The Q&A Archives: Evergreen Trees for Border

Question: I live next to an overwhelming brick house. Which trees (or shrubs) can I plant along a 40 foot brick wall that abuts my neighbors property? I am in Zone 6 and the area in question has Southern exposure. I would like something that is fast-growing, will reach a minimum height of 12 feet and is in the evergreen/juniper family. I would like to plant as close to the wall as possible. One wrinkle is that there is a Cherry Tree whose trunk is 13 feet from the wall. This tree has an expanse of about 17 feet of the entire 40 feet.

Answer: Unfortunately, that cherry tree will likely cause the plantings along the wall to grow unevenly so you may want to try a variety of plants. Some needled evergreens to consider would certainly be the taller and more narrow forms of juniper or possibly the more columnar forms of arborvitae. These are probably the fastest growers. If you are willing to mix and match the planting in drifts, you might also consider the leatherleafed viburnum for a portion of the planting and the vining English ivy to grow on and soften the look of the wall somewhat. If you want the fastest growing plant possible, you might consider privet and allow it to reach its full potential height of about 15 feet. It is after all a classic hedge plant, and for good reason: it keeps its foliage late in the fall, leafs out early in the spring, and is very amenable to clipping and shaping. I hope this gives you a few ideas.

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