Best Hedge for South Alabama?

Swiss_Chard_FanaticFebruary 22, 2014


I live in South Alabama, technically in zone 8b but I'm very very close to zone 9. I have read that the Leyland Cyprus will get a fungus and die in my area, and I've read that the Arizona Cyprus wants dry conditions, not humidity. So those are out, I guess.

I'm looking for an evergreen shrub or tree that will get at least 10 feet high but I don't want something 50 feet high, that's for sure. I keep reading that these shrubs will get to 50 feet but I never see a picture of them reaching that high so I'm not sure what's going on there. I want something with dense foliage that won't become infected with a fungus or other disease and requires very little maintenance. I'd prefer something that grows fast, like at least 3 feet per year.

What do ya'll recommend? Thanks.

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Full sun?

Florida Anise-tree (Illicium floridanum) up to 10'
Ebbing's silverberry (ELAEAGNUS x ebbingei)
Devilwood (Osmanthus americanus)
Myrtle holly (Ilex myrtifolia)

The problem with fast growing tall shrubs is that they do require maintenance to keep them from taking over. A shorter shrub, say 6-7' will be easier to cut back periodically.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 10:02AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

You must be near Mobile or Dothan? Will your hedge be in full sun? Do you intend to keep it 'flat' and manicured looking, or just want a row of something to do its' thing and block a view? How wide can it be?

You can have flowers as well as evergreen foliage, like Camellias, fragrant olive (Osmanthus,) Azalea/Rhododendron, some of the most common.

Your desired appearance may be for a more uniform appearance, but if you have a hedge of varied genera/species, a disease would be extremely unlikely to wipe the whole thing out.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:44AM
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i like southern wax myrtle, myrica cerifera. said to grow to 10'-20' tall and about 10' wide. i have not seen one taller than that. good source of food for birds, too. can take many site conditions but needs good sun. can also form a colony by suckering.
i would avoid leyland cypress for the reasons you mentioned such as disease and they also can get very large (over 50' tall).

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 4:28PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd be very interested in knowing how wide the plants can be to suit your purpose. Leylands can and will grow much taller than 50 feet and a very broad width. The pictures you've seen are young plants, very young.

Give us more information on your preferred size and how willing you are to prune on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 6:25PM
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