The Q&A Archives: Seeking screening flora recommendation

Question: I need to create a dense visual screen under a oak canopy. Need starting plants of 3 to 5 feet (5 would be best with an expected max of 15 to 20. It's a corner lot so the screen would get early morning sun for 2 to 3 hours, and after would be moderately shaded.

What shrubs/trees would you advise. I prefer to use one type and would consider only non-security plants. I would consider multiple suggestions.

Carmen Tedeschi

Answer: You might be able to grow some of the larger Catawba rhododendrons there, or possibly some of the native dogwood trees (Cornus florida). Most trees and shrubs will be airy and sparse when grown in the shade, and most evergreens prefer a hald day of sun, so you may not be able to achieve a full screening effect, especially during the winter. Unfortunately, it is difficult to give specific plant recommendations long distance. I would strongly suggest you consult with your local county extension and/or professionally trained and certified nurseryman for suggestions. They should be able to help you analyze the growing conditions where you want to plant (in addition to lighting, also looking at soil conditions and possible competition from tree roots) and based on knowing that, suggest plants that would thrive there in addition to meeting your design criteria. Best of luck with your project!

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