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Little Gem Magnolias as privacy screen along fence near pool?

12 years ago

Our in-ground pool is on something of a hill, and we're looking for a bit more privacy than is provided by our 6-ft fence. I was planning to plant some Little Gem Magnolias around the perimeter, but wasn't sure how they would take it.

The trees would be close to the fence, so the backs wouldn't get much sun, but the front would be in direct sunlight all day. I'd like to eventually allow them to grow together enough that there's no real gap between them. I'm looking for something that won't make a huge mess in the pool, and I hear the Little Gems lose their leaves even less than many of the other evergreen magnolias.

These trees will be a minimum of 15-20 feet from the pool, so I don't think root size would be a problem. I'd also like to keep as much of my yard as possible, which is one thing that worries me - the magnolias would take ~10 feet off the back of the yard (could they be planted just a foot or two from the fence, growing only out away from it? Or does that not work/cause problems?)

Budget is also a concern. I don't have just a ton of money to spend, and I know the little Gems aren't particularly cheap. The linear distance to be covered is about 60 ft. From what I've found, that would set me back about $500+ for 15-gallons that would at least extend over the top of the fence. I can get 7-gallons for about half that, but I'm concerned that they wouldn't provide any kind of decent screen for at least 3-4 more years.

Also, as Little Gems don't tend to lose as many leaves, are they ok to trim a little higher than most magnolias? I don't mine branches all the way to the ground, but I would prefer a couple feet of trunk, if I could.

If you actually read all that, I appreciate it. If you take the time to give me an answer, thank you even more.

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