Evergreen, fast growing, shade.. is this possible?

sommer(5)January 28, 2005

I need some type of hedge or trees that are fast growing, evergreen and will do this faster growing in a more shady area.

We have parts of our yard that get alot of sun and parts that get minimal sun.... Obviously the areas with more sun are easier to grow plants, however, I need help with the less sunny areas.

I am attempting to make a living fence and security/privacy barrier around our property.

Thanks for your help!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted cedar trees about 15 years ago for a windbreak and they are huge.Make a great windbreak and privacy fence.My only objection is the seedlings come up all over.why is this thread so wide?Is it something I have done?Also,the cedars are under our huge oak trees and have done fine.We used to have snow drift on our driveway.No more.I have read that in the olden days they would prune the cedars into a hedge.Posy Pet

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
noxtra(SW MO. 6)

I had a lady tell me once that everything she planted under her deck died!!!! I asked her what was growing under her deck at present and she said nothing!!! My response was...if God cannot grow anything under there your not going to have much luck either!!! Very few evergreens grow well in the shade. You might investigate Capitata Yew or Burford Holly neither of which will grow fast.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 11:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Still looking for input

    Bookmark   February 16, 2005 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What height are you looking for? I figure as quickly as possible. What kind of shade? (Acid loving leaf dropper or netural soil). Sorry to sound so blunt but would help with what would and would not grow there.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 6:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would like a minimum of 6 ft... can grow as high as needed, no limit.... Along one side of property... approx. 60 ft is partly shady.. not alot of direct sun.... Another section is approx 100+ ft and is mostly sunny at this point since there are not alot of tall trees right now.

The type of soil... Sorry I do not know... can you help me figure this out.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was outside this morning looking at the sun situation... It appears that this area that I need a tall fast living barrier get some sun in the morning, but by afternoon the house shades it mostly.... I currently have a row of pirvets planted here, but I need more!!!!!

And fast...... We need privacy from our neighbor whom continual harasses us. Now she doesn't like our trampoline.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I apologize in advance for how long this answer is going to be. I hope it will be helpful. The truth is that the best way to have success is to put the RIGHT PLANT IN THE RIGHT PLACE. I have learned this the hard way over the decades.


First, consider your soil. You need to figure out if it is clay, sand, silt, loam or a mixture of these. Visiting the Soil and Compost Forum is a great place to learn how to test your soil and what you can do to "fix it" if it needs help.

How deep is the soil? If you have a fairly thin layer of soil on top of a lot of rock, you will have a harder time getting plants to grow there. It won't be impossible because there are many plants that will grow in shallow soil, but it will be more challenging.

Also, do you have any idea what the pH of your soil is? There are some plants that grow fastest in alkaline soil, some grow fastest in acid soil, and some--like red cedar--seem to grow anywhere.

And, how well does your soil drain? For example, parts of my red clay soil will have puddles for DAYS after a heavy rain. Other areas drain much more quickly. If you have land that stays waterlogged you must use plants that can handle periodically wet soil.


Have you or will you amend the soil or will you leave it in its natural state? How often are you willing to irrigate?

If you are in extremely challenging conditions (say, either very rocky, very sandy or vary clay-y soil) and want to keep irrigation to a minimum, you should go with trees or shrubs that are native to your part of the state as they have proven adaptable to the conditions there.

If you choose to go to the trouble to amend your soil, which is best done by adding organic material like compost, peat moss, manure, shredded bark mulch, etc., then it would be better if you mulched your new shrub beds heavily so grass won't creep in and compete with your shrubs or trees. This will ensure faster growth of your hedge.

Also, when deciding what to plant, consider whether you want a formal hedge that will require lots of pruning, etc. or if you want to grow shrubs or trees in their natural form. Knowing what you want will help you decide the spacing of your plants. For example, shrubs that will be kept in a tightly pruned formal hedge should probably be planted closer together than those that will grow in their natural form.

Will you plant a monpculture of one type of tree or shrub or a mixed border of diffent types? The main problem with a monoculture is that if disease ever strikes it can move right along your row of plants and harm or kill every one of them. With a mixed planting, you will have more of a chance of long-term success.

OK, now here are some plant suggstions:

HOLLIES...there is a holly for every growing condition out there. They are very hardy, very disease resistant and grow fairly quickly. Most grow equally well in sun or shade. Some forms grow more quickly than others.

Some of the best hollies for a screen/hedge are: Nellie R. Stevens, yaupon, Burford and willowleaf (needlepoint). These are all Japanese hollies.

If you have acidic soil, other hollies might do well for you, such as the blue hollies, which usually require morning shade and afternoon sun in hot climates. American hollies like Savannah might do well for you also.

The hollies should be planted 5 to 6 feet apart to allow them to reach their full natural height and width.


I lived in Texas most of my life and only moved to Oklahoma six years ago. In Texas the most common shrub hedge seems to be Red-Tipped Photinia. It grows quickly BUT has severe problems with Entomosporium leaf spot. This fungal disease can stunt the growth of Photinias and even kill them. That said, I have not seen Entomosporium leaf spot in any Photinias in Oklahoma but that doesn't mean it isn't here.

Chinese Photinia is a older plant and seems more disease resistant, and it gets HUGE, but it very hard to find.


Here in Oklahoma, Eastern Red Cedar grows in any kind of soil and with no irrigation. They are fast-growing. However, if you are in an EXTREMELY rural area, be careful about using them. They burn like crazy and, if you're in a rural or semi-rural area where grass fires are a persistent threat, they could be a hazard.

Other possibilities for you are:

Southern Wax Myrtle (if you want height get the tall one, not the dwarf one) Mine have from from 3-gallon size to about 12 feet in 3 years. They are sort of open and airy though and you might want something more dense.

Cherry Laurel (invasive in some areas)

ligustrums or privet if they are cold-hardy in your zone

eleagnus (here they are bothered by spider mites, but are very fast-growing)

Euonymus (but they must have good air circulation or will get powdery mildew)


Some trees make a good screen. However, many of them are not evergreen.

Magnolias come to mind but aren't really fast-growing. The same is true of live oaks.

Ashe junipers (Juniperus ashei) can grow right out of rock it seems, so if you have rocky soil or shallow soil on top of rock, it would probably do well for you, as would just about any juniper (Eastern Red Cedar is a juniper).

With the right soil you could grow evergreen pines like Loblolly, Ponderosa, long-leaf, rocky mountain juniper, or Blue Douglas fir if your summers aren't too hot. And Blue Spruce may be an option for you if your summers aren't too hot.


If your neighbor is easily bothered, a good hedge might not help enough. You know the saying "good fences make good neighbors"? Well, a wooden privacy fence might be your answer if such fences are allowed where you live. (Some homeowner's associations prohibit them).

You also could put up a wire or chain-link fence and grow vines on it. However, (and there again this depends on your neighbor) some "neighbors" don't like it if "your" vines are on a common fence between their property and yours.

I like the idea of native shrubs, but the ones I grow are not evergreen so probably wouldn't be what you want.

Good luck. Got questions? Let me know.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks.... Actually our HOA won't allow a fence.

My soil is good, little to no rocks, drains well in this location, not clay.. It is deep soil....

I have privets planted now every few feet, but I want something green, year-round in between these....

I would like something that will grow upwards of 15' so that peering eyes cannot easily see in our yard....

I would also like it to keep our dogs in our yards, but I can work later on putting up some type of garden mesh to keep them in once the hedges/shrubs grow.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I was afraid a fence is not an option. Sounds like you have good soil. The best tall plants I can think of are still Nellie R. Stevens Holly or photinias or any of the junipers. Don't know if they will give you the look you want.

By the way, I hate HOAs. To many rules and restrictions.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 8:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rockypandora(Silv. Spr. MD)

I would avoid planting photinias in shade, they are so prone to leaf spot, and the only time I've seen them without it, they've been in full sun. Skip laurels make a nice evergreen screen but they don't get very tall, maybe 8'. I find that hollies are very scraggly in deep shade, and try to avoid the ones with pointy leaves for your kids' sake. Aucuba is a lovely evergreen with yellow spotted leaves and it loves the shade and grows to 10'. If you get a male and female, they will produce berries too. good luck.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
helenh(z6 SW MO)

I like Canadian hemlock which tolerates shade. They are used as hedges sometimes. There is a pest that is killing them in the northeast, but mine has been pest free and healthy. It is not that fast growing; it sounds like your neighbor is bugging you now. Forget keeping the dogs in with a hedge. I bought one of those dog containment fences. The dog wears a collar that beeps then shocks if they don't stop. The wire was supposed to be buried. I only buried mine across the driveway. I intend to bury the rest of it someday. It works well just dangling on the top of the ground. I didn't install the thing for a while after I got it because I didn't know how easy and forgiving it is. If you have neighbors you would have to bury yours, but it wouldn't have to be very deep. I didn't even train the dog like you are supposed to. I put tape over the two contact points so he would hear the beep but not get shocked. Then I took the tape off after he learned where the beeps happened so he would get shocked. It is keeping him in and he is not a good boy.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 2:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

check out this website www.anythinggreen.com. They have fast growers at great prices.I recomend thunjra green giant. make sure to check growing requiements,how wide and high. Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a similar problem with my neighbor and a fence is not an option. Have you considered bamboo? It is evergreen, has many varying heights and grows quickly. Some consider it to be invasive but there are methods of controlling shoots that may spring up.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 10:13AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Lavender from Seeds
I am just north of Springfield in Greene Co., Mo. ...
Sorted Garden Seeds
I finally did it and am very proud of myself. I even...
Cold November
Accuweather is predicting a low of 12 for Monday. Brrrr Do...
Merry Christmas!
I hope all my gardening friends have a wonderful Christmas....
looking for certain pepper
Howdy, Ozark gardeners. I am looking for seeds of a...
Sponsored Products
Bimbi Palio Quadro Wall Sconce by Oggetti Luce
$222.00 | Lumens
Corbeille 2Lt Wall Stardust / Cerused Oak
Clouds Clips Rectangle Wall Sconce by Justice Design Group
$261.00 | Lumens
Tiffany Style Bird and Fruit Floor Lamp with Dome Shape Shade
Signature Designs by Ashley Haldis Brown/Cream Ceramic Table Lamp (Set of 2)
ELK Lighting 078-TB-19 Mini Pendant - 23.5H in. Tiffany Bronze - 078-TB-19
$138.00 | Hayneedle
s: 24.5 in. Brushed CLI-LS434436
Home Depot
Camille Lamp
Grandin Road
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™