Fast growing privacy screen

Discussion in 'Small Space Gardening' started by Lunar, May 23, 2005.

  1. Lunar

    Lunar Member

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    Burnaby
    Moved into our house a year ago and since then the house next door was sold, demolished and a much larger house with a back balcony about 15' high is now overlooking our entire backyard.

    I am looking for fast growing solution to get some privacy - up 16' +. I have no trees along that side of the back yard so I am planning to do a combination of deciduous trees, evergreens and shrubs. I'll plant some evergreens that are columnar to grow in over time but in the meantime, I'm looking for something that will give me privacy for a few years.

    Any suggestions for the shorter term privacy?

    It is the south facing border.
     
  2. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    How about a clumping bamboo?
    Carol Ja
     
  3. DJR

    DJR Member

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    I've got the same problems as Lunar. I've heard about clumping bamboo. That it's fast, it's tall, and it's not invasive. But will it grow in hot, dry Kelowna? DJR
     
  4. dghicks

    dghicks Member

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    Portugese laurel (prunus lusitanica) will get there reasonably fast, well manured and watered: bamboo is fast, beautiful, and eminently satisfying: the 'clumping' varieties referred to tend to best in some shade, however: in the open dry sun they will suffer, and most max. out around 12-15 feet. No reason why one can't plant a running bamboo properly contained: choose a species that doesn't top out at more than 25-30' (some get twice this height and more), dig a large planting hole, bury 10mm poly a couple of feet deep around the perimeter (seems to do a good job of containing it,though it will need to be renewed over time) one can also lay a perimeter of metal flashing to the same depth for a longer term solution. Manured and watered during active growth (and starting with a good sized healthy division) you can reach the desired 15' in two or three seasons. Certainly, though, in a neighbourhood situation, you are committing to dealing with any shoots that may escape: worth considering at the start, though some running kinds are quite well behaved.
     
  5. whistler

    whistler Member

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    How much area do you have, where you plan to plant this screen? If your lot and your neighbors's balcony is close, in the long run those trees might cause grief to u or your neighbor. Better start planting now, if you want any kind of screen soon with conifers or deciduous trees. In less u have lots of money to buy large specimens. In the mean time, make friends with your neighbor and drink Margaritas on his deck. lol.
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I do agree that bamboo provides the best chance of a fast growing screen. Wherease clumping bamboo can be grown as a hedge, it is slow to achieve width and you will need to plant quite a few to achieve the effect quickly. There are very few clumping bamboos that are hardy to the Lower Mainland. It is not difficult to contain a running bamboo. However, a 10 ml poly will do nothing to contain the rhizomes. The recommended material is high-density polypropylene, 40 mil or heavier, glued or taped at junctions, or clamped with stainless-steel clamps. The two bamboo suppliers in the Fraser Valley - Bamboo World near Chilliwack and Tropic to Tropic Plants in Delta carry them.

    If you are thinking of using bamboo, start off with the right variety. It would be best to talk to the experts at the above bamboo nurseries. The commonly grown golden bamboo is a very aggressive species, and you might want to consider an alternative.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Bamboos are also messy and prone to bamboo mites, which are ubiquitous down here. If you have the budget a trellis with or without climbing plants on it can provide quick relief, take up a minimum of space.
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes, it will if you get the right ones, there are loads of varieties out there, it amazes me that anyone would go for the invasive types. There are a few books out there that have lists of different types. there are also website that tell you the varieties as well.
    Some of the Fargesia types will work in your area, they're pretty hardy
    I attached a picture of a Thamnocalamus tessellatus so you can see the shape of clumping.
    I personally think it is a pretty tidy looking plant!
    Carol Ja
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Look at the ground underneath it. Many broadleaf evergreens drop litter for months, some people can't stand this sort of thing - look how often beautiful, unique native madrona (arbutus) is complained about.
     
  10. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    I guess it really depends on your local conditions, but I have been growing bamboos for years and have found them neither messy nor mite infested. As with any plants we grow, it is more to do with choosing the right variety for the right purpose. Combine that with a bit of knowledge, and you should not have to "put down" bamboos so hastily. As for detritus and fallen leaves - if I am going to have to deal with a pile of fallen leaves, I would have bamboo leaves over the leaves of any othe decidous trees. They have that particular tactile feel to it.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm thinking about inclinations demonstrated by many people, anticipating those. Sounds like the kind of situation where the rubbish generated by bamboo would not be welcome. And if you haven't had yours fill up with bamboo mites, you don't know what a spoiler they can be.

    "Is There a Problem with Bamboo Mites?"

    http://www.americanbamboo.org/GeneralInfoPages/BambooMites.html
     
  12. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Humm, I'm not sure that I would hold dropping its leaves as a reason not to get a plant. What about all the other plants that do the same? I'd invest in a rake. As for arbutus if people don't like them then the West Coast is the wrong place to move to.
    I might add that I have seen bamboos that have bamboo mites, sad. They can be left to look awful, but it is a treatable problem.
    Good website link, I had to get rid of the mites on a clumping bamboo,(at work) the oil method worked really well, we haven't seen any mites this year
    Carol Ja
     
  13. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    Hi

    WHY do we have to deal with the leaves of plants/shrubs/trees
    or fruit for that matter?

    We import them out of their natural enviorment add what we think are good things. And hope that they grow.

    in the wild who or what picks up the fallen leaves?

    There are rhodos growing in China and Asia on limestone cliffs

    If bamboo or rhodos are looseing there leaves try a soil test .

    In alot of cases we rake out the leaves and clean the area around the root ball. Then spend money on fertilzers and admemdments to counter it.


    Just a few thoughts

    Regards Doug
     
  14. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I agree, the only time I bother with the fallen leaves here is if I want to use them to mulch something else.
    Carol Ja
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Yesterday I walked by a lawn with a Pseudosasa hedge next to it. The normally arching bamboo was tied and pruned so that relatively little of it hung over the lawn. It looked like the lawn was a green tsunami that had washed across the lot and smacked into the bamboo. I think the lawn belonged to one party and the bamboo to another. Fallen leaves were strewn for some yards across the grass. I doubt anyone who restrained a neighbor's bamboo so ardently would at all appreciate having it give off large leaves that then got blown all over their grass.

    That's the kind of thing I'm talking about. If your neighbors are apt - as a great many local urbanites seem to be - to try and keep their side as tidy they are probably not likely to be happy with bamboo right along the property line.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2005
  16. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Humm. I live in a rural area.
    Carol Ja
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Problem is nearby house overlooking back yard.
     
  18. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Good luck in attempting to grow screenng bamboo in The Okanagan!

    Correct me if I am wrong, but nothing other than a dwarf species could survive the extreme weather temperatures in Kelowna!
    In all my 45 years, I have never seen a successful bamboo grove in the Okanagan.
     
  19. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Plume poppies do amazingly well in the Midwest. Macleaya cordata. They handle dry weather, too. From the grasslands of China and Japan and they grow from 10 feet tall or more here. Can really take off, but I haven't seen it take over like running bamboo (a former neighbor's house became nearly completely obsured in a matter of 3-4 years with running bamboo). Still might be good to plant it in a plastic tub in the ground.
     
  20. DJR

    DJR Member

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    Thank you, chuckrkc. Looks like Macleaya cordata could be worth a try. DJR
     
  21. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Perhaps try growing Phyllostachys nuda. It's rated as being winter hardy to about -29 centigrade. That should make most winters in the Okanagan, should it not? Summer heat might be an other problem though.
     
  22. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Bamboos like moisture, do not like drying winds.
     
  23. bcislander

    bcislander Member

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    I just came across this thread and it applies somewhat to my situation as well. We moved from a remote Island acreage to an urban lot backing unto a stream and forested greenspace. I have very nice neighbours on two sides and would like to accommodate them when I am designing my landscaping.

    I have been leaning strongly towards some bamboo hedges - particularly with several fargesia clumping varieties. However, after reading through these posts I am worried about the 'leaf litter' and the possible angst it may cause my neighbours! Do the fargesia clustering bamboo really lose their leaves so much? The bamboo mites were another factor I was unaware of...

    I too am seeking a 'hedge' style screen which will achieve around ten to twenty feet in mature height - we reside in Campbell River on Vancouver Island and the property is both south facing and wind protected. We travel frequently, so low maintenace is a high criteria but we are seeking something other than a cedar or laural hedge. Very much open to suggestions... the planting areas are self-contained via stone retaining walls in a semi-circle shape of approx. 25 feet in overall length on the east and west borders of the rear yard.
     
  24. petauridae

    petauridae Active Member

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    Location:
    Walla Walla Valley, WA, USA
    I've got a similar situation here (Zone 6b, but hot and dry in the summer) with the following points aiding in my description of the situation.
    1) Obnoxious neighbour decides to build 'home office' on top of 9' tall garage (total height over 20') and puts window that looks into my back yard, master bedroom, and bathroom
    2) I've got a cultivar of Acer campestre that I have already put in place and is about 16' tall already
    3) Tree was put in May, but then we had heat spell that probably put tree into dormancy (leaves died, but limbs still pliable and when I cut off a small branch it was wet inside so I'm hoping...)
    4) His building is 5' from my fence (which cannot be raised)
    5) Underground electric/cable TV/phone is about 1' from fence and 4' underground
    6) A. campestre planted 'between' underground utilities in #5 and gas line (also 4' underground), thus it is 5' from fence
    7) My backyard is small

    I have thought about putting behind the maple (until it fills out and maybe beyond that for more privacy) either
    2-3 Leyland Cypress
    or
    3-4 Thuja 'Green Giant'
    or
    1-2 Trumpet Creepers in buckets (for easier spread control) and on a metal or wood pole
    or
    5-6 Mediterranean Cypress (kind of iffy re: their cold hardiness)

    Any thoughts, comments, condolences, are appreciated!
     
  25. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    Try a male Actinidia...fast growing and a sure volume of summer greenery... (Kiwi vine) of course it will require a trellis/arbor/ tree support....for the screen effect...
     

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