Privacy Hedge-What to Choose?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fin29, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I hate doing this, since I posted this in the Garden forum; but, with no responses, I'll throw it out for advice here:

    Here's the deal: I have approximately 400 feet of road frontage that I would like to line with a shrub or tree for privacy. I only need the privacy in the summer (we're hiding the chicken tractors from Madame Code Enforcement Officer), so deciduous is definitely okay-in fact, I would prefer not to have any evergreens. I'm in zone 4 and the temps will go below freezing in the winter. It's a busy road, so the plants will be exposed to a substantial amount of road salt. The area is at the top of a sloping 5 acre field, which can get pretty windy. I would prefer to have something that will produce something usable, like maybe hydrangeas for wreaths or berries of some sort, but I'm more concerned about it being fast growing, easily maintained, relatively nice looking, and tall, 7 or 8 feet. What's the best option? We've considered tall grasses, those "Wall of China" hedges you see in the hokey bulb magazines, dwarf hydrangea trees, and even grapes on high-tensile wire fence; but, we're open to anything. Our plan is to fence the field with 4' mesh topped with barbed wire, so we would be open to planting a vine on it, provided it's not too invasive and grows fast. I will pay good money for larger, established plants if they're hardy or productive. If you were me, what would you choose?
     
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    By the time you put all of that in, you will have spent enough to build a board fence - have you considered that? I am interested in the answer to this because I have 400ft of highway frontage also. I want to do mine on the cheap though. The Vine idea sounds good.

     

  3. Georgiaberry

    Georgiaberry Member

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    I don't know about in zone 4 or road salt or any of that but at our house we are planning a privacy hedge of corkscrew willow. We live in zone 8 and I can provide regular water to this hedge.

    We decided on this plant for the following reasons:

    -It is practically free, except for time. They root so vigorously that from one purchased tree we can grow as many as we like - thousands?, really, you could.

    -It grows so fast and its curly weepy branches easily reach to the ground to make a full screen.

    -It is beautiful!

    I don't know if this will grow where you live, but as far as usability goes, this plant is used by florists. If you ever see an arrangement with thin curly sticks in it, these are branches of corkscrew willow, with the tiny green leaves stripped off. I once got an arrangement like this and by the time the flowers had faded the willows had grown roots and sprouted leaves!
     
  4. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

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    Yours sounds as expensive as mine. We got 600' of fence to construct, and we're going with 16' cattle panels. Because it's a pasture, along a road where 2 deer were taken at 11pm by poachers, we plan on planing Nankin Cherry, thorny blackberries and anything else that will keep the fence scalers away. They shot towards our house! We figure, what they can't see, they won't be tempted to shoot, so whatever else goes in, it's gotta be dense, thorny and a pain in the butt to cross. (they just cut electric wire)

    For the cattle panels, we're looking at 1 wooden post & 1 steel per 16' span - trying to keep it under a buck a foot!

    Got a great suggestion for electric fences - SS lashing wire. Lasts forever... telephone & cable companies use it to attach their cables to eachother. It comes in 3300' rolls, smaller than steel & aluminum, but very strong.
     
  5. retire2$

    retire2$ Well-Known Member

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    May want to check out Privett hedge to see if it is suited for your area.

    Down here in Maryland I've had privett hedge for over 25 years. I let it grow to 6 or 7 feet and trim. I've cut it down to 3 or 4 feet and it will grow back. Never had any pest problems except for an occassional bees nest.
     
  6. copperhead51

    copperhead51 Well-Known Member

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    Use siberian elm bush. I tried conifers for years with little success. The siberian elm really took off and grows under austere conditions.
     
  7. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    KUDZU!!! Or maybe Multiflora Rosa? that's what they were imported for...seriously, have you considered Austrees? tm That's a willow/elm cross and they grow FAST
     
  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I like Arbor Vitae personally and have a 180 foot stretch of property line where they provide visual privacy, but you don't care for evergreens. We are also putting in hazelnuts along a 500 foot stretch of our property line. I'm figuring about 4-6 offset rows of them. We will alternate pruning back rows each year. Unpruned (or lightly pruned) they should get to about 15 feet and provide visual privacy. The pruned ones should produce nuts more heavily. Give me a few years and I'll tell you how well it works.

    Mike
     
  9. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Hazelnut seems good-fast growth, tasty by-product, mature height of 12-15 feet and width of 8-15 feet, zones 4-8, likes any soil, widely adaptable moisture and sun requirement. Hmmm... :cool:
     
  10. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Have you considered Black Locust? The farmers here in Oklahoma have been using it for yrs for hedge-rows & wind breaks. It is very hardy, grows fast, is inexpensive, provides a thorny barrier to animals & people, & as it matures it provides a source of firewood & fence posts. It burns very hot & even small limbs make good stove wood. When it is planted as a hedge or a wind break it will grow dense enough that a fence will not be required.It does have wicked thorns! :eek:
     
  11. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like that might be the thing to line the woods with to slow down the dang deer. How tall does that stuff grow?
     
  12. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    ok.. I raised trees as a side business years back so I will take a stab at this un....

    canadian hemlock. they grow like mad if you dump nitro fertilizer on them, and they are DENSE, soft cedarlike greanery, no thorns, and they tolorate shade, and canadian freezin winters. if you start out with a row of 1-2 ft transplants, in about 7 yrs you will have a thick, year round evergreen wall about 12-14 feet tall all things being equal. not to mention many birds love cedar and hemlock trees. Komrade codechecker will not see or hear you for the rest of your life.
    other fast growers are siberian elm hedge and privit, but if you dont trim these a lot they will just grow into tall scraggly trees. black locust is a tree, and wouldnt make a good screen. a seasonal hedge of forsythia is eccelent, ad colorful, but sheds every winter so youll see right thru it, not so much with mock orange, or wigilia. if you want a people proof screen plant wood roses, even cows wont try to walk thru those.
    you could also grow leyland cypress, but they are kinda pricy. Hybrid poplars are cheap and grow fast but are trees and if you dont keep cutting them down you dont have a screen.
    you can get canadian hemlock transplants from places like musser forserters, cold stream farms, pikes peak nerseryies ect, in lots of 10 to 10,000, and is in the long run most economical, visually pleasing, dense and sound proof and shade tolorant.
    I made the mistake (I was being cheap actually) of using forsythias as a wall, but I dont like the bareness in winter. (I cloned a few hundered and the were free, i couldnt help myself) now I have to dig them out, and plant hemlock this year. It set my growing wal back 2 yrs by being cheap....
    now.. another idea that has worked very well for me along my side yard is to put up a 4 foot tall stoclade fence, then plant privit on the inside. the privits grow like mad, and bush 10 feet over the top and naturally as they do get very bare under, about 4-5 feet up from the ground. from outside this makes a nice effect, the wood fence and the tree/bushes on top.
    also if you have access to a sawmill and nearly free truckloads of slabwood, it is super easy to build a stockade fence that looks like its 100 yrs old after it "greys" out one summer. I may forgo the hemlock and start putting up a stockade, just because itll be quicker and much cheaper. I havent decided.

    hope that helped.
    oh ya, if you REALLY wanna kneep the people goats bears eliphants and communists out plant osage orange trees... nothing gets thru those thorns.
    or hawthorn trees, they are shortish shrubby thorn trees.

    want to make someones life miserible? plant female "tree of heaven" seedlings on thier property... the fruit smells like rotting meat, and they spred like deamons, the more you cut them down the more they sprout up all over.. only the females the males have no odor. "the tree of heaven was created in hell"... an old chinese sayiing about the tree... no one likes it, BUT if you grow only male clones, they are good for erosion control and grow FAST, and do make a nice shade tree...
    they are so bad you can only get females by getting seed and growing them yourself and culling the fems out of the seedbeds..... all comercially grow trees are male clones to prevent the fems from getting in and stinking up the works.

    OR... you could make the space productive and plant blackberry or raspberry bushes in a hedgerow. or even blueberrires if the soil is acid enough.
    or... if your really cheap like me, plow up a 5 foot long strip and plant corn... :haha:
     
  13. Walt K. in SW PA

    Walt K. in SW PA Well-Known Member

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    i'll 2nd the hemlock suggestion. My parents used hemlocks for hedge along their road frontage and it was thick, attractive and best of all, native.
     
  14. kidsnchix

    kidsnchix Well-Known Member

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    The hemlock is a good suggestion, but I was reading in Garden Guides about rugosa roses. Theres a large variety called "Vanity" that grows to 7 feet tall. They spread themselves and in the fall you'll have rose hips which are loaded with vitamin C.

    Rosekytn
     
  15. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE hemlock evergreens--but he mentioned no evergreens I think. ANd here the deer eat them like candy.
     
  16. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    thats easy to fix... spray them with urine, use a pump tank sprayer. take a leak in the tank of a few days and fill it with water. sdont worry the trees wont stink and no one willget ill, but the deer will avoid them like the plauge. you can also dust them with bloodmeal, OR if you are a hunter you can spray the trees with water with a few cups of blood mixed in....
     
  17. Aohtee

    Aohtee Well-Known Member

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    Any evergreen species planted along a busy road will suffer extensive salt damage. Here in down state NY, I've seen damage as high a 7 feet up Eastern White Pine, and total die out for anything under 2'. Rose of Sharon is salt tolerant and easily propagated from seeds and cuttings. Its a clump forming shrub to 7 feet. It flowers in late summer and is a popular bridal flower. Black Locust and Osage Orange are disease and pest resistent woods. Black locust will die back to the ground and return even stronger. Consider planting one of these on wire and training it like a grape vine. It would take some maintenence but would give you a fence no one would climb over. There is also a japanese field rose that gets 7 to 8 feet high and almost as wide. It forms an impenatrable barrier but is considered invasive. It give great hips in the fall.
     
  18. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    yes, rose of sharon is also a great hedge, and grows easy from seed, and spreads itself via seeds, so every spring youll have a lot of seedlings to transplant elsewhere.
     
  19. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

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    The best, fastest growing screen plant I know of is the Wax Myrtle. I purchased a home with newly planted wax myrtles, and they were up to the roofline within 18 months, mature height is 20+ feet. I also love the smell, at least when you trim them, or break a branch. I am in zone 8, the one reference said the plant is hardy in zones 6-10, so I recommend looking at it.
    Evidently, it also produces a berry that is used by candlemakers.

    Here's two links:

    Clemson - Wax Myrtle -- they specifically say it is a good beach plant, because it is tolerant of salt!

    Wax Myrtle

    Let us know what you decide to do.
     
  20. Packrat

    Packrat New Member

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    I would recommend Siberian Pea bush. Super fast growing, tolerates cold very well ( it gets 20-40 below here), deer don't seem to care for it much and it is dense in the summer.