The Q&A Archives: Planning A Living Fence

Question: I live in the suburbs and love my neighbors but! My back right yard is boardered by my neighbors 50 feet of chain link fence and we recently put in an above ground pool. How could I start a living privacy fence with bushes, shrubs and a couple of trees for that area? I hope you can help.

Answer: Your living fence will need an area about as wide as it is tall, so plant things well inside the fence line to allow for maintenance. You could plant any number of shrubs that are suited to the location in terms of light, soil type, and soil moisture. Some fairly easy care plants to consider for an informal mixed hedge planting would be privet, lilac, spirea, forsythia, shrubby dogwoods, Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) and Burkwood viburnum. Adding trees to the mix would introduce an element of shade that would increase over time, as well as add to the potential for leaves to fall into the pool, so you may want to stick with large shrubs such as those mentioned above. They can grow to 8 or 10 feet which is usually tall enough to create a good screen.

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