Fitting trees and shrubs into landscape.

Asked January 22, 2018, 4:03 PM EST

Hello, We removed 2 spruce trees a year ago because they were crowding our row of Fir, Spruce, Red Pine trees. Now we have 2 big gaps. We love the winter look of dogwood (red & yellow), but are there varieties that do not spread? What other options could you recommend for privacy, sandy, well-drained soil, winter interest, butterfly, bee, bird support? Gaps are both 12 to 15 feet tall; the one between the fir and spruce is 10 to 15 feet across; the other is 15 feet across. Conifers are 40 years old. Many many thanks!

Washington County Minnesota

1 Response

Most red and yellow twigged dogwoods are relatively restrained and unlikely to spread rapidly. Each of the gaps you mentioned should accommodate a couple of specimens. These shrubs require occasional rejuvenation or renewal pruning to maintain colorful stems. The fruits and flowers are of interest to insects, birds and other wildlife.

Some willows have colorful stems similar to the dogwoods. Go here to learn about them:

American highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. americanum) bears colorful fruit that persists through winter. There are varieties of various size.

Also consider winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata). Male and female plants are needed to produce fruit but those loaded with berries produce a wonderful effect in early winter and birds are fond them.

Go here for more possibilities: