Evergreen shrubs for privacy

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Curtis Riess, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    I am looking at planting some evergreen shrubs in spring, mainly for privacy. Minimum height of 5 feet and anywhere up to about 12 feet. The area is partly shaded and there is not a lot of lateral space so a more upright or narrow shrub would work best. Preferably a thick shrub and moderate or fast growing, any suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Narihira bamboo if you don't mind the fallen spent parts and possible mite infestation, and the area has underground barriers to spread of roots or these can be installed. Kept watered and fertilized will shoot up much faster than something like yew, holly or box, which grow mere inches per year, yet is quite vertical. And the newly opened culm sheathes are interesting, almost like bowls or plates.

    For instant, almost non-changeable relief from an unwanted view in or out you are left with installing fencing, all plants have requirements and limitations resulting from them being living, growing things. Wood fencing, of course being made from plants is subject to deterioration and needs enough upkeep or repairs to prevent it from rotting out or blowing over.
     
  3. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Curtis.
     
  4. Ginger Cat

    Ginger Cat Member

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    Are you looking for a broadleaf evergreen or conifer? Laurel hedging grows together quickly and is easy to prune into a neat hedge shape.
     
  5. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    I am looking for a broadleaf evergreen and did think about Laurel initially as I really like the look. I am somewhat concerned that Laurel may grow too high ( some to 20 feet ) and do not want a high maintenance shrub ( having to trim it several times a year to keep the height under 10 feet or so ). What do you think? Thanks
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Laurel does require a fair bit of pruning to keep it within bounds. In our neighborhood there are plenty of laurel hedges that are higher than 10 feet and some that are spreading into sidewalk space.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Most forms of English laurel grow into big tubby plants that eat up a lot of space unless pruned back yearly. The species is also a weed in this region, frequently coming up from seed to infest uncleared places in and around local communities. People need to stop planting it - along with ivy, English holly and Portugal laurel.
     
  8. Ginger Cat

    Ginger Cat Member

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    Hi Curtis, there are evergreen viburnums that look great if the hedge is in a shaded area....but if you want low maintenance, I would go with cedar hedging. It is relatively slow growing, and requires no shaping in the first few years (if you do even choose to shape). Then you only need yearly shaping to keep it neat. We planted a smaragd cedar hedge to block the view of a neighbor's unkempt yard. I, myself, love the look of a broadleaf evergreen, but they do require twice yearly upkeep (sometimes more) to keep them in
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    That depends entirely on which particular broad-leaved evergreen you plant. A non-dwarf or columnar arborvitae hedge will also exceed a narrow space; native Thuja plicata develops rapidly when not a dwarf cultivar.
     
  10. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thanks everyone, it appears that Laurel is out of the question. One option is a Camellia, thoughts?
     
  11. Ginger Cat

    Ginger Cat Member

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    Camellia japonica would be a lovely idea if you are looking for an informal hedge. We have 3 red flowering bushes that are in a full sun area. (the white tend to need a lot more shade). Ours took a couple years to get established, but are looking very beautiful now. Prune in late spring or early summer, so as not to lessen the amount of flowers. (they do get big though - up to 5 m tall and 4 m wide, sometimes larger after many years...but they are slow growers)
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Quite slow and eventually quite large, unless a smaller-growing cultivar. Excellent foliage and habit for hedging, when a cultivar or seedling with the typical upright habit (cultivars vary in habit). However, mess made by fallen spent flowers and petals nothing short of amazing. And with double kinds a percentage of the shriveled, brown flowers remains on the shrub.

    Would recommend instead one of the Camellia x williamsii cultivars ('Donation', 'J.C. Williams', 'Mary Christian' etc.) as the spent flowers are not as bothersome - these drop clean and do not make such substantial piles of litter.
     
  13. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Excellent feedback Ginger Cat and Ron, I will research the Camellia type that you mentioned Ron, with my eye for a red flowering type. Cheers, Curtis.
     
  14. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Most forms of that cross offered are pink in flower. If you prefer red you will probably have to go with C. japonica. If tall enough C. x vernalis 'Yuletide' might also be suitable. It is sold as C. sasanqua 'Yuletide'.
     
  15. Ginger Cat

    Ginger Cat Member

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    Not too sure what type ours are, Curtis. We purchased them off of Craigslist and the person that sold them to us had thrown out the tags. They bloom in late May and again in Fall, and do well in a sunny location, so I would hazard a guess that they are of the 'sasanqua' variety (but, who knows? There are so many types...). The below link is a great website for choosing a camellia:

    http://www.camelliagrove.com.au/camellias.php
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not a Sasanqua if blooming in May.
     
  17. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    I have a question for you Ron, I noticed that the Nursery down the road from me has two good looking camellias on sale, Pink Yuletide and Kramer's Supreme. I was wondering if they would make a good informal hedge?
     
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The second, being a C. japonica cultivar will be likely to produce a more solid and block-like habit than the other.
     
  19. Curtis Riess

    Curtis Riess Member

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    Thanks Ron, I appreciate the expertise.
     

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