The Q&A Archives: Border Hedge Suggestions

Question: I'm looking to add a hedge between my property and my neighbor's; the choice is between a standard evergreen and something else. Will Privet (Ligustrum amurense) drop its leaves in winter, or is it like a live oak/scrub oak, dropping them only a few at a time in a continuous cycle? If it does drop its leaves when the cold comes, is there some other non-evergreen alternative?

Answer: Privet is semi-evergreen (like live oak) in warm climates. In cooler climes like yours, the leaves turn purplish in fall and many of the leaves remain on the shrub through the winter. On the other hand, there are hundreds of varieties of ornamental evergreens such as juniper, yew, cedar, etc., in various forms, shades of yellow and green, and sizes you can choose from. You could have a beautiful mixed planting of these ornamentals if you want a departure from the same-old-same-old landscape plantings yousee. A local nursery and botanical gardens are great places to view these plants, or you can see what is available on the internet - visit Garden Escape ( for a preview. Hope this helps!

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