Good privacy shrub/tree in a shady, heavily wooded area?

HebocaMarch 25, 2013


I just put up a stockade fence around my home, which includes an acre of forest (mostly huge oaks w/ 3ft+ trunks). The fence, due to falling branches, weather, age, and rambunctious neighbors, will last 15 years at most. Meanwhile, I was hoping to plant a row of privacy (also for property marking purposes) trees/shrubs/hedges right up against the fence, so that said shrubbery can replace the 6ft fence within 15 or 20 years.

What can I plant that can:
-grow fast
-grow in 100% shade
-grow in heavily wooded areas (I've cut down most of the smaller trees)
-serve as a privacy hedge in 15 yrs
-GROW WITHOUT MUCH CARE (I'll be away a lot)

Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Well, it won't grow fast but otherwise it fits most of your other requirements. Look at yews (Taxus species) - they are evergreen, very shade tolerant and tough, durable plants. English laurel could work as well but will need some TLC to get established.......start out small! Japanese laurel, Aucuba japonica, will work also. And maybe the fastest growing of the group.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 6:32PM
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woods_man(6b MO)

Viburnums might also do the trick - shade tolerant, and blooms as a bonus. Some deciduous shrubs create very dense growth which can act as a barrier even though not evergreen. I have deutzias in dense shade which have created a very dense thicket and bloom surprisingly well in shade. Kerria, neviusia, & neillia have also developed impressively thick growth. These shrubs are generally 5-6ft tall - and all of them are fast growers, at least for my zone 6b midwestern woodland.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 1:09PM
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ApprenticeGardener(7b or 8)

AS mush as I hate to just say "I'll second that...", woods_man has some great suggestions--particularly, in my experience, with the viburnum. Although deciduous, they stay evergreen down here (Atlanta) in all but the coldest winter, tolerate all kinds of shade, and flower beautifully.

Some types (Arrowwood--Vibernam dentatum--as a prime example) grow particularly tall and dense, with a growth structure that can eliminate the need for additional fencing if a barrier is desired. Also very hardy and require minimal attention once established other than a mild shaping to encourage dense growth.

Best Wishes--Carl

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 4:27PM
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