Opinion on privacy hedge wanted:

runswithscissors(MT 4/5)December 2, 2012

Hi all,

I'm looking for some opinions. Here's the situation. At one time there was an irrigation ditch (2 acres long?) that separates my neighbor's (Norma) and my property. Over the years and through the course of the encroachment of new neighbors sprouting up everywhere, old farm lands are now residential homes and the need for irrigation ditches are cast to the wayside. Now Norma and I are left with this old dried up ditch that comes from nowhere, leads to nowhere and grows nothing but weeds. Her side of the "ditch" is completely fenced in, leaving me unofficially responsible for this long patch of unwatered waterway. When I first moved here, Norma had a row of cottonwoods running down the fenceline. It was beautiful! She cut them down last summer. (sigh) I've planted wildflower mixes every year, and they do look nice for awhile but the weeds take over. I'm looking for a permanent solution for my side of the ditch. A fast-growing, not-to-invasive-into-my-lawn privacy hedge. I thought about a willow stand. Are there any hybrid willow shrubs that grow tall but don't strangle septic systems. Since the ditch is dry...bone dry...will that keep a willow in bounds or will it prompt it to root grow a bee-line to my irrigation system? What do you think? (I have deer up the waazzu...if you can imagine how that looks!)

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larry_gene

Since acres are not a unit of length, I assume your ditch is hundreds of feet long, as an acre, if square, is about 210 feet on a side.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:31PM
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kristincarol

Why not try wax myrtles or pittosporum. Both grow very fast and do not spread by runners. If you get a pittosporum that produces seed (not all do) you need to cut it out as it will populate your entire neighborhood with seedlings. Wax myrtle will drop seed, too, but does not seem to spread like the pittosporum.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:06AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

still kris, those plants are not hardy in Montana.
Mike

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you havent' yet, you might want to post this one on the GardenWeb Rocky Mountain Gardening forum.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 12:56PM
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runswithscissors(MT 4/5)

Thank you for responding. Yes I would say the ditch is no less than 500 feet or so. In farming country we tend to think in acres.

Yes, bboy I should have posted on the rocky mountain forum or the far north one. I will do it now.

thanks again. By the way...I'm thinking of a bamboo hedge...P. Nuna. It's supposed to be root hardy in zone 4, and leaf hardy in zone 5...although opinions do vary, I thought I'd give it a try.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 6:17PM
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larry_gene

(the topic has not appeared on the Rocky, Far_N, or Bamboo forums as of yet)

That much bamboo would cost a fortune here. Try just a couple of clumps--may not do well in a bone-dry ditch. Is there other bamboo in the area?

A series of Burma Shave signs would distract passers-by and divert their eyes from looking further back.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:25AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Won't the cottonwoods sprout anyway? You might want to see if this happens before you spend a lot of money on a new hedge. They won't stop growing here even if cut down several times.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 12:45PM
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