Thorny Hedges for a barrier - Knowledgebase Question

Lombard, IL
Avatar for thelechtenbe
Question by thelechtenbe
May 2, 2006
I am working on a gathering information for constructing barriers between the railroad and residential areas in our community. We are looking for dense thorny hedges that are maintenance free. The current specification is a 3' maximum height when planting on RR property, however we should be able to get a 4' height approved. Please advise.

Answer from NGA
May 2, 2006
In the relatively short height range you are asking about, I can think of only smaller cultivars of barberry (Berberis) as a thorny low maintenance shrub that could be planted as a hedge and left unpruned. Although considered a very low maintenance shrub, these would still need regular watering the first year while becoming established, and would need regular monitoring thereafter to make sure there is nothing unusual happening to them such as a pest or disease problem. Weeding between them would be another maintenance consideration. Your local professional nursery staff and/or county extension may have additional suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the project.

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