Need Your Opinion: 8 Feet vs 10 Feet

Welcome to the 297th Metamorphosis Monday!

Greetings! How was your weekend?

This weekend was a productive one around here. I was able to get all the Savannah Holly trees in, although one may need to be moved. I need your help to decide. I hired someone to help me get all the trees planted and I worked alongside him digging the holes and helping the entire time. I’m sore today, but it’s a good sore!

One problem though, I think we may have planted one tree too far out. I’d love to know what you think. So, after you see read this post, please let me know in a comment if you think it should be moved.

This is the view coming down the walkway these days, ever since I had to remove some Leyland Cypress trees from my side yard. They were looking pretty scraggly after being there for many years so they had to go. I miss the privacy and screening those trees offered from the house next door.

Curved Brick Walkway


You may remember I purchased 4 thirty-gallon Savannah Holly trees with plans to put three in this area. It was hard deciding what to plant back here since I didn’t want to shade things out so much that all the grass died again like it did when the Leyland Cypress trees were here. I really love the look of a Savannah Holly and they are pretty when covered in bright red berries in late fall and winter. The birds love the berries, too.

Savannah Hollies


A landscape designer drew up a rough plan for me last year but it didn’t cover this area. After I decided on the Savannah Holly trees, I called her and she recommended I stagger them and NOT plant them all in a straight row. I took her advice because ultimately I plan to add some shrubs in/around the trees…probably some Encore azaleas.

Tree-Form Savannah Holly Trees For Screening


So that’s why they are planted this way and not in a straight line along the lot line. They will ultimately end up in an island surrounded with (most likely) azaleas.

Savannah Holly Trees for Screening


I also purchased a Savannah Holly for the corner of the house on this end. Actually, I had decided on the Savannah Holly for this spot last summer, long before I thought about using them in the side yard.

Savannah Holly Tree as anchor plant for corner of house


Here’s where I need your help. The plan the designer drew up last summer showed this Savannah Holly approximately 8 feet out. The reason it needed to be at least 8 feet out is other shrubs will be going in behind it. There will also be shrubs in front of it, too.

Today when I was looking at the tree, it looked too far out. We measured before we planted it but today after looking at it again, I discovered that  somehow the tree ended about 10 feet, 6 inches out from the corner of the house, not the 8 feet I had wanted. A Savannah Holly when mature can get 6-10 feet wide but that can be pretty easily controlled. Mine are already around 4 feet wide so they will get around 4 feet wider if I keep them around 8 feet wide.

Savannah Holly For Corner of House_wm


I think it’s about 2 feet out farther than it should be. Drat.

Savannah Holly Anchor Plant for Corner of House_wm


That extra 2 feet is really going to be a problem I think when shrubs are planted in front of the holly. It will reduce this grassed section to just a small strip which is going to be too small.

Savannah Holly in the landscape


The guy who is helping me is coming back later in the week to help me dig out some old shrubs and I’m thinking we need to move this Savannah Holly back 2 feet toward the house while he is here.

Update: A little additional info about the Savannah Holly. A few folks expressed concern about the roots. Thanks for thinking of that! In this case we thankfully won’t need to worry about the roots because the roots are not invasive. The Savannah Holly is really just a holly bush that can be grown either as a large shrub or a small tree…in this case, it will be a small tree. So it’s roots won’t be any more invasive than a holly shrub roots would be. Thanks again though for thinking of that…always good to consider that when planting near a home.

So, what do you think? Leave it where it is or move it in a couple of feet?

Savannah Holly


Looking forward to the other Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

Met Monday


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  1. You already sound like you made your decision. I think the S Holly should be moved back the 2 feet. Especially if you’re going to loose some of the grass area. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes definitely move it back. I totally agree, even without the bushes it seems too far out. Plus the bush issue too. Youre right that strip of grass would be too small. At least the guy is coming back later this week, so I say go for it!

  3. Me thinks you have already come to a conclusion…replant! You gave some very good, logical reasons, so….replant! It’s only one tree at least! Have fun!

  4. Barbara Day says

    Hey! Your home is beautiful. I think I might move the tree in the 2 ft. But I also would consider how tall they get (I have no idea) and if in the future it will clog the gutters with leaves if too close. I might also paint the white vertical gutter the color of the brick so it isn’t noticed.

  5. Great work and I love the plantings. However, I agree with you that while you’re at it, i think you should move it 2ft. Still looks good but moving it, it will look better – just my opinion.
    Have a nice day, Odette (Belgium)

  6. If you are wanting to put shrubs in front of the tree, then yes, I agree it needs to be moved back about 2 feet. If not, the grass strip will be too small.

  7. I think they look great just they way they are. Now consider do you want walking room? The holly trees in my area grow right to the ground with their branches so I have never seen any thing planted under a holly tree.

  8. Diane Pratt says

    I think the tree needs to be lined up with the others

  9. I want some of your energy! Back it up and use the newly dug hole for an azalea.

  10. Wow.. I’m just struck by the beauty of your property. I don’t think it will matter what you plant there.. : ) I’ve been looking at privacy fencing… wish I could go 10 or 12 feet. Living in Baltimore, my neighbors will think that we don’t want them to see in.. truth is, we don’t want to see past our own little place. Your blog header is the cutest thing!

  11. Linda Page says

    I agree with you. It does need to be closer to the house. I think it will make a big difference once you get the other shrubs in place. Your yard is really looking good. Do I need to send some BenGay to you????

  12. If there will be shrubs both behind and in front I would move it back. Sorry for the extra work!

  13. I think you’re right, Susan, it should be moved back 2 feet. I know it’s a ton of work but do it while you have the guy to help you and I think you’ll be happier in the long run. I love how you staggered the trees in your side yard – they look great!

  14. It’s already bothering you, so go ahead and move it now before it sets roots. Added bonus, you’ve already dug the area where the bushes will eventually go.

  15. Leave it at 10′. The root system will establish itself, and you want less issues with the foundation, later down the road as this tree begins to grow it’s annual rings. It may stick out for the moment – a few years, but not later. Think maturation and growth and how it will affect the area, not just visually but underground root system.

  16. Before you move the tree, consider its size when it is full grown. We have trees that looked exactly the right place when they were small but mature they are way too close to the house.

  17. Hey Susan,
    Move the holly back 2 ft. If you were not going to extend the bed in front of where the holly is presently planted I would suggest leaving it where it is. You are right about making the grass area between beds too small, plus, you just had all that lovely grass planted! Your yard is looking great. Vikki in VA.

  18. Susan, Planting 30 gallon shrubs is a chore, whew! It’s good you caught your newly planted holly now when your help is returning this week.

  19. Good morning. I think the tree would look better closesr in.

  20. I would move it now before you finish planting. You will always wish that you moved it if you don’t.

  21. Hi Susan! Oh, I love your new little trees. If you think the tree is too far out from your house, let the guy help you move it. I love your idea of planting azaleas all around the trees. Hope you’re doing well. We’ve left Texas and have moved to upstate New York to be by our grandbabies! Maybe one day I’ll be through unpacking boxes! πŸ˜‰
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  22. Tome it looks like it should be moved the 2 feet closer to the house. I agree with you that it looks a little far out.

  23. I am no help Susan, I have no vision when it comes to landscaping! I can design and picture just about anything, but when it comes to gardening I have a black thumb! You amaze me with the totally thorough way you approach everything~ I do think azaleas surrounding the trees would look so pretty~thanks for the Monday fun!

  24. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Hi Susan,

    The holly trees are going to look great! They already do. The holly on the corner actually seems fine to me, just as it’s planted. However, if you really feel strongly about having shrubs in front of it, then I agree that it will eat into your pretty lawn too much. Do you have to do that? I think if you only had shrubs behind it, it would look fine where it is. Or maybe back just a foot or so. But if you really want them in front of it, yes, I think you’ll need it to move it a couple of feet back or even slightly more to accommodate your new bushes. Rats. Oh well, at least you’re catching it now when the earth is freshly turned and it should be easy to dig up again.

    I think the azalea bushes will look great! Happy planting. πŸ™‚

  25. I understand your point about the small strip of grass if you leave it, but I think you will be glad as it matures. I had a star magnolia off the corner of my last house much the same as yours. After the first few years, we had to prune it annually – very annoying. Living in the northeast, I can’t picture the girth of a mature holly tree, but you might ask your landscaper if they can work with it. I’ll be interested in what others say.

  26. Hi Susan,

    thanks for hosting! I think they look good where they are, once they fill in and get a fuller they’ll look like they are a lot closer to the house. Plus you don’t want tree roots to close to the house and you’ll need the room for the azaleas as well.

  27. First let me say your yard looks beautiful! And I do think you should move that lone Holly in a couple of feet for the grass to appear to be lawn rather than a strip of lawn that may be difficult to maintain as lawn. When they get too narrow they tend to get sandy from being edged and weed-eated or at least in my neck of the woods. But more importantly it seems the sight line coming up the walk will make the Holly be between two of the Hollies planted on the lot line rather than blocking one of them as it appears in the photos. I think it will be more “on purpose”. And bigger beds means more plant filler and more WEEDING! Who needs that? Sorry…but I think you will wish you had. πŸ™

  28. I think moving it back 2 feet (so it is 8’6″) would be ideal for the rest of your landscape plans. Good luck! I love the staggered hollies in the side yard. They give movement to the area, just like different sizes & staggered placements give movement to interior design.

  29. As a master gardener, I’m urging you not to move it closer to your foundation!!! The tree/shrub will get larger both in height and breadth so when it is mature it will fill the space beautifully and the root structure will not interfere with your foundation. The biggest problem we see is that people place young vegetation in foundation beds for the size it is at planting rather than allowing for it’s mature size. You’ll benefit all your plantings by giving them space for air circulation and prevent the roots from having to compete for moisture. ** Sorry, I’m climbing off my soapbox now. **

    • Janet, I agree with you 100%–ask me how I know. *L* The darling little trees looked just perfect where they were. The great big trees had to be removed before they dug up the foundation of the castle.

  30. Good Morning, I think you should move it the 2 feet back. that will also help in blocking the neighbors house.
    Your yard/house looks fantastic.

  31. Christy Keyton says

    If you are going to plant something in front of it, yes, I think it needs to be moved back. That is a lot of space behind it. But it looks good and I like the ones staggered on the side as well!

  32. Thanks for the party!! I think they are fine right where they are….. They need room to grow..


  33. Personally, I’d leave it where it is. It won’t look so odd once you get the other plantings in and they begin to fill in. Landscaping always looks odd when you space things correctly in the beginning. Once things get close to maturity, THEN you wish you had planted it with more space (that’s what I’m dealing with in my yard!)

    Thanks for the party!

  34. I would move the holly in toward the house 2 feet. Your landscaping is looking great!

  35. Definitely back, but how about 1 ft. back? That way it will be behind the greenery that is already there lining the front of the bed. Having the bed go gracefully back, more in line, would help out the person that mows for you too. Makes it easier to keep the clippings out of the other beds. πŸ™‚

  36. I agree to move it back. It will always bother you and it’s easier to move now than later. The plans and the yard look great… πŸ™‚

  37. Susan, thanks for hosting! I think the tree should be moved back also.

  38. Susan, your landscaping is perfect just the way it is, holly trees can be trimmed up so you can plant evergreen shrubs, but holly trees look so pretty not trimmed. If you are gonna trim the bottom limbs every winter, then it would fine to plant shrubs around, but if ya gonna let it just grow naturally, it is fine just where it is, but I know that what ever you decide it will be fine either way. Love your pretty lawn scape. And thanks for sharing all the most interesting before and after. Thank you for hosting.

  39. Jean from Georgia says

    Your landscaping plan is very pretty, although I think the tree should be moved back. In looking at the three trees planted on your side yard, I just wonder how they will affect your neighbors property as they seem to be very close to their driveway. Don’t know where the properly line is located, but that might be a consideration.

  40. I fully realize you’ve already decided…your arguments gave you away! One thing to consider…how the root ball develops! While you can always trim a tree…you can’t curb the root ball. If the roots have a tendency to spread out…you could have foundation problems. Maybe check with an arborist? Your plantings look great…sore muscles were totally worth it! πŸ˜‰

  41. Susan, I would move it back too. Since you can control the width and height by trimming I wouldn’t worry. You have a great plan and a lovely home! Thanks for hosting another fun link party! I always see so many wonderful ideas!

  42. I would definitely not move it for two reasons. One it will get a lot larger and right now you are seeing in it’s smaller state, and the 2nd reason is the shock you will cause that tree to dig and move it will be very bad for it. Once it starts to widen out and get taller you’ll be glad it’s not closer and you won’t have to fuss about trimming it because it’s too close to the house. Also for consideratin are the roots. If you plant too close to the house you the roots can start to invade the foundation. I definitely would not move it. I like how you planted them on the wide of the driveway- they’ll make a nice impact as they get older.

  43. In agreement with the majority here Susan. Sorry you have to do some more of that back breaking work though!
    Thanks for another Metamorphosis Monday dear lady,

  44. If it were me, I would leave it in its current position. You will need to account for the mature size of the tree. Two feet closer allows the tree to infringe on your home foundation as well. In addition, the current placement adds a bit more “privacy” to your property as it will extend the “tree line”. You have such a beautiful home!

  45. I’d err on the side of farther out than too close. Foundation plantings too close to your house when mature is worse than being out a little too far.

  46. Susan, your yard looks beautiful. I agree with you about the one on the corner of the house, if you’re planting shrubs in front of it, I think I would move it back. Thanks for hosting. laurie

  47. I think you should call your landscaper lady back and take her recommendation. She is the expert as well as Janet, the Master Gardener.

  48. I think the trees look lovely where they are. If you put in the other plantings, it will fill in the empty look. Once the trees mature, they will be larger, and it won’t look as open as it does now. This way the trees won’t have to be pruned back to fit into a tighter space.

  49. Can I be a goof and say that when my neighbors did this exact thing years ago it really hurt my feelings. Mainly because they were snooty and took a dislike to us. (Even though they didn’t really know us.)

    But when I saw the trees go up my heart fell.

    Your house has always looked like a million bucks and I doubt your neighbors are hurt. Even so, I’d drop them a note. (That’s just me after looking outside one morning and seeing a barrier.)

    On another note: my husband has an in-person interview in Atlanta and it looks like we’re moving (from another house, not the barrier-tree house). I’m excited mainly because of your blog!! πŸ™‚

  50. Anne Lovell says

    It looks like you have a plethora of views for and against moving the holly! I’ll add to it and say I like where it is now, thinking that as it matures it will fill in. So, don’t put large shrubs around it or in front of it-maybe choose smaller ones that won’t take more lawn area.

  51. Leah Turner says

    It’s too far out. Plus, your gut feeling is the same so move it while you can or you will always look at it and, instead of enjoying the tree, you’ll just think it’s too far out. : )

  52. rattlebridge farm says

    I myself am a major re-planter (nothing bigger than a hydrangea, though). The spacing may or may not be a future issue, but your instincts are sound. I’d trust my gut. Since you have someone to help, I’d go for it. Hope you have a happy gardening week! Miss you.

  53. I would change it if it’s bothering you.I know if it was me, it would drive me nuts thinking about it LOL! Thanks so much for hosting!

  54. If you are really bugged by the placement, I would have it moved now. Otherwise it’s going to bother you for years to come!

  55. Leave the tree where it is because you have a basement. Those hard roots may work their way in. You probably have a French drain around your home. Consider some stones at the base of your brick – it will give you something nice to walk on when you are pressure washing the home, checking on maintenance items around the house perimeter, eliminate backsplash on your brick. Your landscape looks wonderful!

  56. Well, as we get older trimming won’t be as easy. The tree is going to grow to the house where it is. I would leave it as is. Shrubs when grown bigger will make it look closer to the house anyway.
    Just my thoughts.

    good luck in whatever you decide.


  57. Peggy Thal says

    Looking at the photo the tree does look a little off. Right now the tree is small. Most people plant trees too close to the house and when they get larger and the tree squashes on the house. It looks like you gave it plenty of room , maybe a little too much. Susan , you have a great eye go with your feeling. It just is extra work after you worked so hard . Your yard looks beautiful.

  58. The location looks great with your current plantings, but I can understand how plantings in front of the holly are going to squeeze the grassy area, especially if a mower can’t fit through the area. While it can still be moved, move it.

  59. Unless it was absolutely driving me crazy, I wouldn’t move it closer.
    I think it’ll look less far out once it’s mature, and also like others said…roots and foundation issues. We had a landscaper plant some foundation shrubs and I thought they looked a little too far from the foundation, but two years later, we moved three of them forward, even though they were planted several feet from the foundation. Good luck with your decision.

  60. A neighbor once planted a row of trees in a staggering line. It wasn’t pretty at first, but after they matured a bit, it made sense and looked far more interesting. Probably better for the trees too.

  61. I always make the mistake of planting things too close and then regretting it later, so I would say leave the holly alone. If you are planning on planting shrubs in front of the holly, you would definitely need to move it back the 2 feet to leave a decent grass strip. If you were only going to plant shrubs behind the holly, I would not move it. (I love the staggered planting of the hollies on the side and it will look great once the shrubs are planted around it)

  62. Rheta Wilkins says


  63. I would leave the tree where it is.
    Azaleas in front of the tree will grow large and take up lawn area in any case. Smaller plantings in front of the tree (perennials perhaps) would look just as nice and provide texture in that portion of the landscape since you are already planning on putting azaleas in back of the tree.
    Also, the effort in moving the tree just to gain 2 small feet seems unnecessary. As the tree grows I think you will be happy that the tree is not encroaching on the house and overshading the plants behind it.

  64. Your whole post says “I want to move this tree”. Follow your heart–YOU have to be happy with it. Thank you for taking the time to write to share your blog. I get so much enjoyment out of it.

  65. Barbara Anne says

    I hope you’ll leave the holly where it is and perhaps plant flowers on the yard side of it so the grass will grow. Trees too near brick will perhaps shade things too much so moss, mildew, and other less desireable stuff might become a bother. I also think it looks nice where it is as the edge of your border is nice and curvy. Now you have my two cents worth!

  66. Linda S. in NE says

    It is so sweet that you asked for our opinions. After reading all the comments, I am going to go against the majority and say, leave the corner tree where it is. I have concerns about the roots/foundation and also with having to keep new plantings thoroughly watered so close to the house. If it was me, I would skip the plantings in front and just enjoy the open green grassy area. As the tree matures, you can always add some plantings or something for color in front of it if you feel the need. I feel that the opinion you received from Janet, the Master Gardner is worth it’s weight in gold. The suggestion to re-visit with your landscaper and to ask for her opinion is also a valuable one.

  67. I love hollys. Moving it back two feet will give you a better balance. Beautiful house and landscaping!

  68. Terene Julius says

    If you are anything like I am, I think you should move the Holly tree. You won’t be happy until you. If you don’t move it, it will bother you every time you look at it. Happy digging!!

  69. Linda S. in NE says

    Whoops, I forgot to say how much I like the staggered tree plantings along your side yard. It looks more like landscaping instead of a fence “want-to-be”. I also enjoyed looking at all the cute details in the new Fall header of your blog. My, I am chatty this morning, aren’t I?

  70. You have great design instincts, go with your gut and move that tree or it will bother you every time you look at it and your carefully crafted plan will always seem off. Thanks for the party! πŸ™‚

  71. If it were me, I would not move the Holly tree(s) in question. I would love to see the 3 on the side with the wonderful idea you had of Encore Azaleas ! Fantastic. Also, the one tree on the corner of your house, I would leave it, as is. I would put whatever bushes you like, behind it, but in front, I would use that low area for seasonal color: pansies, impatients, or any lower flower that you would like, in that area. That way, you can keep your nice wide strip of grass. The shrubs behind and around the trunk of that Holly, will probably fill in, anyway, and it will no longer look bare. Just my 2cents. πŸ™‚

  72. I only read the first reply but I agree that it sounds like you already know what you need to do. πŸ™‚ It’s always so hard when something you plant is so small and you know it will get big. Your yard is looking great btw. Thanks, as always, for hosting and I hope you have a great week.

  73. πŸ™ You’ll have to move it back if you plan on planting in front. But, on the bright side, someones coming to help, and your yard looks fantastic!

  74. I totally agree with Master Gardener, Janet! Leave it where it is. It will fill that space and I guarantee – MORE! Down the road you will save yourself from many a problem.

  75. I’m working on my Master Gardener certification, and one thing I’ve heard over and over is to place “the right plant in the right place.” If a plant has to be continually pruned to fit, then it isn’t the right plant… Researching the s. Holly, it appears that it’s mature width as a tree can be expected to reach 10 feet in diameter, so it’s perfect where it is. Since it’s a beautiful holly, why not make it the exclamation point to that corner, with shrubs circling behind and a pretty seasonal color or ground cover in front?
    Your whole yard is inspiring!

    • Linda is correct, they are a very wide growing tree. You don’t want it too close to your house for it to grow. I probably have fifty holly trees lining my yard and I love every one. I prefer them not pruned. I have had both ways. They are a beautiful screen all year round.

  76. Move it. Yard looks lovely, but you’ll be glad you blocked that house next door.

  77. Gerry Wardell says

    I would move it back. If you intend on keeping the patch of grass in front of the tree, then it needs to be moved back to insure a visually adequate grass patch and a better balance.

  78. Hi…i like it…keep in mind how they’ll all come together as they grow..if you do move it i would also keep in mind cutting the grass around them..if you do it yourself..i always make sure the mower will fit after they’ve been growing for several mom always used 2 shovel handle lengths apart..that way you won’t have to use the weed eater between all of them..if you leave it..the space on each side of the one in front would make a nice area for a garden or some flowering shrubs..truth have to live with it so you should do what you think will make you happy..just a little more good pain involved..

  79. As a gardener I was happy to see your grouping of the three trees NOT planted in a straight line. You did this perfectly, it looks more like they might have appeared in nature.

    As for the holly by the front corner of your house……..I would leave it as it is currently planted. Our landscaper assured me that the beautiful crab apple that we were planting on one corner of our house was in the right location. Unfortunately, after 15 years, we will be taking it down after the migrating birds eat the berries. I’m wondering if you could plant all your azaleas behind the holly or “fill in” this area with a pretty birdbath, bench or other garden accent. This could be removed as your tree grows and fills in the space. Good luck!

  80. Deborah Hopkins says

    Your place is very beautiful. My opinion is to move the tree. I think you will always look at it and wish you had of when you had the chance. I enjoy reading your post. Enjoy the beautiful Fall season. πŸ™‚

  81. Count me in with those saying…leave it where it is…next year (with luck…and growth) will completely change the perspective. Most landscapers will tell you, “people plant TO CLOSE TO THE HOUSE” (from experience.) franki

  82. crumpety cottage says

    Wow, Susan. This was a hot topic! 80 comments and you haven’t even chimed in yet! Now I am curious to know what you decide. πŸ™‚

  83. Lady Delores LeBoeuf says

    looks to me – (im no expert) the middle one to move….

  84. Hello Susan, Isn’t great to watch plans turn into completed projects? Your yard looks beautiful. Because I wasn’t familiar with Savannah hollies, I read up on them. The mature tree size including the roots do not sound as though they would impinge on your home. You seem to want to move it, so I would. I hate it when I know I should do something , I don’t do it and later look at it and am displeased with the final result. Take advantage of the landscaper and do it.

  85. In the years of reading your blog, I can tell you are a perfectionist. That being said, if it bother’s you, listen to your instinct… no doubt are right. I happen to agree with you….too far out for my eye too. Sorry you have the work, but you probably won’t regret doing it is my guess.

  86. Bonnie Schulte says

    I would move the tree another 2 feet. It looks odd where it is. Go with your feelings. You won’t be happy if you don’t, and will always look at that tree, and second guess yourself.

  87. Hi,
    This comment is not about the trees, because after many months of enjoying BNOP, it is just today that I’m able to figure out how to ‘comment’!
    I LOVE, LOVE your blog! It brings the creativty in me and I so appreciate all of your interesting pictures, instructions, …well, I could go on and on.
    However: my problem is deorating. Particularl, choosing rugs for my bedroom.
    This may be an area that perhaps you’ve not had a chance to cover, but any ideas would be appreciated.
    Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  88. Me again…. FWIW, I’m surprised so many people are urging you to move it back, but I’m going to give you one more reason to leave it farther away. Have you ever heard of people with critters in their attic? Roof Rats are becoming invasive in many areas of the country, but also squirrels and raccoon. They get onto the roof by way of the tree that you have conveniently planted to expedite their gnawing their way in. Yuck. I wouldn’t let any tree get near my roof or my foundation!

  89. SharonFromMichigan says

    My vote is for moving it. If you plan on having shrubs in front of it later, it would need to be moved back.

  90. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says

    I agree with another commenter: may I please have some of your energy? I think you’re right: the tree ought to be moved in. I’d never be content until it is moved. The other three trees near your lot line will look spectacular when incorporated into an island with the azaleas. Gorgeous.

  91. I am one of the few who urge you to leave the tree where it is.

    Not sure what a Savannah Holly will do, but most hollies take on a beautiful shape as they grown when left alone. I would not trim it to fit a space. I prefer my trees and shrubs to look natural and not contrived…

    Could you not plant taller shrubs of different height and textures between the house and the holly and plant border plants around the front of the holly? Narrowing a grassy strip would not bother me one bit if the area looks natural instead of contrived.

    Just my 2 cents…

  92. Martha Hansen says

    I would leave the tree where it is, even though it will look small for a few years. The tree should be planted to allow plenty of space when it reaches its mature size, and it’s roots should be considered, too. They need lots of space! Drive through some mature neighborhoods and check out the plantings, I am sure you will see many lovely trees that have outgrown their spaces – you don’t want that to happen to your pretty Savannah Holly. You can always fill in bare spaces with temporary plantings until the holly grows bigger. I have just come from my town hall, where the (less than 10 year old) foundation plantings are being removed because they grew too big for the space and were crowded and unhealthy. And the landscaping was planned by a landscape architect!

  93. Perfect where it is…I planted a holly tree TOO close to the house…and so regretted it later…

  94. I would move it back. Everything is looking lovely!!!

  95. I think you are right Susan. I would have him move it back since he will already be there moving other things around. Otherwise it will always be one of those things that will bug you.

  96. I say, go with your gut about moving it 2 ft. In the large scheme of things, 2ft is not that much as long as you can trim it to fit what you desire. Otherwise, you will always be stressing over it as it grows and who wants to move a holly tree when it is full grown….Not I said the Owl!! πŸ™‚

  97. Oh, and I meant to ask you to kill that spider on your porch!! πŸ™‚ The dreaded season is upon me.

  98. I think it will drive you crazy if you don’t move it, Susan! You will never be happy so I say move it before it gets too big! πŸ™‚ Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie

  99. 1. Leave the Holly out from the corner of your house. I always think Christmas, and before too long, it can be lit, and be a lovely anchor on that corner…also, as mentioned above, Hollys grow SO well, it might surpass the average size mentioned. You could put some step stones in that corner bed to cross it and your choice shrubs between that and the house corner.
    2. I love the DEPTH provided by your choice to stagger the trees, the vision line is much better that way when you are trying to hide something/neighbor’s garage. I think that strip could be it’s own unique garden, maybe all white blooms, or blue, red, pink, etc., when you are choosing peren. and annuals. So many great options!

  100. I’ll buck the trend and say not only would I leave it, I’d probably move it out another two feet away, diagonally.

    You’re looking at the immediate space and not taking in the overall proportion/scale of the house/yard.

    But it’s going to be lovely, regardless of what you do!

  101. Cyndi Raines says

    I agree with leaving it where it is at for all the reasons stated by those who say leave it. — But you’d have to resolve it in your heart that this is really what you need to do or you will be bugged by it every time you see it. Good job on all the rest of your beautiful landscaping. Love your blog.

  102. I love the staggered planting, I would leave it where it is. Although you can control the width/height… Consider this, you will be constantly trimming this tree each year. It will also be forever a smaller width/ height than the other Holly trees… So if your was to keep the uniform I don’t see how you will accomplish that as you will have to keep it trimmed if you move it closer or you block you window. I know this because this happened to us in my former house. We just sold our home in July and have purchased a lake lot. I rode past my former home about a week ago and the new owner had that removed. But I’m one to go with my gut. So move it if you still feel the same after a week of looking at its current location.

  103. I think I would move it. It is going to bother you and you do have the space. The yard is really sprucing up and the grass looks great.

  104. Hi Susan — What does your tree guy say? If the tree will stay within reasonable size — including the roots — then move it. But if it might grow too close to the house as it ages, or might pose a risk with roots in the foundationo — leave it. There, I didn’t help at all, did I? — Cass

  105. Jill Brewster says

    I guess I am the minority but I like the look of it where it is. I wonder (just thinking outloud) once you plant your shrubs under the holly trees it will give you a less crowded look with the tree in it current place. I realize you will be giving up some of your grass area but I still think it will look fine.

  106. Since this is more an upright tree, you might want to move it in 2 feet for more privacy. But as far as looks it looks fine where it is. Since theres no problem with invasive roots I would move it now. Your house and grounds are gorgeous!

  107. I would absolutely have no problem with a Savannah holly eight feet from the foundation. All the info I could find indicates it’ll take decades to reach its full height and the root systems are not invasive or large. I’m usually pretty conservative and visualize the mature size when I plant. It’s also very close to your lawn and the trunks are susceptible to injury when hit (like by a lawn mover). My best advice as a long-time gardener–move that puppy, Susan!!!

  108. bobbi duncan says

    Susan, since this type of holly can be controlled, I think I would move it back a foot or two to allow for shrubs to be planted in front of it, and to keep the mower blade away from it’s roots. I love how you staggered the side yard trees. We did that with our leyland cypress trees which ran the whole perimeter of our last house…looked so much more interesting than a straight line and created a nice serpentine effect for the plantings we put in front of the leylands. Your yard looks so wonderful…I can just envision it with the island, which always looks so pretty. Great job!

  109. Thanks so much for the party.

  110. Hi Susan I’m in Southern California and don’t have a clue what these shrubs are but I am with every body else I would move it closer in for some reason it looks like a sore thumb sticking out. good luck I am sure your yard will be beautiful what ever you decide.

  111. Yes, I think it needs to be moved.

  112. Since it is already bothering you, and making you question where it is, I say move it back two feet. (Especially since the roots will not be a problem) The grass will look better the way it is than if you make it more of a little strip appearance. And, I love your yard!!

  113. Happy New Year Susan! What did you end up doing? I would move the Savannah on the corner back the 2 feet or so. I do like the trees not in a row. We have a few Savannah’s on our new/old property – I do love them.

    Do you have any camellias? We have two at the new house. I have a new more formal side entrance that we are redoing and I want to put one in the corner and I’m not certain there is enough sun. It faces NE and we’re putting a copper awning over it which also gives me pause – I don’t want to block the sun with it but do want it to provide protection from the elements.

    Anyway, love your blog. Kelli

    • Thanks, Kelli! I did move it back about 2 feet so it’s around 8 1/2 feet out from the house now. This post shares a bit more about the progress I made.
      Well, I had one gorgeous Debutante camellia and I sadly removed it because it was so huge. It kept growing well above the gutter despite having it trimmed back. I regret doing it now because I later found out there may have been a way to prune it back. I haven’t planted one back yet but I do want to plant another one somewhere in the yard…and maybe one that doesn’t get so tall back where it was planted. The Debutante camellia was on the north side of my house and it never really got a lot of sun and it did great! Just be sure and check the height because some Camellias get really tall!

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