The Q&A Archives: Screening/Privacy Trees or Hedges

Question: Hello, I am trying to find a good tree, shrub or plant to use as a privacy screen. I'm in Southern California. To the rear of my property is an alley and across the alley, apartment buildings. I need a fast growing, good looking plant that can reach 15 to 25 feet. I can't use ficus because there is some plumbing that leads from my home to the alley. Any ideas? Thank you much! Christine

Answer: The most popular choices for evergreen hedges in your region are arborvitae, hemlock, pine, spruce and yew. Many people choose Dark American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ?Nigra?) as their favorite for sunny areas. For a very narrow hedge, Vertical Yew (Taxus media ?Vertical Selection?) is one of the best choices because it can be maintained as narrow as 18 inches wide and will grow in full sun to partial shade. Broadleaf evergreens such as boxwood, holly and bougainvillea give a different effect. And, not much can compare to a ?Blue Princess? Holly hedge for creating a dense barrier with glossy dark green leaves all year, with the bonus of red berries in winter. Best wishes with your landscape.

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