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Old 05-18-2015, 08:35 PM
 
154 posts, read 417,330 times
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Hi. I have a very small sideyard that is 90% decking. I would like to create an oasis on this deck, as I have NO TREES and it is very sparse and I would like to try and create some privacy from the street.

Can you tell me some types of smallish trees that I could buy and grow/keep in large pots forever?

PS: I'm in New England

Thanks!!
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:06 PM
 
Location: CO
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I've had good luck keeping Skyrocket Junipers in large pots for a number of years. They started out as about 3 ft. tall and are now about 6 feet. I live in zone 5, not sure of your zone. They do require extra care in winter, mainly tying twine around the branches in a circular fashion to keep snow from spreading the branches downward, which ruins the shape. The plus side is they will stay green all winter. Mine need extra watering during winter which should be easy to do since they will be on your deck.

I imagine you could do this with other evergreens but you wouldn't want anything that will grow too big.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:30 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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One nice tree that will probably survive is Japanese Maple. They have beautiful foliage, often red, and finely cut. There are types that have a sprawling shape rather than a vertical shape. They can live in a pot but I think the roots would have to be well insulated for them to make it through the winter.

What about hydrangeas? There are so many gorgeous varieties and they come in colors like blue and pink. Some have amazing foliage.

I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong. These are two types of plant that I love but I'm not positive that they wouldn't freeze to death in a pot. They do great in the ground in New England. Dwarf Alberta Spruce does well in pots.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
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I've kept boxwood alive in pots, but it is warmer down here. The advice I'd give is:

1. Select plants that are at hardy to at least two zones colder than where you are.

2. Get Frost Free pots - Some pots like cheap terracotta (I don't care what anyone says, my expensive terracotta doesn't break in winter) will crack in winter.

3. Get a pot that is wider at the Top than at the bottom - You may need to root prune to keep the tree happy. This way you can get the root ball out of the pot. I believe that this shape also makes it less likely for the pot to crack.

4. Get a HUGE pot - Or container. Again I'm in zone 7...but my old place had giant WOOD planters. Maybe 8x4x3 feet? We had ivy (bad in ground), juniper, arborvitae, dwarf nandina etc. in them.


In addition to the items named above, I've kept dwarf peach trees alive in pots. They gave peaches every year.
You an also try a viburnum. These can get big like small trees and my cranberry bush did OK in pots until I put them in the ground.
The hydrangea suggestion is good. Maybe a hydrangea paniculata.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:00 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Learn the art of bonsai. I have about 100 trees in pots in my yard, including a Hemlock 145 years old, and two Ponderosa Pines each about 100. Others include Japanese Maples, Aspen, Cedar, Alder, Apples, Larch, and even a Skyrocket Juniper. We only get down to a low of about 10-12F in the coldest winters, and they all survive with mulch over the shallow pots.
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Trees that can live in pots (New England)-pondera.jpg  
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
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I live in an urban area and lots of people in the neighborhood have trees growing in containers, including myself, because we don't have yards.

Maples, spruces, and pines seem to do quite well and are quite popular around here. I'm growing two varieties of Japanese maple, two silver maples, a linden, a dwarf Bosnian pine, and a crape myrtle (which may have bit the dust). I also have a hydrangea and some Boston ivy. I agree with the advice above. Plant a tree that is hardy to two zones below where you live. Being in a container, your tree will be more exposed to winter cold than a tree in the ground.

New England ranges from zone 7 near the coast to zone 3 in high elevations, so your choices will vary depending on where you are.
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Old 05-26-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: UK
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Acer maples are very nice, I have one in a pot in a small balcony that I have (UK so the temperatures might be similar). And their foliage color is awesome!
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:11 AM
 
Location: Louisville KY
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There are types of Dracaena that are, or can be trees, that can live in a pot, most of them groe as big as their enviroment, I believe- like the ones sold as "Lucky Bamboo."
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:00 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaxRhapsody View Post
There are types of Dracaena that are, or can be trees, that can live in a pot, most of them groe as big as their enviroment, I believe- like the ones sold as "Lucky Bamboo."
Would it be able to survive the winter here though? I have one of those lucky bamboos but it's a house plant year round.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:09 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
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Might I suggest a gingko. There are dwarf varieties and they are also often kept as tiny bonsai. Here's a link to info about them:

https://www.mrginkgo.com/Ginkgo-Tree-For-Sale.html

I had a regular one in a container for about 7 years, gave it to a neighbor when I moved cross country and could not take it with me.
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