Which trees to plants for height and privacy?


Old 10-15-06, 06:50 AM
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Which trees to plants for height and privacy?

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and need some advice on trees. We have bought a rural propery which is just under an acre. We have some nice trees around the edge of our property but some areas with large gaps that make us feel a bit exposed. I would love to have a ready made forest put in, but know that's not possible! Can anyone suggest what type of trees/bushes I should plant to get height and privacy fairly quickly, but a variety so we have some colour and different levels so it doesn't look too boxed in if you know what I mean. I haven't got alot of money to spend on them, I notice I can buy trees on sale at the moment, but is fall the wrong time to plant? Any advice much appreciated.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:01 AM
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The bigger the tree, the more you're going to pay for it. Keep in mind that evergreens are going to give privacy year round, while those that drop their leaves in the fall will not provide privacy in the winter.
Old 10-15-06, 01:39 PM
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Planting a row of the same species is not always a good idea. If planting for privacy and one dies, then you have an opening in your privacy fence. Planting two rows where trees in second row are positioned behind the first row and located where gaps are in the first row tends to work best. Trees or shrubs should be planted with consideration of size at maturity. In addition to space considerations, you will need to consider the species adaptability to moisture and soil conditions.

For a rural property, it would be best to use a native species. Cityscape shrubs tend to look out of place in the country. Take a look at the evergreens in your rural setting. Pines? Hemlock? Fir? Spruce? Pulling in a native species into your landscape will make for a more natural looking stand of evergreen trees for year-round privacy. Don't overlook native shrubs. Mountain laurel and rhododendren can provide year-round privacy with the beauty of flowers. Your local Cooperative Extension Agent should be able to provide you with suggestions for native species.
Old 10-15-06, 06:37 PM
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Hi Shimano,

Congratulations on your new home! You've already gotten some great advice. Without knowing what state you live in and your hardiness zone it would be impossible to recommend specific trees and shrubs. If you are in Hawaii I wouldn't recommend the same plant material then if you are in Montana. If you aren't sure of your hardiness zone you can use this zip code zone finder.

Knowing the sun conditions would also be helpful.

Fall is a great time to plant, but again, knowing your state and zone will tell us if it's too late now.

Old 10-15-06, 08:27 PM
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Hi all, thanks for all the replies, I live in Ontario, near Barrie. I have quite a few trees in my lot already that seem to thrive well. I like the idea of pine and spruce, I've noticed alot of properties similar to mine use these for privacy. Do these type of trees grow fairly quickly? Also, I have been offered trees from other peoples lots if I'm prepared to dig them and transport them to my house. Would that work, or would they die if I haven't bought them from a pot? Thanks again,

Old 10-15-06, 11:18 PM
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Allison, I get you as hardiness zone 5a. I also looked at your current temps and would recommend that you plant and transplant your trees in late winter/early spring.

The offer of trees from others could be helpful, but keep in mind that a rootball can get very heavy. You may need a tree dolly or even a tree spade, which is a large piece of equipment you would have to hire.

Pine will grow rather quickly, but spruce grows slowly. Here's some evergreen trees and shrubs you could consider.

Evergreen holly might be another option for you. They don't grow fast but will stay full and won't need pruning. With most hollies you will need one male and the rest females so you can have berries. Foster holly is an exception and doesn't need a mate and will grow to about 20' to 30'. The others are named and will be easy to select the males and females. Here's some ideas.

These grow to about 10'.
lex 'Mesog' CHINA GIRL
Ilex 'Mesdob' CHINA BOY

These grow to about 8' to 10'.
Ilex x meserveae BLUE PRINCE
lex x meserveae BLUE PRINCESS

More holly info.

There are several upright Junipers that might work for your living screen. Juniperus chinensis 'Spartan' - Spartan Juniper is one example.

If you have the space to let Canadian hemlock grow without pruning, that might also be an option. These can also be sheared.

There are also many Yews (Taxus) that grow fairly quickly and will get quite large. This site should give you some ideas. It often loads slowly. Btw, Canada yew is poisonious.

There are some wonderful viburnums that have berries for the birds and will scent the spring garden.

Another great shrub especially for winter interest and feeding the birds is winterberry. It looks great in front of an evergreen in winter with it's bright red berries.

Spicebush is another native that isn't evergreen but is great for wildlife and smells good too.

Mahonia aquifolium is an evergreen native with yellow flowers. Also called Oregon grape as the berries look like bluish purple grapes. It has a very informal look.

Consider Arborvitae. Depending on which cultivar you get, they grow about 15' to 30' tall and 10' wide. Here's an interesting site on Arborvitae. Arborvitae 'Emerald Green' and Arborvitae 'Green Giant' are good selections and grow quickly if cared for properly. The second picture shows them lined up like soldiers.

How to transplant, water and mulch.

Old 10-16-06, 10:57 PM
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Thanks Newt,

your info is very helpful, I will print it out and do some reasearch before heading down to the garden centre. I have alot of local nurseries in my area, and quite a few people advertise in my area who sell trees and will come and plant them for you within the price. Thanks again,

Old 10-17-06, 10:13 AM
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Alison, you are so very welcome!! If you have the nursery do the planting, take pictures while they are doing it, along with some before and after. It's best for them to remove the burlap from the rootball of trees and shrubs. Wire baskets should also be removed.

Good luck!
Old 11-01-06, 05:35 PM
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Would this apply?

Would any of this info apply to Zone 7? I'm in Maryland, we're still in the High 50s/40s until December, temp wise. I'm dying to get 3 columnular trees up, fast growers, asap to block out the road and neighbors behind us before summer returns.
Old 11-02-06, 10:01 AM
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Mheffner, yes it would. I too am in zone 7 and I understand the temps will go down to freezing over the weekend at night.

Old 11-12-06, 03:56 PM
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I've bought a number of trees that were on sale, usually 50-75% off, from some of the big box stores at the end of the season or during the height of the summer and they looked dead with no leaves and dry soil. I planted them all in good fertilized soil and watered them regularly and they all have taken off and have been growing well for the past 2-3 years. I live in upstate NY, zone 5, and have had success with maples, aborvitae (emerald green) and blue spruces. Most of the big box stores will still offer the 1 year warrenty for thier on sale trees also. Just be sure to check through the on sale stuff, watch out for poorly pruned trees or ones with broken limbs.
I have one red maple I bought for $5.00 from Home Depot two summers ago that didn't have a single leaf on it and the soil was hard as concrete. I planted it, about 5 feet tall, and it's doing greet and is currently about 12 feet tall.

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