• 72°

Hedges make good neighbors

High-density housing and other situations dictate the use of screens and border plantings of shrubs and trees for added privacy.

Informal mass plantings of trees and shrubs seem to be the trend replacing older, more formal sheared hedges in older and more formal landscapes.

Another technique which provides immediate privacy involves lacing vines through decorative fencing. This method of screening not only provides a level of intimacy to the homeowner’s landscape but provides an enhanced backdrop for further landscaping. Privacy fencing is also used in shady locations where evergreen trees and shrubs will not grow.

Some housing developments implement mounds of soil or berms to impede an unattractive view, however, homeowners are now implementing berms to add interest to home landscapes.

Leyland cypress is a quick screening shrub whose landscape use is in jeopardy. Rapid growth and ease of planting made the leyland cypress a popular screening plant. Unfortunately, rapid growth produces weak, brittle wood vulnerable to ice damage and high winds.

Intense over-planting has increased insect problems with bagworms and other insect pests. A vast array of fungal diseases also limits the hedge trees’ life. Once considered a marvel in quick landscapes, its use in the landscape is limited because of these potential problems.

Rapidly growing plant materials are only a temporary solution to screening problems that exist in landscapes.  Mass production and over-planting has taught nurserymen and landscape designers a valuable lesson in selection and use of plant materials.

Older, dependable plant materials as well as new proven trees and shrubs are now landscape designer’s choice as recommended screening materials. Holly and ligustrum are older hedge- type shrubs that are making a comeback. They’re reliable and almost foolproof for an evergreen hedge.

Deciduous trees and shrubs such as crepe myrtle and weigela provide a subtle screen without being too obvious. The blooms are a fresh alternative to a stark green wall. Sasanqua camellias are dual purpose shrubs that offer both aesthetic fall bloom and lush foliage.

Below are a few recommended shrubs and trees for screening materials.

Low screen, 5-8 feet (evergreen)

  • Dwarf burfordi holly
  • Wax myrtle
  • Glossy abelia
  • Hetzi holly
  • Aucuba japonica
  • Camellia sasanqua
  • Skipper laurel
  • Wax myrtle
  • Cleyera japonica

Tall screen, 12-15 feet (evergreen)

  • Nellie R. Stevens Holly
  • Greenleaf Holly
  • Burfordi Holly (standard)
  • Ligustrum japonica
  • Osmanthus fragrans
  • Emerald Green arborvitae

Larger shrubs or trees as screening materials

  • Loblolly pine
  • Magnolia “Little Gem”
  • Cherry laurel
  • Crepe myrtle
  • Green Giant arborvitae

Darrell Blackwelder deblackw@ncsu.edu is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

Comments

Business

Pandemic pushed inspiration for creation of Salisbury Dance Academy

Business

Staffing agencies say more jobs available than job seekers

Elections

Political notebook: Heggins calls on U.S. Senate to pass ‘HEROES’ Act

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools to sell old devices for $4.6 million

Education

North Rowan Elementary adds outdoor classroom space as schools cope with COVID-19

Crime

Car chase from Mooresville mobile home, through cornfield produce charges for two

Crime

Blotter: Law enforcement responds to more than 20 vehicles break-ins

Local

Meals on Wheels kicks off August is for AniMEALS campaign

Coronavirus

Salisbury Sheetz temporarily closed after three employees test positive

Ask Us

Ask Us: What was fate of Terrace Theatre’s time capsule?

Local

Strongest quake in a century felt by Salisbury, Rowan residents

Crime

Blotter: Pair charged with prostitution, solicitation

Local

Kannapolis woman killed, others hospitalized after early Sunday crash

News

5.1-magnitude quake hits North Carolina

Health

A symbol of hope: Wallace Cancer Institute opens this week for patients

Lifestyle

Historic Salisbury Foundation’s 2020 OctoberTour to give participants new views into old landmarks

Coronavirus

Pandemic has impacted campaigning efforts for both county Republicans, Democrats

Local

County commissioners will discuss restructuring environmental health department

Business

Kannapolis data shows proof of economic growth

Local

Marriages for April 2020

Education

Bids for Rowan-Salisbury Schools devices tops $4.5 million

Local

April 2020 corporations

Business

Wallace and Graham receive Trial Lawyer of the Year award

Business

Biz roundup: New job retention grants open to North Carolina businesses