hkadera
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:06 pm
Location: La Crosse,WI

What type of hedges should I get?

Hi,
I'm going to redo my front yard a want a small amount of privacy. My front yard slopes down about 2 feet to public sidewalk. I'm going to build a 1 ft tall wall and I would like to plant hedges along it on top. I'm going to need 42 ft long. I would like them to be between 4 and 8 ft tall and would like to be able to plant them without spaces.
Now about my area: I live in WI. There is NO shade as a tornado just took out all of my trees. My yard faces south. 6-8 mo of cold (sometimes extreme) and 4-6 of warm (sometimes extreme). I don't really want "evergreens" unless it's my only option, but I do want something that will be full all year round. Flowers are fine, but not necessary. I hope someone can help me figure out what to get.
Thanks,
Heather

User avatar
Kisal
Mod Emeritus
Posts: 7648
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

If you live in a town or city, you might want to check the city code first, to see if you can have a fence or hedge that height along the front of your property. In my city, you can have a hedge or fence that tall, but it must be set back a minimum of 5 feet from the public sidewalk. That's to avoid blocking the view of drivers and pedestrians as cars emerge from driveways, cross streets and alleys. Fences and hedges 4 feet or less aren't required to be set back like that.

I really do recommend that you check first, because if there are any restrictions, the city can make you remove your hedge. Better to know before you invest the money and time and labor. Then, you won't have to just turn around and tear out your hedge, and pay to do the work over again in compliance with city code. Anyway, that's just a suggestion.

I'll look around and see if I can come up with any suggestions for you as to kinds of plants that might fulfill what you're looking for. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

hkadera
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:06 pm
Location: La Crosse,WI

thanks for the suggestion. I'll check before I do the work. I'm ok with 4ft high, but there are no driveways on my block and I'm in the middle so logic would say it shouldn't cause an issue, but with "laws" you never know.
Thanks for your help and I look forward to your suggestion(s).
Heather

tay666
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:49 am
Location: North East Ohio

I don't have any actually suggestions for you.
But I do have a bit of advice.
Once you decide on a few options, do some checking and see how fast they grow.
The hedges I have, (that were here when we moved in 20 years ago) are very high maintenance. I have to trim them 3 or 4, sometimes 5 times every summer.
Last month I cut them way back. Down to knee high. If I let them go, they will be over 8' by next summer.
So take that into consideration when picking what you want for hedges.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I'm not quite sure what you meant by "I don't want evergreens but I want something that will be full all year round."

By full you mean lots of branches even if bare? Or you mean you don't want conifers, but you do want something that keeps its leaves all year round? There are broadleaf evergreens that are not conifers (have leaves, not needles) but do keep their leaves.

Holly is a good broadleaf evergreen hedge plant. But depends where in WI you are. It looks like WI could be anywhere from zone 3 to zone 5. There are hollies that are hardy to zone 5 or even zone 4 with protection, but I don't think they would make it if you are in zone 3.

Here's a list of other broadleaf evergreen shrubs for zone 4:

https://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/08464-broadleaf-evergreens.pdf

If this isn't what you were looking for, write back and clarify what you are looking for and what (USDA cold hardiness) zone you are in.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

I think the rose of sharon makes the best hedge. You can plant them close and they will grow fast and have flowers for 3 months! I put in a 50 foot hedge and in three years it was beautiful and easy to cut back! you can get them fairly cheap especiall if you have a neighbor that has alot of new sprouts! too bad you are not here in Pa. I could gve you 50 plants for nothing and they are 4 foot high but only a foot wide right now since thewy are very close! If you are down this way give me a call. Theya re easy to pull out when they are young and have a small root base! They grow anywhere! I think you can order 2 foot high ones for 7 for $10!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

hkadera
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:06 pm
Location: La Crosse,WI

I apologize, I'm not up on specific terms. I would prefer year round leaves, not needles. I'm in zone 4b right where IA, MN, and WI meet. Also, there would NOT be any protection from the elements. Also, incase I wasn't clear about it, I'm looking for this to be a fence of sorts and don't want anyone to be able to easily see through the plants. I understand if it takes a while for it to go to completeness, but that's my goal.

Thanks again

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

That's what I thought you meant... broadleaf evergreens. Holly and boxwood would be the most hedge like ones. Mountain laurel (kalmia) would be beautiful - big year round leaves and spring flowers. But you HAVE to have acidic soil. I keep killing them because my soil is alkaline and I just can not amend it enough to keep them alive long term.

You realize this is a very demanding set of requirements, year around green, not conifers, hardy to zone 4, dense enough to provide privacy. There's not going to be a lot of plants that can do all that. I would find a very knowledgeable local nursery and talk to them.

The traditional cold hardy privacy screens would be yew, juniper, arborvitae, all needled.

Rose of Sharon mentioned below is a nice flowering shrub, but deciduous, loses its leaves in winter. It is rated to zone 5, but possibly would survive zone 4b with lots of winter protection. It would take careful pruning. It tends to get wide and bushy at the top and narrow and bare at the bottom.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

hkadera
Newly Registered
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:06 pm
Location: La Crosse,WI

thank you rainbowgardener! I know that those are very tight set of restrictions! I did look at the mountain laurel and liked it, but how do I know if my soil is acidic enough for it? Does acidity leach out of soil so you have to replace it occasionally? I was planning on talking to someone local about my wish for hedges, but I didn't want to go in completely stupid! LOL I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about a little. You have been a great help and I appreciate it :wink: Thanks again

bullthistle
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: North Carolina

It depends how much work you want to succeed. Many get lzy over time and things lapse. My father collected hemlock for along the driveway and they can be sheared annually in the winter and can be kept in check. Any broadleaf evergreen is not usually dense but it would take years to get up to 8'.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

You can get a soil tester or test kit or you can send your soil to be tested. If your soil is naturally acid, it doesn't "leach" out because there's no where to go since all the surrounding soil is acid too. When my soil is alkaline, when I add acidic soil amendments, they do just get neutralized over time by all the surrounding soil.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Return to “Landscaping”