Q. What are some good choices for an evergreen hedgerow?

The purpose is to build a contiguous privacy along rear/backyard residential property line. The space is 25' long, 4' wide, and I would like the height to be in the range of 6'- 10' high ultimately. I have landscaping, gardening experience.


Your choice of shrub would depend on the location of your hedge and whether you prefer a formal or informal hedge.

For a structured hedge, a common choice for an evergreen shrub for privacy would be an arborvitae. (Thuja species). Most of these, however, grow fast and tall and will take a great deal of maintenance to keep in the 6 to 10 foot range. 

Thuja  'Smaragd'  Emerald  Green arborvitae. grows to only 14 ft. and would be more manageable. Zones 2-.7. Bright green foliage that stays green all winter.

Thuja occidentalis 'Art Boe' NORTH POLE. Is a narrow form growing to 10-15 ft. Zones 3-7.

Thuja occidentalis 'Techny' Another dwarf cultivar growing to 10-15 ft. Zones 2-8

Since deer eat arborvitae, an alternative in deer country is eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) but it does need full sun and it grows to 50-60 ft. high. Zones 2-9.

Some other possibilities are :

Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerus) is a tough, dense, evergreen plant that is fast growing but easily contained to your desired size with annual pruning. It can tolerate sun or shade.

American holly (Ilex opaca). Disease free. Can grow in part shade. Bright berries in the winter on the female plants are an additional advantage. It can be pruned to make a formal hedge.

Yews (Taxus spp.) are good for very formal hedges as they can be pruned into precise shapes. They are slow growing and will be quite easy to keep in exactly the dimensions you desire with annual trimming. Start with larger plants. Taxus x media 'Hicksii' is a good choice. Unfortunately, these plants are very attractive to deer.

If you would like a more informal hedge consider a Japanese laurel e.g. Aucuba japonica ' 'Variegata'. To 6-9ft. Zones 6-9.

Hardy camellias (Camellia spp.) can make very  attractive flowering hedges. Try C. 'Winter's Star', an evergreen shrub. An added advantage is that they flower in late fall, winter, or early spring, depending on the variety. They need some protection from harsh sun and wind if grown in this northern end of their range and desire consistent moisture.

Finally, consider mixing a number of species, or even deciduous and evergreen shrubs to make a more attractive hedge.

Hope this is helpful.

Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 26
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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