Choosing plants for privacy screen
pureguava
December 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I want to get a jump on ideas for planting a privacy hedge next year. I don't love the look of formal, pruned hedges but I would like something that grows high enough to block the back neighbor's view down into our yard (maybe 15 feet?). Also something evergreen would be nice as it looks very bare back there. The hedges would go to the left of the apple tree, where that dinky evergreen is now. We are putting a patio in and want to block the view that the neighbors have when they sit on their porch.

I looked at Arborvitae, juniper and viburnum so far. Anyone have suggestions for something fast-growing and relatively low maintenance?
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Curt D'Onofrio
evergreens
December 2, 2013 at 10:26am   
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Lynde Greenhouse & Nursery
Hi! Are you looking for privacy year round, or just for the months where the patio will be used?
December 2, 2013 at 10:30am   
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ASVInteriors
Looks like a good space for bamboo. Use the clumping kind and root barrier. If interested, I can give you more detail. It will grow to 15 feet for sure.
December 2, 2013 at 10:36am   
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Curt D'Onofrio
Maybe a wall like this, then put potted plants on top

December 2, 2013 at 10:39am   
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Curt D'Onofrio
Bamboo grows fast, but i read in newspaper that it will quickly take over if not tended too
December 2, 2013 at 10:41am   
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ASVInteriors
You need to be vigilant twice a year. That is it. Most people ignore it and then wonder what happened. I prune my bamboo twice a year, ridding old culms to make way for new. This allows the bamboo to grow in situ. Any stragglers are noted and "off with their heads"
December 2, 2013 at 10:44am     
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Revolutionary Gardens
pureguava - where are you located? That helps a lot in terms of recommending plants.

I don't know, ASV, to me intentionally planting bamboo and thinking you'll keep it under control is like saying you know that tiger cub you're adopting will get a wee bit bigger but it's ok, you're friends with a butcher who can hook you up with raw beef, it won't eat the neighbor kids. Bamboo remediation is incredibly expensive because of the amount of labor involved, and it's not one and done.
December 2, 2013 at 11:11am   
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pureguava
I am in Longmont, Colorado (near Boulder). I'd like privacy year round so something evergreen would be good. I would even consider growing it along the whole back fence if it didn't spread too much (there are two large apple trees).
December 2, 2013 at 11:14am   
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ASVInteriors
Hi revolutionary - I live in a colder climate so the temperate bamboos that are the most rampant tend to grow slower and smaller. So as you say, all depends on location. I have over 500 bamboos and 25 species ... so far so good!
December 2, 2013 at 11:14am   
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December 2, 2013 at 11:17am   
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Curt D'Onofrio
Hi trebinje. On your given site i like this one: http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/JuniperWichita.htm
December 2, 2013 at 11:22am   
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pureguava
Thanks- I looked into leyland cypress but it looks like they don't do zone 5 in Colorado. I think Junipers are pretty if I could get a few that are tall to begin with.
December 2, 2013 at 11:25am   
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felixgrantham
Red tip photinia grows fast & it's thick & drought tolerant & hardy. Check it's cold-hardiness.

Be very careful if you go bamboo. I bought a house where it had completely taken over the backyard, despite a 24 inch deep concrete retaining "moat". The other thing to know is you can't poison it without endangering your trees (my neighbor learned the hard way). Also, my bamboo turned brown & got pretty bare in winter.
December 2, 2013 at 11:25am   
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decorideas523
Leyland Cypress. We use these all the time for borders and privacy screens. They really grow fast. You can buy the 1 gallon size and under normal conditions have a full blocking screen within a few years. Plant them far apart, at least 6 feet for a privacy screen. They grow hugh and full and are very hardy. I think they are recommended for most zones from 6 to 10. They grow about 3 feet per year and are an evergreen.
December 2, 2013 at 11:26am     
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Stacey at Dohiy.com
In zone 5, look into arborvitae -- evergreen, lots of varieties, fast growers. They are a little thirsty IME, though, at least for the first couple of years.
December 2, 2013 at 11:29am   
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Revolutionary Gardens
Since I'm not familiar with Colorado plants, I'd recommend you contact your local county extension office for guidance. They often have handouts as well as great staff horticulturists and volunteer Master Gardeners. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/cedirectory/countylist.cfm

You really want advice from someone local because all I really know about Colorado is that the weather is bizarre and can swing from one extreme to the other in a heartbeat.
December 2, 2013 at 11:35am   
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