The Q&A Archives: Trees For Privacy

Question: Can you recommend evergreen trees or shrubs that will grow to 15' or more very quickly? We lost our cypress trees to disease and I am now looking at an ugly fence (over 6 ft. tall) and at the backs of three two-story houses. Someone suggested hop vines, but I'm looking for other options. Our weather is wonderful and now I hate going outdoors, because it looks so awful. I live in Orange Cty, CA; our soil is clayish and we live about four miles from the ocean.

Answer: Hops are a reasonable consideration, but they probably won't remain evergreen during the winter months. Glossy abelia (a large shrub), acacia, arbutus (Strawberry tree), Ficus benjamina (Weeping Chinese Banyan), cedar, Japanese black pine or camphor tree are all good choices for the area you describe.

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