The Q&A Archives: Juniperus Chinensis `hetzi Columnaris` Vs. Brandon`s Arborvitae Thuja Occidentalis `brandon` Vs. J

Question: I am planning to plant a fast growing coniferous screen along the east and north side of my suburban lot.

The backyard is slightly sloping, with heavy compacted clay soil, in zone 5.

The backyard is 90 feet wide (east) and approximately 40 feet deep (north ).

The house is a two story, walkout basement.

Its a new subdivsion with no trees or privacy to our deck, which is 20 feet off the ground).

I am considering one of the following:

Juniperus chinensis `Hetzi Columnaris`
Juniperus chinensis `Spartan`
Thuja occidentalis `Brandon`.

I am planning to plant these in a large raised bed(to level the sloping back where it is usually soggy for days after raining).
I would like to plant flowering trees such as dogwood, red bud, cherry or possibly crabapple in front of the screen. Along the South side there will be a screeing of Winter King hawthorns.

Which of the three would be best given the requirements, or would you suggest something else. Also, for the recommended tree, please list any possible drawbacks (disease, pests, plants to avoid withetc...)and the expected yearly growth.

Thank you!

Answer: Any of these would be perfectly acceptable. Growth rates would vary due to various factors, but you could expect

Juniperus chinensis `Spartan`
Handsome, rapidly growing specimen forms densely branched columnar form useful as screen or windbreak. Excellent sheared topiary. Durable evergreen, tolerates heat, cold and drought. Full sun. Fast grower to 15 feet tall, 3 to 5 feet wide. Cutting grown.

Juniperus chinensis `Hetzi Columnaris`
Attractive, upright pyramidal form highlighted by crisp bright-green foliage on dense, tight branches. An evergreen prized for its versatility as a screen or for garden background. Full sun. Vigorous grower to 15 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Cutting grown.

Thuja occidentalis `Brandon`.
Excellent evergreen hedge plant thriving even in the harsh conditions of the prairies. Narrow, cone-shaped densely branched form displays bright green foliage all year. Also useful for tall screens. Full sun. Rapid-growing to 12 to 15 feet tall, 6 to 8 feet wide. Cutting grown.

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