we need a hedge!!

ALPSin_NYJune 25, 2005

Being fairly new to this house, we are slowly learning about what it "needs". One thing it needs is a hedge to provide not only a little privacy, but also to block the noise from the traffic. We are in the "country" but this road seems toget busier by the month, not to mention the corner about 400' from my front door -- too many cars!!!

We have about 500' of road frontage, and I need to find something to plant along 300' of it. This year we planted some pin oaks in a row about 40 to 50' off the road, leaving enough room to plant a hedge between the trees and the road. Eventually (decades from now) we want to create a wall of green 70' tall and 300' wide.

I need to find something for a dense hedge, 8-12' tall. At first we liked Russian Olives, nice color, fast growing, salt tolerant (proximity to road), cheap, and big thorns. However, we really would like to go with a native species if at all possible and practical. Can anyone help with ideas of what might be our best choice?? We have heavy clay soil,pH is around 7, it will be near the road (+/- 20'), would prefer something that does not need lots of maintainance, and maybe some berries for the birds, too. Thanks

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matt_v(Z5 central NY)

Greetings! I have to say I am amazed that you posted this, because I am facing the same dilemma! I do not have quite as much road frontage, but the salt spray killed my first attempt at a hedge, so I am looking to achive the same goal...again. I can't recommend either Russian nor Autumn Olive, as both plants are invasive. However, in the ELEAGNUS genus, you might consider SILVERBERRY, Eleagnus commutata. This is native to the central US, very hardy, thorny, Birds will take the berries. It is great for poor soils, etc.

Two other options are the closley related BUFFALOBERRY, Shepherdia argentea and SEA BUCKTHORN, Hippophae rhamnoides. Buffaloberry is native, related to Silverberry in its habits and lineage. The Sea Buckthorn is not native, but the description is intriguing. See the following site:


This nursery will ship to you bare root in the spring. The problem is the stock will be small. The plus is they are WICKID cheap!!!

A final idea I had was to use clump River Birch (Betula nigra HERITAGE) to screen with. It grows very fast and within 5 years you will have a dense (though deciduous) screen.

Good Luck!!

Here is a link that might be useful: More about Buffaloberry

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 9:23AM
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Matt- thanks for the info. I found this site:


that might be helpful to you. Click on "What should I plant?". I like the idea of a the serviceberry or even just one with fruit the birds can enjoy.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:55PM
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von1(z4 NY)

We have a County Tree nursery in this area that has a sale of native shrubs and tress in the spring. You buy them in quantity. Maybe your cooperative extention could help you out

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 9:31PM
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Shepherdia argentea looks like a real good choice. Those berries are edible, and I read they make excellent jelly, too.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:35PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

You may want to do a mixed hedge, more like an English hedgerow with a variety of shrubs and small trees. How about some evergreens thrown in there? Thuja "green giant", arborvitae, euonymous. That way if you get some unforseen nasty bug infestation or disease, you won't lose your whole hedge.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 8:36AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

gottagarden took the words out of my mouth. For an area that large, I would use a variety of colors, heights and textures. I would plant in random clusters, not in straight rows, to create a natural effect.

One useful tree for a visual barrier is Leland cypress. It grow fast, large and dense. It resembles arbor vitae somewhat, but is much more attractive in my opinion.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 10:11PM
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Turtle_Haven_Farm(Z5 NY)

Years ago, I read that Osage Orange makes a nice hedge, but where we wanted to plant it (block out nasty neighbors), I figured they'd just kill it. I was right.. we planted some evergreens and everything behind these people's house died!!! - Ellen

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 1:22PM
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cbs_z5_ny(z5 NY)

Another good choice might be Gray Dogwood, Cornus racemosa. It is a great wildlife shrub, and grows happily along our roadside.


Here is a link that might be useful: Gray Dogwood

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:22AM
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cbs_z5_ny(z5 NY)

...oh, sorry, missed your request for thorns. How about adding some hawthorn (Crataegus sp.)to the mix...

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:26AM
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I have a holly plant that I am getting "rid" of, I live in Otsego county. I dont know if they can be salavaged once they are dug up but if they can be they are yours! i also have four yews that I dont need or want. any takers?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2005 at 1:03PM
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