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Fast Growing Shrubs to Screen the Road

We are looking for a fast growing hedge to provide privacy between our yard and the busy road in front of our home. Someone suggested willows, what do you think? Any other suggestions?

Here are a few plants and factors to consider. Willows are fast growing and can require a lot of pruning to keep them in a small space. The weeping willow and other large specimens have invasive roots.

The Blue Arctic Willow is fast growing, has attractive blue-green leaves, forms a dense mass about 8 to 10 feet tall and tolerates our lousy soils.

Flame willow is compact with orange-red bark in winter. It grows up to 20 feet tall, ten feet wide and is hardy in zones 3 to 6.

Dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) has green, cream and pink new growth on plants that reach six feet tall and wide and are hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Rosemary Willow (Salix elaeagnus) is hardy in zones 4 to 7 and grows 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide. The gray velvety foliage contrasts nicely with the brown stems. These can be pruned regularly to maintain the desired size.

A mix of small trees and shrubs will give you a long lasting barrier. A mixed border provides a variety of textures, colors and pest resistance. Upright junipers can tolerate hot dry conditions.

Arborvitae are favorite plants for screening. They prefer moist well-drained soils and can tolerate some light shade.

Add in a few deciduous shrubs like the native gray dogwood. It forms a dense thicket, produces berries the birds love and has a nice purple-red fall color and creamy flowers in spring. Just make sure it has plenty of room to grow.

Blue muffin viburnum resists the viburnum borer, has creamy flowers in spring, blue fruit the birds love, red fall color and forms a twiggy mass that can help with privacy.


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