Trees and Shrubs forum: Understory Ornamental Trees

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Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Oct 19, 2016 12:48 AM CST
Several years ago, I had junky trees cut down that were shading my vegetable garden. To my surprise, brambles and briars grew up from nowhere.

I can cut them down, but I don't want to keep fighting them every year. So my plan is to plant the area with ornamental trees like Sourwoods, Star Magnolias, and Korean Dogwoods.

Those won't grow tall enough to shade my garden, but they should shade the ground around them to prevent the briars and brambles from regrowing.

Or so I hope. Is this a reasonable strategy? It is a half-shade area.
Name: Susan
Vienna, VA (Zone 7a)
Oct 21, 2016 7:30 PM CST
It's worth a try; if nothing else, you'll have ornamental trees to enjoy while you're weeding Smiling
You might still have volunteer brambles popping up for a while, though. I know that Smilax rotundifolia (Greenbrier), for one, grows vigorously even in part shade.
Name: Catherine
NW Illinois (Zone 5a)
Nov 3, 2016 8:28 PM CST
I've also experienced this problem - mulberry trees suddenly appeared out of nowhere. In one area I'm in the process of converting the space (which is anchored by an ancient Black Walnut Crying ) into a shrub border. Mulch is my friend at this point. The understory trees and shrubs have not shaded out the unwanted scrub plants - this year, due to the record rains - we ended up with tons of poison ivy! Under the walnut we planted red buds, star magnolias, ninebark, japanese maples and a number of spreading evergreen shrubs. Hoping that repeated weeding, lots of mulch and maturing plants will smother the weeds. Good Luck on your project.

Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
Nov 3, 2016 8:50 PM CST
Plants will always find bare soil and fill it fast given a little sunlight. The bad thing about blackberries and other brambles is once they start growing it's hard to shade them out. I have a few growing in full shade. Thumbs down
­čî┐A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered­čî┐

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