Replacement for columnar cedar hedge?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Tim Perrin, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Tim Perrin

    Tim Perrin New Member

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    West Kelowna, BC
    Three years ago, we sat on our deck and watched helicopters and water bombers working a fire on a hillside about a mile away. Fortunately, the winds were favorable and fire tends to go up the hill, not down, so we weren’t even on evacuation alert. But a shift in the winds and it would have been a very different story.

    Partly as a result of that incident, I had a crew pull out a gorgeous 20’ cedar hedge that sorrounded our property, 109 plants in all. It was 35 years old, fully mature — and one hot cinder would have set it ablaze, wicking the fire to all sides of our house and along the fence lies to endanger every home in the neighborhood.

    But my yard is now barren. I’m waving “Hi” to neighbors I’d never met before this and looking down into their breakfast nook. I want to replace the hedge with something that is not full of pitch and doesn’t collect dry, dead detritus inside itself, something that will be self-limiting in width like the cedars, and low if not zero maintenance; I’m not getting any younger, and truth be told, I hate yartwork. It also needs to be very temperature tolerant. We range from -25 to + 40. And this being the Okanagan, a high level of drought tolerance would be good.

    I realize this may be an impossible wish list but I’m hoping someone can come up with a brilliant suggestion or two.

  2. Partelow

    Partelow Active Member

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    Osoyoos, BC
    Consider a hedge of a deciduous species. I just checked a list of fire resistant species in California and noticed lilac on the list. Lilacs do very well throughout the Okanagan.. grow very quickly but then require a fair bit of pruning to keep them under control.. They will definitely give you privacy during the growing season. Maples also made the California list and I’ve seen a lovely hedge of well maintained tartarian maple. Also, caragana or forsythia can be pruned to be very attractive but I can’t speak for their fire resistance.
    Keke likes this.

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