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  #1  
Old 03/20/12, 10:56 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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fastest growing plant for privacy screen

I have a cabin in WV that will one day be my home, There is a house very close to mine. For some reason they built the two houses on the farthest edges of each property so they are very close. I need a fast growing privacy screen the will not get real bushy since I do want to be able to walk around that side of the house.

I need somthing that will get tall FAST!!! The daughter seems to enjoy sitting on the second story deck with her camera taking pictures and video of me everytime I am working on that side of the house. I was thinking of bamboo but I do not want it to take over the whole place. I was also thinking arborvitae since I can buy some 5 foot trees for about 30.00 each but I guess it would still take several years for them to get tall enough to block out the second story deck especially since I am only there 4-5 times a year and can not water them regulary.

I avoid doing anything on the side of the house just to avoid being watched

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  #2  
Old 03/20/12, 11:22 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southern New Jersey
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I'm looking to do the same thing. I'm leaning towards the leyland cypress, planted @ 8' centers. My nephew did this at his place, he bought 5 gallon size @$20 apiece (approx.4-5' tall). In four years, they've grown to 14-15' tall and have completely filled in (great privacy).

Just the other day I found a local farmer (craigslist) offering up 3 gallon pots for $8 each.

I'm in no hurry and need a bunch, so I think I found mine

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  #3  
Old 03/21/12, 04:44 AM
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If you're not there much the first year after planting then pretty much any fast growing tree is going to be a gamble. If a drought strikes and you can't get there to water you may just end up losing every tree. Besides, to get the ultimate height of any fast growing tree during the first few years requires frequent watering, unless you get lucky with plenty of rain. Sounds like you already realize that.

Leyland cypress and arborvitae both can be heavily infested with bagworms. If you're not there to pick them off by hand or spray, they can also set back your privacy screening efforts. Some people get lucky in this respect. Or unlucky, however you wish to look at it. Bagworms here seem to enjoy the Green Giant arborvitae more than the Leyland Cypress. I picked off probably 50 or more bagworms just last year on a short row of Green Giants, whereas the leyland cypress had maybe two or three total.

You mention not wanting a bushy tree or plant. Both of those trees can get quite "bushy". You can shear them, but it isn't going to be pretty IMHO. Even with the pest problem, I still prefer the Green Giants over the leyland cypress.

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  #4  
Old 03/21/12, 09:09 AM
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Location: West Central Texas
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How does red tip photinia do in your area? Some varieties grow to 25' tall within 4-5 years (maybe less if well watered and taken care of). They can be sheared to about 6' wide and still look good.

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  #5  
Old 03/21/12, 09:34 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minnesota
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Oh dear, fastest privacy screen I can think of is a big, tall fence. I would feel very uncomfortable about a neighbor taking pictures of me! Is it possible she is an avid bird watcher? I guess the only tree that springs to mind for me is the arborvitae, too. Good luck!

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  #6  
Old 03/21/12, 09:52 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blynn View Post
Oh dear, fastest privacy screen I can think of is a big, tall fence. I would feel very uncomfortable about a neighbor taking pictures of me! Is it possible she is an avid bird watcher? I guess the only tree that springs to mind for me is the arborvitae, too. Good luck!
She is not a bird watcher unless there is always a bird on my shoulder, she does not try to hide it at all. From her second story window and balcony she will stand there with her arm extended and follow me with the camera.

I would say something but she is in her teens and since I am not there all the time I do not want to take a chance on having the house vandalized or anything. I would love to do a tall fence but it would have to be about 12-14 feet tall. I planted six arborvitae on the opposite side of the property about two springs ago and they all lived but have only grown about two feet.

There is a place close to me that has some bamboo growing and I think it might be clumping because it has not spread very much. I could probable go dig up some ten foot plants to replant down there. I only need to block about a 30 foot long area

Edit: Looks are not that important right now, I am a private person and I just need somthing to block her out at least partially
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  #7  
Old 03/21/12, 10:11 AM
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If she is a teen chances are she will be moving soon? Maybe her parents need to be invited to dinner? Get to know them. If that is not what you can do. Good fortune to ya.

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  #8  
Old 03/21/12, 10:18 AM
 
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Location: South Central PA
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I talk to the parents everythime I am down there. The mother seems a bit odd, she talks real nice to me and I was telling her that I wanted to fence the whole place, later that night I heard her yelling to other people how I was putting up a fence and it must be nice to have plenty of money (which I dont). The father helped me move a lot of building material and hauled trash to the dump for me, he is about the nicest guy you could meet but he moved out last year after the wife hit him.

It is a very poor area and the the girl is 16 i think so I really do not want to deal with that for several years.

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  #9  
Old 03/21/12, 12:49 PM
 
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Location: maine
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Look for columnar type arborvitae. Some are quite narrow. $$$ for big ones and several years for the height you need.

Steel pipe, tall, without the chainlink fence, several dutchman's pipe. Again several years.


Even hybrid poplar are on the several year plan.

Maybe the kid just got a new camera...

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  #10  
Old 03/21/12, 01:03 PM
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Steel pipe and trumpet vine. Couple of years and that trumpet vine will get past 20 feet tall. You might have to run some lateral wire around and between the posts to give the vine something to wrap around on it's way up.

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  #11  
Old 03/21/12, 01:28 PM
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I'm inclined to believe the pair of them are mentally unstable. If the husband left because the wife is violent, and the 16 yo is so bored she videos everything you do outside there is something wrong over there.

How about moving the bamboo and also doing a quick and dirty pole and wire fence. On the fence any vining plant will work, maybe something like honey suckle?

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  #12  
Old 03/21/12, 05:00 PM
 
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Put up a tall trellis and plant hops, grapes, trumpet vines, or kiwi fruit.

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  #13  
Old 03/21/12, 05:29 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: South Central PA
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I do not think a trellis will work because they are always on the second story balcony so it would have to be about 15 feet tall to block them out. I know a place I can dig up somt 15 foot tall bamboo but I do not want it spreading everywhere. What if I burried rubbermaid containers with holes then planted bamboo in that? I was thinking some bamboo then arborvitae and rotate back and forth, the bamboo would help right away and then I could get rid of it once the trees got big enough to block them out

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  #14  
Old 03/21/12, 05:40 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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My vote is for bamboo as well. When it is tall, vine plants will grow up it for even better coverage. So what if it spreads? Just harvest for the rods once in a while.

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  #15  
Old 03/21/12, 05:43 PM
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I don't know what this is but I cut it to the ground two years ago and its 9 ft high since.

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  #16  
Old 03/21/12, 05:44 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I was just worried about it spreading into the neighbors yard and have them complain

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  #17  
Old 03/21/12, 06:31 PM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South Mississippi
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I learned this year at disney world there is a variety of bamboo that does not "take over" it stays in clumps and grows really really fast. I didn't get the name of it but you can do a search for it. I did a quick one and found the following nurseries:
Bamboo Plants - Clumping Bamboo Plants | Running Bamboo Plants - Willis Orchard Company

and
Bamboo Choices: six different categories

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  #18  
Old 03/22/12, 06:52 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belfrybat View Post
How does red tip photinia do in your area? Some varieties grow to 25' tall within 4-5 years (maybe less if well watered and taken care of). They can be sheared to about 6' wide and still look good.
photinia has disease problems in my area- leyland cypress does as well- something to check into before you commit to a plant
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  #19  
Old 03/22/12, 06:53 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by TNHermit View Post
I don't know what this is but I cut it to the ground two years ago and its 9 ft high since.

forsythia
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  #20  
Old 03/22/12, 07:28 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Quinlan, Tx
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If she is photographing you and video taping you she is breaking the law in most if not all states. Talk to her parents about the invasion of privacy and the fact that it's illegal.

Poplar is a very fast growing tree it might work for a privacy screen.

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