The Q&A Archives: Evergreen privacy?

Question: Hello! My house backs to an emergent wetland with a slight berm before sloping to a seasonal creek. I planted 14 Douglas Firs and Red Cedars to create a privacy screen. These did quite well until several died of root rot this year.
My neighbors have a large screen of Portugese Laurels that provide much privacy to the side.
What is your opinion of planting these along the emergent wetland? Is this the best laurel? I am looking for a quick growing evergreen

Answer: I'm surprised you lost Doug Firs and Cedars to root rot - both typically thrive in wet soils! But, since you haven't been successful with them, you might consider planting cottonwood or evergreen poplar trees. Both are frequently planted when restoring wetlands. I'd stay away from bamboo; even the clumping kinds can overtake an area. Laurels are reasonably well-behaved and shouldn't pose a problem when planted in a wetland area. For additional information, you might want to contact your local Native Plant assn. (through OSU extension service in Portland).

Best wishes with your landscape!

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