Narrow privacy row screen trees

Asked April 7, 2019, 5:31 PM EDT

We have a narrow east-west area between multi-story houses in St. Paul where we want to plant shade trees (allowing solar gain in winter), about nine feet from our house (south side), similar distance to neighbor's driveway. Spouse wants Swedish aspen (rustling leaves), but I'm concerned about suckers travel and partial shade issues. My preference would be either Dakota or Parkland birch, and hope to avoid root issues due to the tight spacing between house and tree. Fast growth strongly desired!

Ramsey County Minnesota aspen trees birch trees columnar trees

2 Responses

Nothing we know about the columnar trees and criteria you mentioned suggests an obvious choice or preference. From our point of view they are equally suitable or unsuitable. Because virtually all landscape plants have positive and negative attributes there is seldom a "perfect" choice.

For instance, although "fast growing" is a relative term, most fast growing trees tend to be short lived and weak-limbed (subject to storm damage). And, although columnar Swedish aspen is apparently subject to bronze leaf disease, Pinnacle and Dakota birch are susceptible to damage by bronze birch borers.

References to Swedish aspen suckering are equivocal.

If you haven't already considered the information at the following websites, taking it into account may be useful:

Also, consider the information in the following bulletin. Because what's said applies to Arkansas, some of the plant choices are not suitable for growing in Minnesota but the guidelines for placement, etc. are applicable.

Thanks for prompt and detailed answer.