fast growing evergreen screen

Asked December 7, 2015, 1:11 PM EST

My neighbor's 2-story house is uphill from mine. He has cut all the white pines that were growing between our houses. Now I have a serious privacy and curb appeal issue. I need something that will grow tall, dense and fast. What would you suggest? The location is sunny with rocky clay soil. It gets some severe winds in the winter (about 3,000 ft elevation).

Grayson County Virginia

1 Response

Traditional screens for our area included hemlock and Leyland Cypress. Hemlock is still used, but less so because of the regular maintenance with insecticide because of the non-native invasive insect hemlock wooly adelgid, which is killing our native hemlock stands. It will infest ornamental hemlocks used as a hedge, but can be treated.

Leyland cypress is another common one, but I am concerned about the winter winds. We do tend to see them work well if protected. They are susceptible to winter injury, and that is fairly common in some years.

I will run this by an ornamental horticulturalist at Virginia Tech, and see if I can get another recommendation. Replanting white pine, and trimming it for a hedge may be another option. If you want to contact me directly, email spurlink@vt.edu.