The Q&A Archives: Pyracantha Bushes

Question: I live in Zone 1 and have been seeing a green shrub with red/orange berries which retains leaves in winter. I think it's called a pyracantha. Is there a certain type of this bush which provides a thicker privacy barrier and how high do they grow if left untrimmed?

Answer: If the shrub has shiny leaves, it's probably pyracantha. If the leaves are dull green on top and fuzzy white below, it's cotoneaster. Both are related, but cotoneaster grows better in the Pacific Northwest.

Cotoneaster has a fountain-type growth pattern and will become a dense shrub if pruned regularly. The tall growing shrubs are often sheared and grown as hedges. Cotoneaster acutafolius is fast-growing, reaching 10' at maturity, and is the most commonly planted hedge variety.

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