small evergreens for shelter in hedgerow

pankhi(z7Md)December 10, 2005

I have a narrow strip (4 ft wide and 15 feet long) along the side of the house and I am thinking of making it into an evergreen hedgerow that will provide birds with shelter in the winter and maybe even berries. Any suggestions on what to plant. The plants can't get wider than 4 feet or there won't be any room to walk. Cedar-apple rust is a big problem in my neighborhood so is it wise to plant any junipers (will they survive and berry without any pesticides)? Thank you.

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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

They should survive but the problem is more with crabapples quince serviceberry and many plants in the rose family they will survive too but might get the rust and defoliate early.

Also evergreen native Atlantic white cedar (chamaecyparis thyoides) and northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis)I have them and the birds love to nest in them and use them as cover.

Other evergreens are myrica cerifera (waxmyrtle) Also there's inkberry (ilex glabra) that's a start for you Sarah

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 8:51PM
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pankhi(z7Md)

Dear Sarahbn- Thank you very much for the suggestions. The cedar apple rust has taken quite a toll on my apples, hawthorn, and serviceberry. I ended removing the trees, so I am being cautious about what I plant in my yard that is in a CAR infested neighborhood.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 5:17PM
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vonyon

The width of the hedgerow seems to be the problem. You would need something extremely small or slow growing. I wonder about inkberry, but I don't know about the mature size. You may find a dwarf. Then again, it isn't everygreen everywhere.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 8:44PM
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pankhi(z7Md)

Vonyon, Thank you for the reply. The width is the price I pay for a small yard and wanting to fill it as much as I can for the birds. Inkberry may work.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2005 at 3:05PM
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vonyon

Pankhi: I applaud you for your efforts. You may well find that inkberry is evergreen in your zone. The thing with inkberry is that you might have a hard time making sure that you have a male. The place that I found my male inkberry is now closed. FYI: I also believe that inkberry is poisonous to humans.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 2:41PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

What about holly?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:55AM
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pankhi(z7Md)

Vonyon and Elly NJ- Thank you for your replies.

Vonyon- Inkberries are a great idea but I did not consider them for the hedgerow because 1)I have 14 female inkberries in my yard (don't know the variety but they are either Shamrock, Compactum, or Densa) and but I never see birds in them, and 2) they flower well but hardly fruit- I planted a 15th inkberry- Nordic that is supposed to be a male but no change in the fruiting. Do your birds use the your inkberries? Do I have the correct male plant?

Elly NJ- Do you have any suggestions on any particular types of hollies that would provide birds with winter protection and fit into my narrow planting strip?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 8:04PM
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vonyon

Well, I don't feel entirely qualified to give you an answer on this. After skimming Dirr, it would appear that Nordic is claimed to be a male, but he has not tested it. My plants are not old enough to be fruiting yet. I believe it is native and I'd guess that the birds do eat the fruit, but I can't attest to that yet. From what I understand, the two plants need to flower at the same time in order to cross pollinate. I wonder if the flowering times only overlap partially? Sorry, I don't have more info for you. You could try posting the question on the shrubs forum. Here is a web page ad for Solomon Holly Farm. I'm not sure if they are still in business. It does offer a phone number though. I'm sure she would be able to answer your questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solomon Holly Farm

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 5:42PM
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mirandy(z7b AR)

Privet is a wildlife haven and you can keep it trimmed any size...it loves shearing. And it's host plant to many moths. There are new varieties.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Birdsong72(7/Northshore NJ)

any of the bluegirl/boy hollies (Mezitt's??) will work. I've planted a half dozen of them in a buffer strip that is twice the width of yours (at about 9').

I had dug them up from my sister's place (who didn't want them because she thought that they harbored bees, yellowjackets who ruined her outdoor gatherings).

Well one man gathers what another man spills, and those landscape sized shrubs were installed some 6 years ago and provide food, shelter, and nesting (catbird & mocks). The hollies have a 4-6' diameter, but can be trimmed to fit your planting area (I'd guess that they're well over 15 years old).

Others to consider: yew, cedar, Nellie Stevens Holly

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:59AM
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loris(Z6 NJ)

pankhi,

I planted an Ilex Glabra 'Chamzin' about 1 1/2 years ago, and it has been evergreen. Here's a link with some information. The details about the different cultivars are towards the bottom of the page once you're there:

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/Plants/i/ilegla/ilegla1.html

If you're concerned about the effect of invasive plants on natural areas, I'd suggest avoiding privet since it seems to be invasive in your state. I have a link below to a page from the Maryland Native Plant Society that lists it as invasive.

Here is a link that might be useful: Invasive plants link on Maryland Native Plant Society site

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 1:42PM
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vonyon

YES, please avoid privet!! It is very invasive.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 6:55PM
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jabee

I'd like to recommend a site for anyone in any state to find native, wildlife sustaining plants.

Unfortunately there are only 3 suggestions for Maryland but it will give you a start.

And PLEASE don't plant invasives.

Here is a link that might be useful: enature-Native & Invasive Plants

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 12:16PM
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pankhi(z7Md)

Mirandy, Birdsong72, Loris, Vonyon, and Txspice: Thank you all for your responses. I have been warned by many in Maryland about privet so though it is an excellent bird plant, I will have to stay away from it. I looked up blue boy/girl widths at several nursery sites and they give different info. I will need to look into it some more. Forestfarm sells Ilex crenata skypencil that can fit my hedgerow and they say it attracts wildlife so I suppose that is an option unless it too is an invasive. Regarding inkberries, I have 14 female inkberries in my yard (don't know the variety but they are either Shamrock, Compactum, or Densa) and but I never see birds in them, and 2) they flower well but hardly fruit- I planted a 15th inkberry- Nordic that is supposed to be a male but no change in the fruiting. Last June all 15 flowered but I saw no difference in flower structure between the Nordic and the others (unlike the my male and female winterberry flowers that clearly showed the sex). So the UConn site and Dirr say that Nordic is believed to be a male because of a lack of berries but the Nordic flowers looked just like the female flowers. Is Nordic really a male?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 4:18PM
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phytomaniac(z7 NC)

Nellie Stevens holly can easily exceed 15 ft. tall and wide. It will overgrow your space. Have you considered blueberries?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 4:03PM
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pankhi(z7Md)

Phytomaniac - Thank you for your suggestion. I would love to have blueberries, my only concern is the local herd of deer that frequents my yard several times a week and will browse it down, I am already using different methods to deter the deer but am getting tired of fighting the battle every year. Any suggestions on plants not palatable to deer? Last week a deer ate down to 6 inches one of myclethra. The deer have never eaten this plant before.
Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 11:47AM
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