Evergreen shrubs for privacy hedge

angelicarFebruary 4, 2008

New to this forum, this is my first post. Conflicts with a neighbor are prompting us to plant a thick hedgerow for privacy. We do have deer in the area, but we just installed a 8' no-climb wire fencing (the hedge will follow the fenceline on the inside). Our other concerns are 1)non-toxic to pets 2)would like a variety of leaf texture/color 3)some fruit for wildlife [or us] would be nice 4)non-invasive species 5)drought tolerant, though drip is available in that area. After a lot of research, these are the possibilities I have come up with---can anybody chime in on whether these are good choices? We usually come up as zone 9, but some hard freezes might put us more into zone 8.

1)Toyon 2)Flannelbush 3)Loquat 4)Tea Tree (leptospermum) 5)mahonia 6)pittosporum 7)photinia 8)Texas Ranger leucophyllum frutescans 9)myrtle myrtus commonis 10)coffeeberry 11)sugarbush 12)euonymus japonicus 13)prunus caroliniana and/or ilicifolia 14)Italian buckthorn 15)osmanthus

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wanda(Z9 CA)

How tall do you want this screen to be?

I'm using Myrica californica (Pacific Wax Myrtle), Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) and Ceanothus 'Ray Hartman', all natives and further along are some Prunus caroliniana and a Cotoneaster parneyii. The Ceanothus is the fastest growing so far. The Toyon is kind of slow, but beautiful and the birds and bees do love it. The Wax Myrtle was just planted last year and needs to get established, but I've heard/read that it is fairly fast growning and birds also like it.
I've read that the Cotoneaster can be somewhat invasive, but so far, it hasn't been a problem.

Wanda

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 12:09AM
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angelicar

Preferably at least 7-8 feet tall; okay to be taller, this will be more of an informal hedge with some perennials and groundcover in spots. We have a ceanothus that is so much happier now that the deer are not pruning it, but I don't know what variety it is. It's already about 4.5 feet tall, and if it gets tall enough I'll propogate some cuttings. I had the cotoneaster on my list of invasives as well, so I decided not to include it. I'll check out the Pacific wax myrtle.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2008 at 1:10AM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

Loquat is highly susceptible to fireblight, so may not last long. Texas ranger needs extremely good drainage or it will die, only gets about four feet high from what I've seen. Italian buckthorn is deciduous.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 11:26AM
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bearstate(9A)

Eastern Arbor Vitae have soft dark green foliage and are so named 'Vitae' as the tree of life as they reportedly live well over 100 years. They are low maintenance and can be sculpted. Plant a line of them side by side and you can literally create a green wall. And if you want, you can shape that wall in any number of ways, including putting in square windows ... ha ha. The denseness of the foliage does not appeal to some folks as they figure it can be a haven for spiders. But spray every now and then and you'll conquer the arachnids. And besides, you'll have them no matter what you plant.

Bamboo is another plant that is good for privacy screening.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 12:01PM
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angelicar

Sounds like we still need to do some more research on some of the choices---that's why I love forums, why not learn from other's experiences (and mistakes). We don't mind spiders, they keep the other bugs down, and we keep a mostly organic yard (except some Roundup my husband uses). One house we lived in had some nasty ivy we pulled out, and I did get spiderbit then, so I can understand the concerns.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 5:44PM
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bearstate(9A)

A couple notes for you ...

Arbor Vitae Occidentalis like all Arbor Vitae and Platycladus are slow growing. You likely don't want to start with small 1 gallon plants if your aim is to screen out your neighbor right now. Get 'em big, at least the 6 or 7 foot height you want.

Bamboo come in two types, clumping and running. Different species also have a range of sun, temperature and moisture tolerances. Some are water plants. They can have spectacular color and patterns and can be huge or small. Timber Bamboo are enormous while other forms are like tall grass. And speaking of grass, bamboo like sugar cane and wheat, are a grass.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 6:31PM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Davissue, is Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) deciduous for you? I have always considered it an evergreen

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 2:51AM
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davissue_zone9(z9 Sunset 14)

Yes it is, which is a real disappointment, since the variegated form is so handsome.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 3:30AM
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angelicar

Just called the EDC master gardeners line, and she had concerns about whether the leucopyhyllum would be happy in my soil. Otherwise, she thought it was a reasonable list. I had considered bamboo, but aesthetically I don't think it would look right in our yard---plus it's expensive. Since I have about 200 linear feet of fencing, cost is definitely going to be an issue. I may get one or two loquats and treat them more like small specimen trees, see how they do, so that if they die they won't leave a gap in the hedge.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 1:20PM
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bearstate(9A)

Except for the need you have to immediately screen out your neighbor, some people would die to have 200 ft of yard edge to slowly evolve a mini tropical jungle.

:)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:01PM
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angelicar

"Except for the need you have to immediately screen out your neighbor, some people would die to have 200 ft of yard edge to slowly evolve a mini tropical jungle."
And that's only one boundary---we are on an acre, but not quite all of it is fenced. A lot of the landscaping that was here fell victim to the deer, but we're adding some plants back in while still trying to keep the water usage down.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2008 at 10:32PM
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