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June 23, 2014

A New Tree

Well a command decision was made and the Coral Bark Japanese Maple was removed. It was a very hard to make the decision, but after a good honest conversation from one of the garden center employees, he told me that none of those ever seem to do well up here and that was all I needed to confirm my decision.

This is the tree a couple of years ago- it was a nice specimen tree

This was it as of yesterday.  After taking a good look at it and realizing that even if I trimmed it I'd have a stub of a tree and at the ultra slow rate it's been growing it would be years before it would amount to anything so out it went!

I think this is a result of getting a tree that is zoned for zone 5 and above.  It was supposed to also have variegated leaves but they stayed more of a solid green and coral bark often looked gray rather than coral.  So enough of that and on to it's replacement.  I looked up some information on the tree and I read a couple of forums and a lot of people complained about this tree.  I guess it's just a delicate species.

I spotted this Dwarf Birch tree (Betula Nana) at the garden center and decided that it was what I wanted.  I've always loved Birch trees, but the regular Birch trees are too tall and wouldn't have the right look for this area anyway.  I fell for this little guy immediately.

We picked up two bags of composted manure and two bags of a blend that was recommended for trees and shrubs.  We also added some of our composted material from out back where the leaves go every fall  so it's going to be spreading it's roots in some real good stuff!

The ugly process of pulling back the (darn) lava that we put down in the 90's was no fun.  I would never put it down again for two reasons- 1) it's horrible to try and walk on when you have to get around  it to trim shrubs and 2) it's the worst to dig around or remove!  It's breaking down a bit as you can see the soil has a red cast to it, at least at the top layer.

 Dan decided it was too hot and there was no air flow so he went off to get a fan and I took a couple of pictures of the island out front.  Those blue spruces have grown so much I am just amazed.  

My peonies are in full bloom right now. Many other plants are coming up and should be blooming soon.  The Delphinium on the left are going to be huge again this year!

The lighter pink and white ones are flopped over on the other side.  There are shasta daisies that should be blooming before long in the forefront.

There was some old black landscape fabric that he had to work to get through and the hole got wider and deeper as he went along.  This area has some crappy dirt.  When they built this house we think they pushed in some cheap fill dirt because it's a mix of sand, gravel and rocks.  Way down lower it gets back to some good quality soil.  Anyway, lots of digging and then finally it was planted.   I was the official gofer (go for this, go for that) hole filler and waterer!  

 This looks a bit lackluster because the shrubs need trimming and the tree is short.  It will only grow to 10-12' tall but it will take a while for it to get there.  My main goal for putting a tree in this area is to improve on the look of the corner where the addition meets the original house. It needs some height and width, but it can't be too big.  I'll take  picture after I get the shrubs trimmed, but the Spireas are about to bloom and I try to wait until they're done.  I have some ornamental grass there too that looks out of place now… always something!

I was trying to rake out the hidden oak leaves I found hiding under the Spireas- they stick to that lava like fly paper!  My plants all look off center now too.  Now I want another Van Houtteis Spiraea to go on the left to match the one on the right that's near the window.  I believe the bright green Spirea's are called Lemon Princess.  I am not positive on the little one in the center, but it stays nice and compact.  Spireas perform well here so I don't mind using them.

Other than that it was an average weekend!  How about you- did you get any projects done?



  1. I have a tree like that...I have had it for 5 years and it's still a stick !!! This year the harsh winter really took a toll on it. Now it is about 1 foot tall and I just don't think it's ever going to be any thing. My husband wants to keep it. I think i'll put it in a container. LOL. Blessings

  2. Bonjour,
    J'espère que ce nouvel arbre trouvera sa place et vous apportera de la joie à chaque fois que vous l'admirerez !

    Gros bisous ♡

  3. Everything is looking so pretty. Those Delphinium are gonna be amazing. It's hard to take out a plant sometimes, even when you know it's best. The birch will be so nice there.

  4. Hi Liz, your new tree is so pretty. I can see why you loved it. It also looks so nice in place of the other in that corner. My Daisies are in full bloom and so pretty. Your Delphinium looks like it is on to a gorgeous showing. Love your peonies. I wish I could grow them here. I think it is just too hot.
    Have a great day!

  5. your new tree fits right in, it looks happy there. I feel bad for the lost one but well, sometimes you just have to do what ya gotta do. Your garden is beautiful.

  6. Love the new tree!! It seems perfect for the spot.

  7. Love your new tree. I haven't ever heard of a dwarf birch. We have a regular birch in the front of the house and it is getting big. Japanese Maple's are pretty, but they take a super long time to grow and are so expensive. We have one in our backyard that has taken 10 years to grow into a nice 8 -10 ft wide and about 7 ft tall. Can't believe how tall your blue spruce is!!!


Thank you for your comments! I don’t always get a chance to reply but I do read them!


Welcome to Home and Gardening With Liz. I have combined my previous blogs “Infuse With Liz” and “Sit With Me In My Garden” into this new blog. I love interior decorating and gardening. I enjoy redefining interior spaces by moving things around and reusing decorative items already found in the home. I also enjoy creating tablescapes and an occasional crafting project. I'm so pleased you've stopped by. I invite you to follow me and I do hope you will keep coming back! Liz
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