The Q&A Archives: Screening Shrub

Question: I need to plant a row of screening shrubs along a fence line in a shaded area with good soil but drought condition.

They need to grow fast and provide screening and be dense to help with sound barrier to street. Any suggestions?


Answer: There are only a few screening type plants that will tolerate shade. Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) and Yews (Taxus) are both commonly planted because they are easily pruned and maintained and make excellent hedges. Not all varieties are acceptable. For Arborvitae avoid "Woodwardii" which tends to brown in the winter. "Emerald," "Nigra," and "Techny" maintain their green much better throughout the winter. Check out Taxus cuspidata "Capitata" or Taxus xmedia "Hatfieldii" or "Hicksii" which are commonly used for hedges. Yews have the added advantage of generally being disease and insect-free. Once established, these plants will get along quite well with only natural rainfall. Best wishes with your hedge!

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