19-2020, 06:27 PM   #18
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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@4rpr , welcome!

I'm in California now, but lived in Northern Ohio for many years and know the climate well, which is a lot like SE Wisconsin.

Hmm. I disagree that blue spruces don't make it for you. Yours look good, considering. They grew well in Ohio, too.

All of the conifers, as mystriss and lenaitch point out, can't be cut back hard, as they won't grow back from nubs the way, say, rose bushes do.

@ZTMAN 's idea of Leyland cypress might be a good one, but be careful; they grow very very fast, and they tend to tip over in high winds. If the prevailing winds might blow them over onto your house, you might want to think twice or be prepared to replace them when they start to get large.

Arbovitae might work; they don't get huge, but to get the privacy you want, you might have to spring for large and expensive plants. There's various types of Hollies, too, and the same caveat applies.

Green giant arbs or any arbs for that matter will not survive here. I wish because I would have already installed them. Whatever hedge or bush I install it needs to be no bigger than 6-7ft tall and preferably something that grows wide.


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Old 05-19-2020, 07:39 PM   #19
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


@4rpr , that helps a lot.

What's your USDA hardiness zone?
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:14 PM   #20
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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@4rpr , that helps a lot.

What's your USDA hardiness zone?

5a and 5b


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Old 05-20-2020, 10:18 AM   #21
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


Zone 5 is good for evergreens, arborvitaes are a go. Who told you blue spruces don't grow in SE Wisconsin -they're good for zones 2-7. What's the dealio with the fence, a whole neighborhood fence, or just yours was shot down, and why would it be?
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Old 05-20-2020, 06:16 PM   #22
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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Zone 5 is good for evergreens, arborvitaes are a go. Who told you blue spruces don't grow in SE Wisconsin -they're good for zones 2-7. What's the dealio with the fence, a whole neighborhood fence, or just yours was shot down, and why would it be?

HOA wants a ďnatural barrierĒ

According the the Extension blue spruces are not meant grow properly here. Arbs may be a go, but salt spray from the road, no sun on the arbs in the back towards my home plus .... All Evergreens prefer sun to part sun...shade and overcrowding leads to mold, fungus and other diseases.


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Old 05-21-2020, 09:42 AM   #23
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


Extrapolating your GIS pic it looks like at least 40' from the street shoulder? Are you on one of those Wisconsin 55mph "highway/streets" so you're worried about a big throw of salt?

I looked up Milwaukee extension office but could not find anything. I don't see how any evergreen will get full light on the northside of the plant. You will always have less foliage on the back and if you crowd them. Some plants are better for tight spacing down low than others, conifers are not one of them.

A goal of 6'-7' high is a tough one for full year foliage. Conifers can do Baby Blue, Fat Albert spruces. Arborvitaes can do Emerald, Techny. Maybe Yews with lots of shaping. If you are worried about air and light, vary the plant genus and spacing of the rows (groupings offset from each other).

You don't have a lot of back yard there, and seems don't want to wait for them to grow. Can look into a partial lattice screen nearer the patio (so not a fence) with a crawling vine. Also there are canvas screens I see people have in summer, you could do it in winter if you go deciduous.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #24
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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Extrapolating your GIS pic it looks like at least 40' from the street shoulder? Are you on one of those Wisconsin 55mph "highway/streets" so you're worried about a big throw of salt?

I looked up Milwaukee extension office but could not find anything. I don't see how any evergreen will get full light on the northside of the plant. You will always have less foliage on the back and if you crowd them. Some plants are better for tight spacing down low than others, conifers are not one of them.

A goal of 6'-7' high is a tough one for full year foliage. Conifers can do Baby Blue, Fat Albert spruces. Arborvitaes can do Emerald, Techny. Maybe Yews with lots of shaping. If you are worried about air and light, vary the plant genus and spacing of the rows (groupings offset from each other).

You don't have a lot of back yard there, and seems don't want to wait for them to grow. Can look into a partial lattice screen nearer the patio (so not a fence) with a crawling vine. Also there are canvas screens I see people have in summer, you could do it in winter if you go deciduous.

Correct the speed limit back there is 55mpg. Our biggest concern is privacy. weather screen and loud noise from the street.

Snow plows and the salt that they spray during our rough winter killed off about 1/2 of my neighbors arbs one winter.

HOA wonít even allow a lattice believe it or not. Iím after a height of 6-7ft only because honestly I dislike having evergreens so tall (25-30ft) where we cannot even see the sky from our home.

Itís a small backyard, but Iím 100% torn on what to do. Once these spruces go down we are huge trouble not only for ourselves, but for the next homeowners. We plan on selling our home in 5-6 years. Lived here 15.


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Old 06-03-2020, 08:26 AM   #25
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


Since these spruces are 30 ft tall at this point would it be a good idea to cut them in half meaning to reduce their height? The reason I asked that is if we don't plan on removing them I would like to at least reduce the height so they're not so overpowering and that will reduce the needles flying into my gutters as well.

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Old 06-03-2020, 11:38 AM   #26
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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I am partial to the leyland cypress for screening. Not that expensive for a 6' container tree and they grow about three to four feet a year feet a year.
Thatís what we have along the back of our property. They can be trimmed
so that they fill in beautifully...And yes, leyland cyprus grow 3 to 4 foot a year
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Old 06-03-2020, 02:11 PM   #27
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


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Thatís what we have along the back of our property. They can be trimmed

so that they fill in beautifully...And yes, leyland cyprus grow 3 to 4 foot a year
I am asking if I can cut 30-40% of their height?



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Old 06-03-2020, 02:49 PM   #28
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


I have a single blue spruce in my front yard. A couple of time the top spire and first segment of branches has been attacked by spruce bud worm and died. Next year one of the branches below turns upward and takes over the job of being the top of the tree.''Not a pro, but half way down sounds like a lot, but suspect the tree will live and designate a new top spire.

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Old 06-03-2020, 06:17 PM   #29
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


I donít know if you can trim that much...You mean off the top?
We have a huge evergreen in the front of our house that we trimmed
up (about 6 feet ) several years ago and it looks good. But, I think
thatís what you mean ..Trimming it off the top is going to be difficult.

I think Mistress suggested to thin it out...That may be your best option.
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Old 06-03-2020, 09:27 PM   #30
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Re: Dying blue spruce dilemma, arborist states no evergreen will survive in this spac


They take off the tops of spruces under power lines up here. They never look right afterward, like you can tell they were lopped off... The neighbors had to do it to a couple of theirs, I'll take a pic when we drive by their house this weekend if I can remember.

I'm not sure you'll like the way it looks honestly. Personally I'd rather take them out entirely than have half trees like theirs, it looks so ... unnatural.
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