Conifer border in suburban/rural-ish setting

maki1122April 5, 2011

Hi, all. We live on a 1+1/2 acre plot about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, next to an unsightly manufactured home north of us. There is probably about 50 feet between our homes, and the portion I'm concerned with is about ~20 feet wide, filled with some thin, tall Red Alder trees, ferns and residual branches, stumps, from the invasive blackberry vines, etc we cleaned up in there last year (still battling the vine "sprouts" but they're increasingly less aggressive w/ongoing physical management).

I would like to screen the trailer by planting a conifer border, probably going back about 75 long. Thinking a mix of Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Serbian Spruce, Deodar Cedar, Incense Cedar, Leyland Cypress. I believe these are all good with sun/part shade, and are quick growers. Considering Grand Fir. None of these would shade our home and size is not a problem, but I'm wondering about

spacing, placement, rate of growth, etc. Just welcoming thoughts, ideas, comments????

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A mixed conifer border is a great idea for privacy sceening - more interesting than a single species, less inclined to spread pathogens or insect issues from one species to another, better for wildlife and if one dies, not an obvious 'hole' in the pattern...relatively easy to replace. A staggered or zig-zag planting will be visually more interesting than a straight row of conifer 'soldiers'. You might even want to fill in the gaps with some deciduous plants (more towards the foreground) to increase the visual interest.

Some of your proposed list are more/less tolerant of shade than others and growth rate will vary widely. Best to research each species you choose and decide placement and spacing based on mature spread/height and light and/or water requirements. Locate plants with similar needs together.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 5:07PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

A few of those you listed could fill the whole area in time, just by themselves.

Unless you planted dwarf or slow-growing cultivars.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 3:06PM
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George Three LLC

good point, if its only 20 feet wide, you might want to just pick two large trees, then plant some smaller evergreen shrub trees that can eventually work as an understory.

you may want to consider Umbellularia californica for a larger tree as well if you don't want all conifers.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 5:37PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Larger, indeed.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:33PM
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