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Many plants can be used for hedging, but the plants listed are the most commonly used varieties. Evergreen hedges generally grow slower than deciduous hedges, but have the advantage of retaining their foliage year round. Deciduous hedges will provide privacy during the growing season, and are good choices when privacy is only needed during the summer months. Arborvitae and white cedar hedges may be trimmed at any time of the year. If you trim after the initial period of growth that occurs in early summer, they will have a neat appearance for the balance of the year . Deciduous plants used for hedging may be trimmed throughout most of the growing season, but should not be trimmed between the 1st of August and before going dormant. Trimming at this time may cause the plants to produce a flush of growth which can be damaged by fall cold. Deciduous hedges may be trimmed while dormant in winter and early spring, but if the hedge is a flowering shrub, you may trim off the flower buds. If you wait until flowering is completed, you may trim without affecting bloom habits. All hedges should be sheared with the base of the hedge wider than the top. This allows the entire side of the hedge to receive light and will keep the sides of the hedge full and dense. Trimming a hedge vertically can result in thinning of the bottom of the hedge.
TECHNEY (Thuja occidentalis ‘Techney’) Height: 20’, Width: 15’. Full sun to full shade. A medium growing broad based arborvitae with exceptional hardiness. Dark green foliage responds well to shearing. Resistant to winterburn and will grow in most soils, but avoid wet heavy soils and alkaline conditions. Growing zones 3 to 7.
WHITE (Thuja occidentalis) Height: 40’, Width:20’-30’. Full sun to part shade. Also known as American Arborvitae. A fast growing native evergreen with soft, flat, bright green foliage. Easily shaped by shearing, can be used singly as a specimen or hedged. Can suffer damage from deer browsing. Best on well drained soils, but once established can tolerate drier conditions. Growing zones 3 to 7.
PEKING (Cotoneaster lucidus) Height: 8’-10’, Width: 4’-5’. Full sun to part shade. Shiny dark green small leaves on an upright arching habit. Tiny pink flowers in spring produce black 3/8” berries in late summer. Best on loose, well drained fertile soils but will tolerate drier conditions. Medium growth rate. Growing zones 4 to 7.
ALPINE (Ribes alpinum) Height: 3’-5’, Width: 3’-5’. Full sun to full shade. A rapid growing shrub with bright green glossy leaves and tiny green flowers. Early to leaf out and receptive to shearing, it is an excellent choice for short hedges. Avoid wet heavy soils. Growing zones 2 to 7.
CLAVEYS DWARF (Lonicera xylosteum ‘Claveyi’). Height: 6’-8’, Width: 6’-8’. Full sun to full shade. A dense, fast growing honeysuckle with yellow flowers in spring followed by tiny red berries in early fall. Leafs out earlier in spring than other shrubs. Shears well into a dense form. Will perform well in most soils, except dry, sandy conditions. Growing zones 3 to 7.
COMMON PURPLE (Syringa vulgaris) Height: 12’-15’, Width: 8’-12’. Full sun to part shade. This classic lilac produces the most fragrant lavender flowers. Shear to shape immediately after flowering has finished. A good choice where a large hedge or screen is desired. Grows in most soils including light sandy soils. Growing zones 2 to 7.
AMUR DWARF (Acer ginnala ‘Bailey Compact’) Height: 8’-10’, Width: 8’. Full sun to ¾ shade. Also know as Ginala Maple. A finer branched variety that is fast growing and more dense than the standard sized Amur Maple. Even though it is a dwarf, this plant will reach 10' of height. Fall color can vary from bright red orange to deep red. A good selection for a large hedge or screen where fall color is desired. Shear anytime that leaves are present. Growing zones 3 to 7.
DARK BLUE LEAF ARCTIC (Salix purpurea ‘Nana’) Height: 5’-6’, Width: 4’-6’. Full sun to part shade. Makes an attractive mid sized hedge. Rapid growing with small blue green leaves and purplish twigs in winter. Easily sheared to shape, it may be cut down to 12” to renew. Average to wet conditions. Holds its leaves until late in fall. Growing zones 4 to 6.