Allée Plantings


Allee

There is something mysterious yet beautiful about a walk or drive lined with trees whose branches are intertwined at the top, forming a dense, almost impenetrable canopy of leaves. In summer, it provides shade and comfort; in winter it gives an eerie sense of something waiting around the corner.

An allée planting can serve many functions besides the afore mentioned feelings. For large landscapes and estates, the alleyway of trees serves to draw your eyes forward to the horizon, often ending at the house. This makes whatever is at the end to the lane the focal point that your eyes are drawn to. On otherwise minimal or small landscapes, an allée of trees is a great attractant to birds and wildlife, providing both food and nesting sites.

Allee

What is an allée exactly? Merriam-Webster defines an allée literally as a walk lined with trees. To us, it can be so much more. Planting an allée is easy; you just need a drive or walk where you can plant trees in rows on either side. Tree species should be determined by what works in your area, be large enough to be trimmed up over the drive or walk for passersby or cars, and what attracts you. In the south, live oak is often planted along old drives leading to a colonial or Greek revival home on an old plantation. In California, allées are often created with palm trees. Here in Kansas, I am using fruiting cherry trees to create an allée along my drive. You may decide to use American elm, cottonwood, or weeping willow.

The ideas are endless. The trees do not have to touch at the top either; you can use upright junipers or arborvitae. Just the sense of direction that leads your mind and eyes forward is what helps create the feeling of mystery. What tree you choose is up to you.

Happy planting!

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