The Q&A Archives: screening hedge for shady area

Question: My backyard is bordered by woods and my yard is mostly shade. I would like to find some kind of evergreen tree or shrub to create privacy along the edge of my yard during the winter when the trees are bare.

Answer: There are two screening shrubs that do well in shade: Yews and Hollies. Irish Yews (Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata') has a columnar shape, grows 15'-30' high by 4'-8' wide, and is often used as privacy hedges; Hicks yews (Taxus ? media 'Hicksii'): has a columnar shape, 12'-20' high by 6'-10' wide. Holly (Ilex) is popular for their glossy green leaves and bright red berries. Hollies look best if kept trimmed and full. Only the females set berries, but you?ll need a male to cross pollinate. There are some new varieties that don?t require 2 sexes. Hollies prefer an acidic soil and the addition of peat or garden sulfur may be necessary. The American holly is more widely adaptable than the English holly. Depending upon cultivar, hollies generally reach 10-20' high and 5-8' wide.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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