The Q&A Archives: fast growing privacy shrub

Question: I am looking for a fast growing privacy shrub that would grow well in Santa Barbara, California. If at all possible, it would be great if it was kid friendly (ie. no thorns).

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. The most kid friendly choices would be the boxwood, arborvitae, hemlock, pine, spruce and yew. The others have thorns or pointy leaves. Best wishes with your landscape.

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