Hedges: Does Juniper make a decent hedge?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Laughing Dog, May 7, 2007.

  1. Laughing Dog

    Laughing Dog Active Member

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    Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island
    We had planted a cedar hedge last year and it took a major beating over the winter - they are all floppy and ragged looking at present. In fact, it does not look salvagable and at this early stage we would rather start over. Since everyone seems to have a cedar hedge in our area we thought something different may be pleasant. The local big box store has some very healthy looking blue upright junipers for $16 each! Do unpright junipers make a good hedge? The tag indicates an overall height of twelve feet (only want eight overall) and further indicates these trees are less thirsty than a cedar hedge would be???

    Also, what is the rule of thumb for spacing a hedge - how far apart should the trees be when planting? These junipers are about three feet high at present.

    Should they be staked? The research I am finding indicates that staking a tree can make a weaker tree overall as it does not develop strength the same way as an unstaked tree? Open to comments on this...
     
  2. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    They will take quite a while to get 8' tall, but I don't see why they wouldn't work as a hedge. I don't think they will give as much spread as most "cedars" (search "Thuja"), so they many need to be planted a bit closer. Do you want a solid "tree fence" or just a row of trees for seperation?

    You like them go for it. You shouldn't need to stake them, but if it is windy then have a stake for a year wouldn't hurt.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you had columnar arborvitaes they splayed open because of their abnormal fastigiate habit and the unusual (for here) heavy snowfall. A given planting of upright junipers might also be adversely affected should similar conditions occur in future.

    Two species dominate what is offered here at present, Rocky Mountain juniper and Chinese juniper. Both may be prone to twig dieback or browning out in patches in this region. Some specimens show this to a bothersome degree, and some do not, but it is certainly not unusual (so-called spiny Greek juniper (of gardens), actually a compact form of Chinese juniper is terrible here, most older specimens with partly dead foliage).
     
  4. Laughing Dog

    Laughing Dog Active Member

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    Thanks for the reponses back - although I had to look up what fastigiate means!
    [a terrific word, by the way]

    I am looking for a solid tree fence, so looks like cedar still remains our best option. We do have a Bamboo hedge in another area of our garden, but would not work in the front yard area (same holds true for laurel as well). The cedar hedging we currently have are splayed open and "ragged looking" in the sense that they have no columnar appearance, but no broken limb damage and the trees look quite healthy otherwise (i.e. green and vibrant in overall appearance) - can we salvage them?

    The reason I am considering this is twofold:
    1. If we are going to stick with cedars, why not try and save the ones currently planted if, and only if, they have a reasonable chance becoming a "hedge".
    2. I looked at the hedge and to properly remove all the existing trees (12 in total) would be a fairly big job. It means removing all the surrounding bark mulch; removing the weed barrier; reconditioning and replacing the soil -then replanting all new trees and placing barrier, etc, etc...
    I do not mind doing the work if I have to, but I am somewhat lazy in that I'd rather not start it if there was an alternative - such as salvaging my existing trees?
     

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