Fast growing privacy bushes/trees

Quest_4(Z4/5NH)May 20, 2003

In a sparsely, 12 degree sloped boundary area with sandy, acidic soil, I want to plant something that will survive the conditions and provide privacy. Light will be present yet filtered by the existing oak, maple, pine, birch canopy. The intention is to limit the view to my house/pool area. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Steve

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Hmmmmmmmm ... what plants grow wild in similar conditions near you? They would be the first candidates.

How about an arbor or trellis in a strategic spot?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 8:03AM
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Have you considered Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Kalmia (Mountain Laurel). These all do exceptionally well in NH, and Kalmia is native (and protected) in that area.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 10:03AM
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Bullnettle(z8b TX)

Here in Texas, I'd go with wax myrtle. Maybe you should check out its northern cousin, bayberry.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2003 at 8:10PM
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You've got some good suggestions. You might want to look into some of the native viburnums as well. Regardless, I'd suggest that you mulch the slope with woodchips (we can often get them free when the utility company is trimming along our rural road area) so that moisture is more even since it's both sandy and sloped. You will need to water the first year and depending on what you plant, may need to water other years since the tree roots will compete for moisture with your shrubs.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2003 at 6:06AM
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Patris(9 Gulf Coast)

You might want to try Siberan Elm. Very fast growers can be a bush or let it go and they become a 25 ft. high bushy tree. You can plant them about 3 ft. apart for wind break and privacy.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2003 at 1:48PM
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Some good ideas posted yet I should have provided additional information. Since these will be planted in a wooded area, I need something that will maintain privacy during the winter months when everything else has shed leaves. Additionally, 20-30 feet in height would be needed. The line area to be planted along is approximately 250 feet. I will continue following the postings while researching for evergreens. I have some of the more common ones readily available yet have been hoping to find something not so ordinary. Thanks in advance. Steve

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 7:30AM
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We've got a 12 - 15 hedge of ligustrum and viburnam. I couldn't tell you exactly which species. i understand they were a few feet hight when they were planted 4 years ago. We keep them trim. Hope this helps:)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2003 at 11:16PM
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bungalow_mikee(z10 CA)

Bamboo is excellent for privacy and screening and grows fast. Check out the bamboo forum. There are many species..
clumpers and runners.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 3:28AM
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joking1(z5 WA)

You might be interested in Leyland Cypress. I planted some about 5 feet apart in a very shaded and wooded area. instead of planting in a line I scattered them for a more natural look. They grew to be 10 to 15 feet in about 5 years. This is less than one can expect in a situation with more light. Still, it screened my property successfully.

In my present house, I have Lyland Cypress in a a more formal hedge on one side of the property. These are closer together and have been meticulously clipped to limit width. They have been in ground for about 5 years. Watered and fertilized regularly. Started about 5' tall. Now are about 20 " tall.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2003 at 10:59AM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

This is a no brainer, buy some good sized hemlocks. They make excellent evergreen hedges and will grow in the shade of the very trees you mentioned in your post, plus compliment the look. They look nice with laurel and rhododendron too.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 12:38PM
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Okay. Suggestions have been compared to my needs and a combination has been decided on. The hemlocks were the final piece. I have several available on another piece of owned land. With the laurel mixed in, I should be able to build the area as a quaint walking path rather than what would otherwise be obvious as a privacy hedge (n'bors will be less offended). Siberian Elms is an interesting idea for part of my project yet I am on a backorder status for those (must be popular). My task now is to do some selective thinning and more design work. I love how seeking privacy has resulted in a worthwhile project! Thanks to all for their time and help. Steve

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 3:16PM
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sweet_harmoni(z6a PA)

Have wooly adelgids appeared in your area yet? Here in southcentral Pennsylvania, nearly all of the beautiful hemlocks have been adversely affected. I had a wonderful screen of about 20 hemlocks when I first moved here 7 years ago. Three years later, the adelgids appeared. Even with treatment (which has to be timed just right), the bottom four feet of the hemlocks are now bare. No more screen from the busy road. :(

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 2:20PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

It is such a crying shame about those adelgids. I hate to tell people not to plant hemlocks because they are one of the most beautiful trees in the world. And yet adelgids are a concern. I live in PA too, and many of my friends are struggling to keep their gorgeous hemlock borders. I have watched so many wonderful trees die. But what's the alternative? What looks as lovely as a hemlock, makes a good hedge, is evergreen and grows in some shade? Yews? I'm trying to be a hemlock optomist.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 9:21PM
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How does the arborietae (wrong spelling?) small trees do in a situation for privacy. These trees grow rapidly for five years to a height of 5 ft. then I hear they can be taller in some cases. It did not say dwarf on the tag when purchased. I planted them near the road, somewhat in to my property. Need privacy. I have 4 trees. How will this fair? Craftylady_Ma.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 11:44PM
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katie_IL(z5 Chicago)

I really hope you were never able to get those Siberian Elms. They are a disaster of a tree- weak, messy and invasive. They have a habit of droping branches with no warning for no particualr reason. They also drop more seed podes than you can imagine. They are on the invasive species list here in Illinois and our local Botanic garden gives advice alternative plants with some of the same attractive characteristics as the invasives. For Siberian Elm they list "no redeeming qualities". Read Michael Dirr for another strong condemnation. Sorry to be such a bummer, if you did get them, the benefits are that they are resistant to Dutch Elm and they will grow very fast- in my neighborhood they are more around 35'-40' rather than 25'.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2003 at 11:01AM
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dolson72(z9 Novato, Ca)

Does anyone have any suggestions on privacy solutions for a chain link fence. I have some obnoxious neighbors next to me who like to party and make a lot of noise. My bedroom windows face their front door. They live in a cottage behind a house and their driveway is also right next to our chain link fence. I have tried vines but I am looking for something that will help block the noise. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 7:20PM
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Shady_1(Z6 PA)

Fast growing & shade do not go together. No matter what you plant you cant expect more than 12" per year growth. That said the hemlock is good but disease & pests can be problematic (both insects & deer). Ilex Opacca (American holly) will grow to 20-50 feet in shade & is deer resistant. Holly is easily pruned into a thick hedge. Serbian spruce (Picea omorika) will grow tall in partial shade. Limber Pine (Pinus Flexilis) will also grow tall in partial shade.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 11:17AM
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I am looking for fast growing trees and holly to place at the front of my lot for privacy. I have several tall oak trees and a couple of birch which are toward the front of the house and create a good deal of shade.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2005 at 9:01AM
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I love the pittosporum Silver Sheen. It grows to 15' tall and 10' wide. Its not very dense so it allows light to filter in and yet provides great screening. Pretty fast growing as well.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 9:48PM
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KGates(z6 NY)

I've been delighted with my Cryptomaria Japonica. Growing incredibly fast, soft fluffy evergreen, denser than hemlock. Deer aren't eating it, while they've done my poor Leyland down to nothing. Grow OK in shade too. My neighbors have turned theirs tino a kind of tall hedge, and their pruning hasn't seemed to make them unhappy.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2005 at 5:36PM
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like2weed(z5 NY)

I too am looking for a fast growing hedge and thought I would ask you all - It is a west exposure in zone 5, with several old black walnuts with very high canopy. I am in town so wind is not usually a big problem. I want to screen out a very ugly parking lot.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 7:29PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)


I'd be very interested in seeing how your "quaint walking path" turned out. I am in the process of planting some screen trees and shrubs and likewise do not want to offend my very nice neighbors by making it obvious what I am doing.



    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 5:11PM
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Hi, I live in zone 11 in the california desert. I'm looking for a fast growing evergreen shrub that will grow 40feet high in 3 weeks(haha just kidding). But you get my point. Someone is building a monster 2 story behind me after 15 years of sitting empty. I like the thuja but it only grows to zone9. My wife does not like the leyland cypress. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 12:55PM
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HELP! Three weeks ago we bought a house in Zone 15 (Central Coast of California, "frost-free" area about 1/4 mile from ocean, no salt spray, wind-sheltered), tore out the raggedy old plantings and now face the street with no privacy! There's an live oak and a Giant Sequoia along our street frontage, so there's partial shade and the soil is acid. We need 2 or 3 types of fast-growing shrubs for privacy (allowed to grow naturally - we don't want a pruned, uniform hedge.) Need to reach 10 feet, if possible. Would any of these work for us? NEAR/UNDER THE OAK: purple hopseed bush (dodonea viscosa), bay laurel (laurus nobilis), mock orange (pittosporum tabira) or escallonia rubra. NEAR/UNDER THE REDWOOD: camellia, carpenteria, pittosporum tabira, laurus nobilia, rhododendron. Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:08PM
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Can anyone tell me what privacy bushes/trees that grow at an unsurmountable quick rate are?

We need privacy in Zone 6, like a nudist colony needs to put up tarp overhead! :-))))

Does anyone know if the Aussie trees work?

But will accept graciously any suggestions we can get!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 1:23PM
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I am planning on planting a privacy tree line along my chain link fence. How much room should I leave to get behind them to cut the grass? I guess this would really depend on the type of tree. I have about 250 feet of fence line so I might stager them just to change things up a little. What would someone suggest I plant?


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 11:10AM
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Hi: I have gotten some good suggestions from the previous entries. I am in Central Florida (Orlando) and want to plant a privacy hedge along a chain link fence. I want it to go about 8 feet high and grow together to form a solid hedge. I want it for privacy, beauty and for sound proofing. I was thinking about bamboo but I was told that they are hard to control and they are going to be about 2-3 feet from a pool and I do not want them to grow into the pool. I was wondering if anyone knows of a bush that is native to this area that would fit what I am looking for? I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks and Happy New Year! Peter

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 1:21AM
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thank goodness I came across this site...I also want to block out neighbors that refuse to use shades or cutains!!!
I have lived here 38years and have a fence that was 6ft 25years ago now it is in sad shape so I would like to plant something to block out my neighbors that are less than 4 ft from my fence. I live in the northeast ( Mass.)
and I know now empress trees arent what I need.
Thanks for your help.. paula

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 11:16PM
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I have just purchase a home in Central Florida and want to plant some evergreen shrubs or bushes that will provide a 4 - 6 ft border and privacy, but not become a hedge or a high nuisance. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I dont know much about Florida planting.

Thanks in advance


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 3:35PM
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