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Anyone ever done a formal hedge or living fence?

Posted by entm z7 ATL (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 7, 08 at 12:25

I will soon be the owner of 8 acres; 1/2 pasture and 1/2 woods east of Atlanta. I would like to create a living fence around some or all of the property. What plants might work the best for this purpose?

I have considered the following:

Osage orange in full sunlight around the pasture
Hornbeam in the wooded area or possibly holly or wax myrtle

I may eventually want to have some animals which is why I considered the Osage orange around the pasture. Will goats eat through it?

Has anyone ever worked with Hornbeam as a hedge plant? It is commonly mentioned as a hedge in Europe, but I have seen little about it in the US. After purchasing this property we will have little spending cash for the next several years, which is why the living fence appeals to me. I envision using a chipper and creating small compost piles along the hedges for use in gardening as the plants mature.

Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone ever done a formal hedge or living fence?

I did one in nellie stevens holly and it was stunning. Took a few years to grow, but NS is fast growing for a holly. Bird friendly, evergreen and super dense and tough. Drought tolerant, and I never touched the things after they were planted. They just flourished. I have many animals and no problems with that but zero goat experience. Another upside is that they are a bit prickly and stiff so discourage passing through by either larger animals or people. The first thing I bought for my new yard was seven nellie stevens, of all the zillions of plants I lost.

Also I had a couple of fence hedges using various Eleganus. They can be very nice, evergreen, thick, etc but require maintenance with either issues of pruning, scales on one, aphids. I had too much land to deal with that. I liked them but didn't love them.

Hope that helps.

RE: Anyone ever done a formal hedge or living fence?

I'm going to plant a screen of Wax Myrtle in the next few weeks.

I read a few threads on GW (shrubs forum and this forum i think), and chose wax myrtle because it is very fast-growing, evergreen, has berries that attract birds, is native to the SE, and looks pretty. Its supposed to do well in sun/part sun/part shade, so I'm hoping it takes off in our part-sun area.

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