Need Privacy - What will grow in the Shade?

Old 04-22-07, 04:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Berkeley Heights
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Need Privacy - What will grow in the Shade?

Hello All,

I live in Zone 6 (North/Central NJ).

I want to find a good evergreen or privacy hedge tree. Ideally, i need something that will grow tall (20 - 30ft) and thick. However, i expect i will have to make compromises. Also, I really don't want to plant something that will need trimming/pruning, but i will compromise on that too.

My property is in a hilly area and I have several tall shade trees in my back yard. Right now, there is plenty of sun in the area where I want to plant. However, once the leaves come in on the trees, the area becomes mostly shady.

Any good ideas on what I can put back there? Oh, one last thing, I have mostly clay on my propery. I can build up with top soil if needed, but I would prefer to skip it if I could.

Thanks for your help!
Old 04-23-07, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Most plants require some sun. Some are shade tolerant but do better in the sun. Too, if planting near trees, they will not only be in competition with each other for moisture and nutrients but will have to compete with the trees as well.

Emerald Arborvitae and Irish Juniper come to mind. Some hollies are shade tolerant, but prefer acidic soil. Yews are shade tolerant, but slow growing and will likely not reach 20-30 feet. Variegated Japanese Laurel works pretty well in shade but prefers moist soil. Ligustrum (Privet) will tolerate just about any growing conditions, is a fast growing evergreen, but requires pruning.

You can increase sun in the area of the shade trees by selectively removing limbs to allow more sunshine and air circulation inside the canopy and around the tree. Check out what is available at your local garden centers. Learn about the growing requirements, size at maturity, and spacing.

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