Medium Evergreen Tree - Advice Needed!
Hi all, been lurking for a while and decided that while usually I can find answers I'm looking for from old threads, this time I really wanted to get the specific thoughts on anyone keen to offer their wisdom! So hello all! Hopefully we can find a solution to a spot that is proving to be quite a challenge.
I have a sunny spot in my garden that is currently the graveyard of a Cornus Capitata, the spot is as follows;
- Full sun, well in to the late evening in summer. Any sunny day in winter also gives this site full sun.
- Moderate clay soil. Not awful and heavy but definitely a silty clay base with a tough clay subsoil.
- Often is the first spot to dry out in the spring after the winter weather is over
- Average wind is quite low, but when we get a storm, the location in question does take a bit of a gust, not too much in the way of shelter
- Lowest temp I have seen here is around -9 or -10 but that is roughly a maximum low and most winters don't go close to that, but something to be aware of
- Soil is totally exposed to sun and in the summer months, we often get a week or two of 28-32c which dries the soil out very quickly, even with supplemental water
- The gap is 8ft wide and roughly 5ft deep
So that's the location, and as for what I am after, I have spent hours trawling numerous websites to try and find a suitable evergreen tree.
I would like something that is;
- Between 12-25ft
- Evergreen but not something that forms a big dense crown like Osmanthus yunnanensis or Neolitsea Sericea
- Hardy to -10c or lower to be safe
- Doesn't mind getting the occasional winter gale and storm and standing up to 40-50mph winds once or twice a year
- Can handle hot dry soil in the summer and constantly moist soil in winter
- And finally and perhaps most importantly, is safe for pets. Anything that is remotely toxic is a non-starter as we have lots of animals in the garden.
Trees that are definitely ruled out are:
Any Arbutus - We have one that has got absolutely covered in Elsinoë mattiroloanum and will soon be coming out
Hoheria sextylosa - Getting one of these for a different spot in the garden
Cornus Capitata - Want something different there
Any Magnolia grandiflora - Have one directly on the opposite side of the garden
Anything with sharp spines or allergen propeties
Some trees that I think might work are:
- X Gordlinia grandiflora
- Magnolia ernestii/lotungensis/delavayi ???
- Gevuina avellana (may be too dry here in the South East?)
- Nothofagus cunninghamii (see above)
- Casuarina cunninghamiana
I know this is a very long first post, but thank you for anyone who fancies giving a bit of advice on this one, it's not an easy spot to fill. I was originally thinking of a Drimys winteri but I think that in reality anything from Chile/Patagonia is not going to like the dry summer soil. The root zone is going to get hot. Crinodendrons would hate it for the same reason I think. There are a few Quercus that seem okay but a lot of them are very dense and also slow growing so am not sure if it is the right genus for the spot. I don't mind helping it establish with some hard work in the first couple of years, but eventually it has to be something that is going to be able to survive without coddling.
Thanks for any help!