Need recommendations for low maintenance privacy hedge for PNW

viper1131January 13, 2008

I live in the Pacific Northwest (hardiness zone: 8a), and I would like some recommendations for a low maintenance privacy hedge that will grow 10-20 feet tall, and doesn't need to be trimmed. I have 11 acres of land, so I have plenty of room. I would like it to be a dense hedge (as dense as an English Laurel).

Any responses will be appreciated.

Thank you very much.

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Pacific wax myrtle.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 7:10PM
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Pacific wax myrtle would be my first choice also. If in a very open, sunny position, ceanothus 'Victoria' may be a possibility as well, although it won't get much taller than about 10-12'.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 9:27AM
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holly_bc(Zone 7B VanIsle)

I've been investigating various plants for this same reason - a dense hedge. I already have a big dense laurel hedge (in another area) and would like something with a deeper green in the leaves. It's a background to other plantings so not important to me about flowering though I'm sure the birds will be pleased.

Looking into Myrica, there doesn't seem to be much info of this type:
*How fast a grower is it?
*What's the average depth of a hedge of Myrica?
*How expensive are they? I've likely got 50' of hedging to do so it is a factor.
*Is it common? Will I be able to get a lot reasonably easily?

I know I'm not the OP and am not meaning to hijack. Just seems these are questions he/she might also want answers to.

Many thanks

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 11:08PM
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If you want a deeper green than English laurel, Pacific wax myrtle may not be the right plant. Foliage is a bright, grassy green from a distance, as the leaf reverse is a lighter color than the top.

Once established, this is a rapidly growing shrub, on par with the growth rate of the laurels. Spread is variable, but if left unpruned could be 8-10', perhaps wider. This shrub is quite amenable to pruning and it can be hedged if necessary although looks infintely better if allowed to assume its natural, somewhat loose habit. It is not overly expensive, although larger sizes initially can jack up the price if you are impatient. Availability can be sketchy - this is a very popular shrub for this area for a variety of reasons and demand typically seems to exceed supply.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 10:35AM
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Does anyone know how if it's deer resistant?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Yes, it tends to be included on most listings of deer resistant plants. Remember, resistant is not the same as deer proof :-)) Young plants may be most vulnerable.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:07PM
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Thanks. :-) If one can find it, it looks like an interesting plant to try.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Especially with current vogue for natives not at all rare on the local market and pretty dark in aspect when healthy. Even evergreen clematis can be hard to find some years, all ornamental plants offered are crops and subject to variables. Even the most common items can be absent from outlets during slow season, when inventories are a fraction of what they will be in spring and early summer.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2008 at 3:17PM
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holly_bc(Zone 7B VanIsle)

So then - what do you all think about Escallonia as hedging?

As with the OP ( who does not seem to have reappeared) I'd prefer a hedge that could be neat in appearance but reasonably (totally?) low maintenance. While I can do stuff now, I need to keep aware of how much I'll be capable of in 10 years time. I don't want to plant stuff that looks great now and then have to move 'cause I can't keep up with the garden. Ya know?

Thots appreciated.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:13PM
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I have ceanothus 'Victoria' along my back fence which faces due south. It looks like a funky boxwood but with awesome flowers! I hear it's very drought tolerant but had mine on a drip system for the first year and last summer wasn't very harsh, bt so far so good. I have been a little disappointed in the growth rate, I thought it would grow a lot better but has underperformed. I have a suggestion for a cool hedge, Eucalyptus Neglecta. I planted two of this two years ago and holy smokes! They grow fast and if left unpruned are very dense. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Escallonia is a great hedge, but it is very vigorous and likely to require frequent clipping to control its size/shape. I'd still favor Myrica californica for maintaining a neat appearance with little help. Many of the Escallonias (and Ceanothus) may be unviable after a really cold winter in colder microclimates of our region. Eucalyptus neglecta is an interesting idea, but it will eventually grow 40' tall or more. You might also consider Portugese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica), though it can approach 40' eventually as well.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 11:26PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, escallonia, ceanothus and eucalyptus are all too liable to burn up in a hard winter to be used for an architectural feature like a hedge. Portugal laurel is rather slow and grows quite broadly (unless sheared). It also reseeds in this region.

The classic quality hedges are yew, holly and box. All of these are slow-growing and holly (Ilex aquifolium) is a terrible weed in this region. Some planting of the latter may also have bothersome problems with holly leaf miner or bottom leaves getting all spotty and dropping off in November - right before what should be the prime season for the plant.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 11:26PM
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