Ask a Question forum: Privacy Plants

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Name: Antony White
Waukegan (Zone 5b)
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midmod
Mar 8, 2016 7:15 PM CST
hi

We're about to close on a mid century house that has nearly 1/2 acre of land (and pretty much nothing else - no planting except a couple of established trees. We want to put up some kind of privacy barrier although I'm not a huge fan of having a fence running all around the property. What fast growing evergreens would you suggest that could do the same job and would give us privacy relatively quickly. Thanks


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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Mar 8, 2016 8:01 PM CST
Welcome midmod! I hope someone closer to your zone has a recommendation for you.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Mar 8, 2016 8:11 PM CST
Bamboo would do the trick, but I don't know whether it could survive in your zone.
Porkpal
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Mar 8, 2016 8:13 PM CST
Welcome!

I know some bamboo can be horribly invasive.

Sorry, I'm not versed in trees.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Mar 8, 2016 8:14 PM CST

Plants Admin

How tall do you want it to be? Arborvitae is an extremely popular evergreen used for privacy purposes...BUT they are not fast growing, so you would need to put in fairly large plants to quickly get results. They do not grow much on top in the first year while they establish their roots and then only grow 6-9 inches or so per year after that.

Some people around here may also use Forsythia, lilacs and Mountain laurels/large rhododendrons to create privacy walls. (I say around 'here' meaning New Hampshire.... we share the same zone but are in very different parts of the country).
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 8, 2016 8:14 PM CST
Clumping bamboo is actually very polite.
Porkpal
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
Region: Missouri Cat Lover Dog Lover
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pepper23
Mar 8, 2016 8:20 PM CST
Arborvitae will grow quickly and fill in nicely if you give them plenty of space. They usually recommend about 6 feet. Having seen them at full size I say 8 feet so they can have a small gap and have room to breathe. They are evergreen.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
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robertduval14
Mar 8, 2016 8:34 PM CST

Plants Admin

pepper23 said:Arborvitae will grow quickly.


I have to disagree with that assessment. I've planted literally hundreds of these things for my job, they simply do NOT grow quickly, even in ideal conditions until they are mature. Once mature a foot a year is about all one should expect. The Arbor Day Foundation ranks them as a slow to medium growth rate conifer. To make it worse, many nurseries do not carry very large ones for sale, though 6 footers can be had for under $100 a piece retail if you look around enough.

Cultivar matters as well, with some of the dwarf varieties taking 20 years or so to reach 6 feet tall while Green Giant will take much less than that.

Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 8, 2016 8:47 PM CST
Hi Antony and welcome to ATP!!

A Willow hybrid would probably work for you - Salix x matsudana x alba.

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/WillowHybrid.htm
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - Mar 8, 2016 8:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 8, 2016 8:48 PM CST
Welcome!
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Name: Antony White
Waukegan (Zone 5b)
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midmod
Mar 8, 2016 8:56 PM CST
Xeramtheum said:Hi Antony and welcome to ATP!!

A Willow hybrid would probably work for you - Salix x matsudana x alba.

]http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/WillowHybrid.htm


Thanks everyone for the feedback - I love the willow idea - it's perfect for the look I'm going for. As a backdrop it'd work with so many other plants. Thanks!
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 8, 2016 9:08 PM CST
Welcome Midmod! I'd suggest checking with your local native folk and see if there is something that might fit the bill for you. If it's native to your area, it will look good and have a good success rate. And your local birds/animals will thank you.

Edit: Your place would look lovely with a wide swath of mixed native plantings along your boundaries. Would really change the whole look. Then you could do as you like with your interior space. What a fun project you have!
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[Last edited by Bonehead - Mar 8, 2016 9:11 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 8, 2016 9:33 PM CST
Willows would not be evergreen, though would they? In winter the privacy would disappear again. Neither would forsythia or lilacs, but the Mountain Laurel might be. My vote would be for rhododendron (if they are hardy where you are) which are lovely bloomers, and evergreen with nice foliage the rest of the year. They take quite kindly to being pruned to an informal hedge as well.
Elaine

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Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Mar 8, 2016 9:45 PM CST
You're welcome Antony .. be aware though, in order for them to grow really REALLY fast they are going to want lots and lots of water the first year.
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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Mar 9, 2016 5:05 AM CST

This is an English site but might have some ideas that are comparable for you
http://www.majestictrees.co.uk/garden-screening-trees/privac...

Also in England 'Cupressus x leylandii' (Leyland Cypress) is used a lot.
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
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Xeramtheum
Mar 9, 2016 5:59 AM CST
Hetty, Leyland Cypress would be perfect but wouldn't survive - rated to an iffy zone 6 and Elaine you're right, the Salix is deciduous.
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Mar 9, 2016 7:59 PM CST
Do you have deer problems because many arborvitae are deer candy. Green Giant is deer resistant. Around here 5- 6 footers can be had for around 40 dollars.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Mar 9, 2016 8:26 PM CST
You might want something fast-growing to provide some privacy while your ideal trees grow in.

How many linear feet of screen do you need?

Lots of big trees would be VERY expensive.

Small trees will take some years to spread enough to touch each other, and get tall enough for your purposes.

Even bamboo takes 2-3 years to add 5-6 feet to the size you buy in pots. And clumpers will spread sideways even slower than they add height from year to year.

Fargesia rufa only spreads sideways a few inches per year at the base, but since they droop like umbrellas, the foliage spreads sideways much faster for the first few years. It grows UP quickly, then flops OVER, spreading wide.

Here's a good website for searching for bamboo varieties. ABS. I think Zone 5 means -20 F in an average winter? Good luck with bamboo! I think many will drop their leaves when that cold.

http://www.bamboo.org/BambooSourceList/BambooSelector.php

Yup. Searching ONLY for clumpers:

-20 F: none
-15 F: 6 varieties of Fargesia murielae and Fargesia nitida
-10 F: 9 varieties, all Fargesia, including Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa' , which I guess is the "new" name for my F. rufa.

2009:
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2013: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2014
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 9, 2016 9:22 PM CST
Wow, that is really pretty, Rick. It looks like a miniature of my 35ft. bamboo clump out back here . ..

Hey, how old is that rhododendron beside it? That's a lovely combination and would be (mostly) evergreen for Antony's privacy planting, too. The bamboo never loses all its leaves here, even if we get freezing temps but it does shed leaves ALL the time, and more in winter.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 9, 2016 9:29 PM CST
I planted some burford holly 3 years ago and the neighbors goats ate them and they came back and have grown pretty quickly. It said slow growth on the tag, but I think they have doubled in size. I love them because they are ever green and glossy and sort of deer resistant. (deer will eat anything... but these are last resort I hope, although the goats ate them immediately, go figure...) Of course there is always the possibility that the tag was wrong. But at any rate they are a holly of some sort, you may also consider yews?



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