Fast-Growing Hedge Trees
The growth of a tree depends on the prevailing soil and weather conditions. Getting to know the soil type and the conditions in which a tree will thrive help to choose the right tree for your hedge.
Here is a list of fast-growing hedge trees, complete with details about the best conditions in which the tree will flourish and form a great hedge.
Leyland cypress (x Cuprocyparis leylandii)
Leyland cypress is also known as Leylandii (Green). It is a fast-growing hedge tree that grows up to 3 feet per year and can reach heights of 4 feet.
Leyland cypress is an evergreen coniferous tree with dark green leaves. The leaves are dense and form a thick closely woven hedge that that provides privacy and filters out dust that blows with the wind.
To maintain the Leyland cypress trees as a hedge, trim them three times a year, in late spring, summer, and early autumn. If left untrimmed, these trees can grow over 100 feet tall.
Leyland cypress grows well in full sun to partial shade and flourishes in wet, heavy, clayey soil that is not waterlogged.
Nellie R. Stevens Holly ( Ilex x “Nellie R. Stevens)
Nellie R. Stevens Holly is a fast-growing evergreen tree. It is multi-stemmed and has a dense network of foliage. Nellie R. Stevens Holly is a hybrid of the Chinese Holly and the English Holly. This tree adds a pop of color to the hedge with its bright orange-red berries.
Nellie R. Stevens Holly maintains a natural pyramid shape and has a growth rate of 3 feet per year. It can grow up to a height of 25 feet. The leaves are a glossy, dark green with deeply serrated edges. It grows well in full sun to partial shade with well-drained slightly acidic soil. The leaves of this tree do not change color during fall and remain green throughout the year. The flowers are small, white and bloom during spring.
These trees have to be watered till they are well established, after that they become resistant to drought. Nellie R. Stevens Holly has to be planted with enough space to spread since the tree becomes wide at the base. The best time to prune the hedge is during early spring before new growth starts to show up.
Plant these trees 8 – 10 feet apart to form a dense hedge. The best time to plant Nellie R. Stevens Holly is during spring so that it develop a good root system by winter.
Thuja Green Giant Arbovitae (Thuja standishii x plicata)
The Thuja Green Giant is a hybrid variety of Thuja standishii arborvitae and Thuja plicata. It has a growth rate of 2 - 3 feet per year.
The Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae is a fast-growing evergreen tree. It is an excellent choice for a privacy screen. This tree can grow to a height of 50 – 60 feet and has a spread of 12 to 20 feet when mature. It can grow well in full sun to partial shade and flourishes in different types of soil but does not grow well in the poorly drained and waterlogged soil.
The Thuja Green Giant has a natural pyramid or conical shape with dense foliage that is rich green. The leaves are tiny and tightly arranged in overlapping rows on branchlets that are further divided. Plant the Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae about five feet apart to avoid overcrowding.
The American Holly is an evergreen tree that can be trimmed to form a hedge or allowed to grow to form a thick privacy screen. The American Holly has a dense network of branches spread throughout the trunk. The leaves are broad, dark green and leathery in texture.
The American Holly grows well in full sun to partial shade and is well adapted to different types of well-drained soil. It grows up to a height of 20 – 30 feet and has a spread of 10 – 20 feet.
This tree produces tiny flowers during April to early May. The flowers are cream or light green with a mild fragrance. It produces red fruits that add a pop of color to the hedge.
Early summer is the best time to prune the American Holly so that the newly formed branches are not exposed to the cold.
The Austrian Pine tree, also known as the European Black Pine, is an evergreen tree. This tree is an excellent choice for a privacy hedge in the cities.
The Austrian Pines have dark green needles that occur in clusters of two per bundle. Each needle is are 3–8 inches long and can remain on the tree for about 4–8 years, thereby forming a dense foliage.
The young Austrian Pine trees are conical or pyramidal in shape, as the tree ages it develops a round, flattened top.
The Austrian Pine flourishes in full to partial sun with moist well-drained soil. They can also grow in a variety of soils conditions such as poorly drained clay soils and sandy soils that are moist and rich in salt content.
Austrian Pines are drought tolerant and can flourish in areas where there are high levels of pollution and smog. They can withstand harsh winters with heavy snowfall, and their branches can support the heavy weight of snow.
This tree can grow up to 1 -2 feet per year. The best time to prune the Austrian Pine is during early June or July when new candle-like shoots appear. Plant the Austrian Pines with a spacing of 8 – 12 feet apart to prevent crowding.
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