The Q&A Archives: Wind Break Hedge

Question: I am trying to decide which type of a hedge to put across the front of my yard. I need it to grow rather quickly and provide a good wind break in the winter. I also would like something that will not attract a lot of bees due to allergies to bees. I would prefer something low in maintenance.

Answer: There are a number of choices you could use for a windbreak. Forsythia comes to mind, in part because it is quite hardy and easy to grow and in part because in colder winters the flower buds often freeze so it does not bloom and thus would not attract bees. Old fashioned bridalwreath spirea also comes to mind, partly because it is very cold hardy and also because it blooms so early that few bees are active yet. Another possibility would be lilac; this shrub will not bloom if you prune it in early spring and cut off the flowering wood before the buds open. Another possibility would be Rose of Sharon, although this mid summer bloomer would attract bees, it is very low maintenance. Finally, there is the old standby, privet. This can be left untrimmed or can be trimmed into an informal billowing hedge rather than a stiff formal shape. If untrimmed, however, it too will bloom amd attract bees.

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