The Q&A Archives: Flowering Trees

Question: I live on a very busy corner in a 100 year old house. I would like to grow a "hedge" of different flowering trees and shrubs to develop a privacy barrier. I was thinking of sebian spruce, dwarf korean lilac, red bud, sumac to name a few. I want it to look natural but not messy. The only tree I do have is one medium size oak. I thought I could dabble in a few hostas and perennials. Please help me with my tree/shrub choices. I haven't done anything for fear of choosing the wrong plant. I did want to keep it 6-8 ft wide. Lisa Skala Woodstock, IL

Answer: The plants you mention are suitable for your location but the spruce and sumac need more room than a 6-foot-wide hedge. The dwarf lilac would be the best choice you mentioned. The redbud is borderline in your region, usually hardy only to zone 5b and you are in 5a. I encourage people to try borderline plants if they are especially fond of them and can provide a protected location, but yours may be too exposed. Another choice would be a hedge of cedar if road salt is not a problem, perhaps with the redbud or other flowering shrubs in front of it, such as landscape roses.

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