Need suggestions for privacy hedge

pureguavaDecember 2, 2013

I want to get a jump on ideas for planting a privacy hedge next year. I don't love the look of formal, pruned hedges but I would like something that grows high enough to block the back neighbor's view down into our yard (maybe 15 feet?). Also something evergreen would be nice as it looks very bare back there. The hedges would go to the left of the apple tree where the dinky evergreen is.

I looked at Arborvitae, juniper, viburnum and possibly blue spruce so far. Anyone have suggestions for something fast-growing and relatively low maintenance?

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Pureguava, just to get the ideas started, how about the Arborvitae? I am not sure that 15' is possible, however.

I have had a garden on distant property since 1996. Not long after I began there, a young couple moved in across the back fence. I can make a guess as when they planted the small Arborvitae. It would be sometime after Lowe's bought Eagle Hardware. The guy worked for both companies and they moved from the home about 10 years ago. So, sometime between '99 & '03 they planted Arborvitae.

By 2010, with very little water and on the north side of that fence, those plants were a good 10' tall. In 2012, the current homeowner took most of them out. There are still 3 that must have been difficult for him to get to because he had a shed built near the fence with the Arborvitae between. They are probably struggling there but still look okay from my side, anyway.

If you plant Arborvitae, be aware that they can be winter-damaged from snow. Tie them! Gee, the folks over there did a very poor job of caring for those quick growing shrubs!


Here is a link that might be useful: Evergreen Trees, Colorado State University

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 7:57AM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Pureguava, I'll add this link for deciduous.

Are you planning on removing that dinky evergreen? It looks like an Austrian pine. How long has it been growing there? I ask because they can get plenty big.

I think standard blue spruce would get way too big for the space, but there are lots of dwarf narrow conifers if you wanted to go that direction. Most are slow growing, though.

You could do a mix of conifers and shrubs, like viburnum, lilac and caragana, with an arborvitae, fastigate spruce, and Rocky mountain juniper.

That's not a lot of space, 2 or three of any of the above would probably do the trick.


Here is a link that might be useful: Xeriscaping trees and shrubs

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Spruce trees would work. it's just that you'd need to prune them annually to keep theme tight and within your desired height. (actually this goes for any confier- as long as you cut their "candles" each spring by 1/2 or more.

I really like the look of trimmed conifers- they look so thick and manicured that way.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:41AM
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In my experience, you're not going to get any privacy year round from anything but a conifer type plant hedge (spruce, pine, etc.) Colorado is too cold for broadleaf evergreens with rare exceptions...some euonymous, etc.possibly..) Most so called "evergreen viburnums" will lose their leaves in a Colo winter.

That's probably not what you want to hear. However, even bare leaf hedges can provide some privacy if they're thick enough through shearing...

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 7:34PM
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I would avoid arbovitae. It's prone to sunscald and snow breakage.

Many evergreen trees grow extremely large. You could plant columnar pines and spruces, but they tend to be pricey.

Columnar oaks are an option. Crimson spire oak is stunning in the fall, and oaks keep their leaves through the winter. But they, too, are pricey.

Some less expensive, but attractive, options would be Chanticleer pear, Red Barron crabapple, mountain ash and hawthorn.

Then there are always the upright junipers, such as skyrocket, Hetz column, Ames, gray gleam, hillspire and moonglow.

Here is a link that might be useful: Trees fpr tough spots

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 1:12PM
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treebarb Z5 Denver

Hey, Denver Designer, good to see you over here! I appreciated your reminder to wrap baby trees over on the Trees forum. I'm sorry you didn't get a warmer reception there. There are some nice folks and some not so nice folks there, but the majority have no concept of what we're dealing with here in terms of altitude, soil type and lack of moisture. I get it and thank you!

I'm afraid the OP has left us. Where are you, pureguava?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 6:48PM
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Thanks for your kind words, treebarb! I appreciate that you understand what we deal with in Colorado in terms of gardening.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 11:36AM
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