Fast Growing Shrubs for Privacy

by Sue
(Grand Rapids)

Willow Tunnel

Willow Tunnel

Willow Tunnel
Fresh Geen Spring Growth
Salix korynagi 'Rubykins'

Neighbors. Who needs them? I just moved to a new house last summer, and even though it's in my dream location, the neighbors leave a lot to be desired.

They have no idea what it looks like from this side of the fence, which is six feet tall - and I need a good two feet taller than that to block out the view of their messy garden, and also screen my own activities from them.

What kind of plants would you recommend that will get to over eight feet, thick growth, and easy to grow? I need help fast! I'm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Zone 4b to 6a
by: Jacki

Grand Rapids, Michegan is pretty much evenly split right down the middle into two hardiness zones - 6a to the east, and 4b in the western half of the state. This give you more options, but one of the most graceful of all fast growing plants are some of the basket making willows. Several of these originated in Japan, one of them, my all time favorite, is Salix koryinagi 'Rubykins'.

Once it's established, it can grow up to four or five feet in a season, but it never gets out of hand like some clones.

The stems start off green, but age to a lovely bronze color. The leaves are delicate and slender. I recommend planting several of these in a row about ten feet from the property line, and of course, away from drains and septic fields - not because they'll invade them, but because this extra nitrogen will cause them to grow much too fast.

They can be pruned hard right to the ground every spring, and by the fall they'll be topping eight to ten feet. They will take a year or two to get established, but by year three they'll be creating a great privacy screen.

More
by: Jacki

Have a look at this page for more fast growing shrubs that might work in this situation.

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