Ficus tree?


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Hi there--

I wrote an earlier post about planting bamboo as a screen to prevent our neighbors from seeing into our backyard from their newly built second story. I spoke to some people at a nursery who said that a ficus tree would also be a great alternative and that they are also drought tolerant (I live in Los Angeles). Now, the guy at the nursery said that when we plant a ficus tree, it should grow about six feet in 3 months if we take care of it properly (waterings and whatnot). I've read some other stuff though that says that it takes much longer than that for a ficus to grow that much. He said the growth should explode when it is first planted. Do any of you know how quickly a ficus tree grows outside (in Southern California)?
 
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I did read your earlier post about blocking the view from your neighbours. I am not sure of ficus but we in India have a tree that grows very fast and is ideal for such uses. You can explore the possibility of them being able to grow at your place.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyalthia_longifolia
 
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Ficus trees will grow up to 60 feet when planted outside, and relatively fast, they are a fig tree so they are fairly low maintenance. When you are planting them outside though keep in mind that they will be a burden for sidewalks water and gas lines as well as structures because their roots are far reaching. You should see rave results in it's growth if you fertilize each month with an 8-8-8 mixture until fall, then simply water. I hope that helps Kate and good luck.
 
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How close to your house will the tree need to be and what sort of height to screen you from the neighbours?
 
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It's not that close to our house. We have a large backyard. Basically it needs to block the second story view of the neighbor's house. They very sweetly built their add-on RIGHT next to our property line.
 

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My Ficus has always been an indoor plant. I never thought of growing a Ficus out doors. I would like to see one in the yard some where. It would not work in my area, too cold during winter. I think my concern would be the root system causing problems for the underground plumbing.
 
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It's not that close to our house. We have a large backyard. Basically it needs to block the second story view of the neighbor's house. They very sweetly built their add-on RIGHT next to our property line.
Sorry Kate, I was hoping you could be more specific on how close it would be as a large tree may possibly cause foundation and drains damage with it's roots.
 
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Honestly, it's really far from our actual house. The roots shouldn't be a problem. I would say AT LEAST 15 feet away from the house.
 
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The average over all height of a Ficus is approximately 60ft. The root spread on most species of trees is usually similar to the height with some exceptions, so I'm sorry, I don't think it would be a good idea to plant this tree within 40ft of any building.
 

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I have seen ficus planted around San Diego. They often are destroying sidewalks and are really bad for houses if to close.

The Italian cypress would provide good coverage. I don't know how fast they grow though.

I am thinking of planting one of these to help block a neighbor whose yard is higher then mine.
http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/RedRocket.htm
 
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The Italian Cypress will cause nearly as much damage with it's roots as the Ficus. It is part of the conifer family and most will cause foundation damage.
 

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