Bush or tree recommendations
Hi, I need recommendations for quick growing bushes or small trees to plant along a fence line for privacy. The area is completely shaded. I have a dog but she isn't a digger. Is it too late to plant now?
It is not too late to plant. You can plant up until the ground freezes. Be sure to spread out the roots of containerized plants, which are often circling in the pot ("potbound") this time of year.
Also, you don't mention the source of the shade, but if it is trees, they will be very competative with you new plants. New plants, even in the best sites, should be watered during dry periods for at least the first 2 years to help their roots to get established.
You don't mention needing an evergreen for year round privacy, so here are some evergreen and deciduous options.
We recommend a mix of species. You can plant in odd-numbered groups for a nice affect. Having all the same species encourages disease and pest problems. Diversity encourages a healthy ecology, plus beneficial insects and wildlife.
Native plants to consider include summersweet (fragrant flowers, butterflies, deciduous), American holly (evergreen), native azaleas (very fragrant) or rhododendron (evergreen), oakleaf hydrangea (showy flowers and fall color).
Non-native: Japanese andromeda (evergreen), rhododendrons and tall azaleas (evergreen), aucuba (evergreen), yew (evergreen, deer love to eat this though), abelia.
Do not plant invasives such as barberry (though this is too low, generally.)