Privacy barrier between two fences?

NeedsPrivacyMay 1, 2011


Our property is lined by a 6' high brick wall.

Our next door neighbor has a 4' chain link fence that is about 14" from our brick wall.

The space between these fences is my responsibility, and I would like to plant a row of plants that would create a dense privacy barrier between my house and theirs.

We have coverage for the first 6 feet with the wall, but I want to create privacy above the brick wall. Ideally, the plant would be 10-15' tall.

My first thought was bamboo, but I don't know much about it. I am concerned that it would become out of control.

Here is some other information that might help:

- zone 9

- full sun

- cannot require maintenance for bottom 6'

- no irrigation

- shouldn't have anything sharp on it, since his boat ramp is adjacent to the fence in one area.

- don't want root system to interrupt our brick wall footers, or his boat ramp

Thanks for helping with this -- I am stumped!

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

First, how would you plant anything since it sounds like you have a 14" space with a brick wall on one side and a chain link fence on the other?

If you could plant, running bamboo would not be a good choice as it would quickly spread out of that space. Clumping bamboo by definition, does not run, but it will grow slightly wider each year and eventually look quite squashed in there. Further, you need to be able to access any bamboo for clearing out dead culms, and I don't see how you would do that either.

I don't know of anything you can plant in this narrow space, and then walk away from it with no future maintenance. The only thing I can think of is to attach some tall frame or trellis work to the wall or fence, and grow ivy on it. Or, you could plant bamboo on your side of the wall and take care of it that way

Am I misunderstanding something here?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 3:24PM
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Kudzu, you're not misunderstanding this at all. Perhaps there is no solution from a planting standpoint -- it has confused us for an entire year.

Planting on our side would be a fine option, except that we have had some trouble with people jumping the wall (it's actually a neighborhood community access lake lot, not a residential lot).

My goal is to block visibility AND foot traffic. The lot tends to be a great hangout for teenagers after dark...

And, our house is built up a little bit, so anyone on the lot can see us when we're on our back porch.

The brick wall is very nice, so i was hoping not to block it using plants. Maybe there's something with a higher canopy that we could trim up to 6' and let grow taller?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 3:31PM
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I have posted some photos of the area in question. Perhaps this will help. My goal is to not be able to see what's beyond my brick wall...

Thanks again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photos

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 4:01PM
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I don't know how you'd plant something between them that wouldn't affect your neighbors.

But... you could plant bamboo in front of your brick wall and then trim the lower branches up so you just had the bare culms in front of the wall. We did this with ours and it's quite lovely to see the black culms against our white fence. Once they get to the top of our 6' high fence we let it bush out for privacy.

If you planted running bamboo you'd want to install a barrier.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 2:17PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I agree with silversword. However, you should only plant running bamboo with a barrier in place to prevent it spreading. For one thing, I don't know how deep the foundations are for your wall, and bamboo roots could go under it and come up on the other side if the base is less than 24" deep. On the other hand, clumping bamboo would not have the spreading problem, but it would be expensive to plant that much along such a long wall.

The only other thought I had to discourage foot traffic is to: a) install electric fencing on either the top of the chain link fence or your wall, and/or plant a holly hedge: it's tough, prickly leaves can be a formidable barrier.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 2:54PM
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Thanks everyone. These suggestions are really helpful. Based on the feedback I have received, it's seems that it'd be best to plant on our side of the wall. The question now becomes WHAT to plant! The choices are endless, but I like the idea of a holly tree. I welcome other suggestions. It'll need to be dense to give visual privacy, and sharp or thick to deter "wall hoppers!"

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Have you considered floodlights?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:57PM
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Floodlights sound like a good option. Consider that if you plant something "painful" and someone gets hurt you could be liable. Silly, but true.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 12:17PM
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peterknop(z7 VA)

Poncirus trifoliata - will keep out ANYTHING, nice white oraqnge blossoms in spring (slight fragrance), lots of small yellow oranges in fall. Grows to 12 feet.
If public space on other side of wall, it is their responsibility to trim back anything which grows over their fence (at least in 98% of the US). Poncirus grows fast - if start with 2 year seedlings, will get 6 foot first year and 8 to 9 second year if decent soil. Drought tolerant. Thorns unbelievably sharp and long, but that is their problem. IF plant on your side, can be trimmed up so just a trunk and you can see wall. Should be evergreen in your zone. In 7 here it is semi-evergreen. Should grow faster there as well.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:29PM
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Poncirus, aka wild lemon.

Grows everywhere and is a nuisance to farmers and ranchers. I have to hand treat them to kill them and poisoned several hundred a couple of years ago and have hundreds more to go.

It would definitely make an impenetrable hedge, except for small rodents and wild hogs.

The tree trunks are used to graft less hardy lemons and other citrus on.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 10:21PM
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evergreen vine, american wisteria, climbing rose like mr lincoln? check out the clemson link

Here is a link that might be useful: clemson edu

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 9:23PM
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