|Could you recommend a fairly fast growing shrub for an area which is under some very large elm trees and thus partly shaded? I don't want to plant hemlock and am wondering about a cedar or cypress?
|American or eastern arborvitae (sometimes called white cedar) is prone to winter damage from drying winds, so plant only in a protected area. It will tolerate light shade, but not heavy shade.
Some types of false cypress (Chamaecyparis spp.) might be appropriate, but check to be sure the height is appropriate for your needs. I don't know of any true cypresses (Cupressus spp.) that would be hardy in your area.
Rhododendrons, Japanese barberry, common boxwood, evergreen euonymus (E. japonica), winterberry, holly, and mapleleaf viburnum are some other options.