Advice in Starting Evergreen Privacy Hedge - Zone 5 - WI

I have a 4 to 5 foot high x 100' long "mound of dirt". It helps to block the view of a busy rural highway. I want to start a evergreen privacy hedge on the top of the mound. I would like it grow this hedge as tall a prudent but keep the hedge fairly narrow. I am worried about pests, diseases, and maintance. Also I would like to start the hedge this year and have very little money. I hope have some good privacy in five to seven years when I hope to sell the house. Any advice would help.
Thanks
Spitz
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Beyond buying a lottery ticket and hoping for the best, we don't know where you live, so it is hard to give specific advice.
In my area, (zone 6) one of the most common plants for a tall privacy hedges is arborvitae. You can often get 4-5 foot high plants for around 20 each. Planted four to six feet apart, you would have a reasonably dense, narrow hedge in about 5 years. Costco has them in stock now for a good price. However, at one every six feet, you would need about 17 at a cost of over $350.
Another fast grower would be Leyland Cyprus. However, these can grow very tall and put your property into deep shade.
Although it is a matter of taste, I find such hedges rather ugly. They sort of scream "spite fence" or "KEEP OUT." The other problem is that often one or two plants will die after several years. At that point you have a choice of putting in another 5 foot plant for $20 or pay upwards of $100 for a matching-size plant. Now your uniform hedge looks bad - like it has a missing tooth, unless you can locate and pay for the larger plant. The other problem with a single species hedge is that if there is a disease or insect problem, you can lose your entire screen. This has happen in our region. Many commercial properties and apartment complexes have berms with white pines on them. Now all the pines are dead or dying and it looks like hell. The cost to remove 100 feet of mature pines and replant would be substantial.
I would recommend that you drive around your area, looking at commercial properties, up-scale subdivisions, golf courses, and parks. See what they have used for screening. Unfortunately, nothing is going to be very inexpensive. If it were me, I would consider using a mix of plants that included evergreens, shrubs, and trees with an underplanting of sturdy perennials.
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Vox Humana wrote:

In the subject line it says - Zone 5 - WI.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis Wrote:

Oops, so it does. We don't know the exposure so what will be in shad and what will be in sun will have to be determined by Spitz. The othe request was for it to be narrow, so this may not work. So, to continue a grouping (looks more pleasing in odd numbered groups) of Arborvita (some are narrower then others) with Oakleaf hydrangea in fron (carefree - no pruning, lovely fall color and pretty flowers lat summer) and maybe some everblooming daylilies - yellows or whites stan out against the green (search at google with the term: daylily everbloom), a grouping of hollies with ninebark in front and hard Geranium 'Rozanne' in front of that. 'Rozanne' starts blooming in Jun and blooms until frost. Spreads to a nice clump and it's purpl flowers are a knockout! Then a few yews, maybe Hicks yew with red twi dogwood or yellow twig dogwood in front. Lovely colored twigs in th snow. Only maintenance is to prune to the ground the oldest twig every other year so the newer ones show their colors in the winter.
http://www.aboutarborvitae.com / http://tinyurl.com/57pvm http://tinyurl.com/dweqb http://www.paghat.com/ninebark.html http://tinyurl.com/77vro http://www.paghat.com/redtwig.html http://tinyurl.com/apmbs
Before I list more ideas, such as winterberry with it's lovely re fruits in the winter against the snow, we need to know the potentia width of the planting area. Here's a couple of search engines where you can search by zone and other attributes.
http://tinyurl.com/9xajq http://tinyurl.com/4dxxq
Btw, many of the plants I've mentioned offer berries to the birds, nectar to the butterflies and extra winter interest for those long winters in the snow.
Newt
--
Newt


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Vox Humana Wrote:

Ditto what Vox said! Much more pleasing to the eye and will definatel add to your property value. Maybe a grouping of Arborvitae with thre ornamental flowering trees in front of them and some flowering shrub to pick up the bloom after that. Then some evergreen hollies wit early spring blooming shrubs in front and summer daylilies tha rebloom. Some plants and some of the shrubs can be gotten as cutting or trades at plant swaps (I can tell you where and how if you'r interested), for SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) at some forums cuttings from friends and relatives and the evergreens and trees can b gotten at: http://www.arborday.org/ You can join for about $15.00 and get 10 free trees. Also see thi site for postage only that others have been pleased with. http://www.freetreesandplants.com
New
-- Newt
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You have all be so great to help me out! This hedge will be my only opportunity to block out the sights and more importantly sounds of the busy rural highway. It is full sun and the house is atleast 50 ft away from the mound at its closest point. I am trying to minimize the negative effect on my future resale because I am the only house in the neighborhood with property line on this busy road.
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Spitz Mcgee Wrote:

Spitz, you are so very welcome! As to the space, I actually wa referring to the width of the mound, but you can still plant on th slope of it. With that much space I would suggest that you try and d your tallest plantings in groups of 3 or 5 and place each group in staggered pattern, with the taller plantings at the end points lik this: W Do consider the ultimate mature width and height. I woul place the smaller shrubs and flowers on the house side of the scree for esthetics from your property. That is where you will need t determine the shade as the taller evergreen trees grow. If the su will pass from north to south or east to west, you will need to kno how much sun those shrubs and flowers will get after the trees ar planted. If the house side of the planting will be north, that wil limit what shrubs you can plant.
There are some wonderful vibrunums with flowers in the spring an berries for the birds. Some grow quite wide but most are no evergreen, especially in your zone 5 location. Here's a site abou them. http://tinyurl.com/999s9
One of the loveliest viburnums is the Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosu and they're hardy in your zone. Also known as doublefile viburnu because it blooms in clusters along the horizontal stems with a row o blossoms on each side of the stem, creating a double row. Conside Viburnum plicatum 'Summer Snowflake' that gets up to 10' tall but onl 6' wide, or it's larger cousin Viburnum plicatum 'Shasta'. There i even a variegated 'Shasta' now. Shasta can get quite wide, and in fron of a group of three hollies, you would only need one to knock your sock off when it's mature in size and in bloom. The 'tomentosum' viburnum have layerd branches and sometimes people think they are some type o dogwood tree. http://tinyurl.com/crxcd
In five years a one gallon pot (if you can find one that small) wil probably have doubled in size. Larger ones may take a little longer Figure when planting the saying: "The first year they sleep, the secon year they creep and the third year they leap." It will take them a yea to establish their root systems and you will need to water, in th winter too if there's no snow cover and it's dry. Of course if you ge lake effect snow, no problem. You'll just have to worry about dryin winds!
New
-- Newt
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The width of the mound is no more than a foot or two. The sides are 45 degrees or more. It is on the west side of the property so the winds could tear it up. Little to no lake effect 20 to 30 miles west of the Lake. I doubt I could plant on the west side of the mound because of the property line.
I am worried about the hedge driving deep roots to the level of the rest of the land. And I worried about pests that might make my hedge "toothy"
Thanks Again
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Spitz Mcgee Wrote:

Spitz, A foot or two isn't enough to plant shrubs or trees. You will eithe have to level the berm or add more to it. Don't know what to tell yo about the wind other then you may need to stake the trees for a coupl of years so their roots can anchor them.
Spitz Mcgee Wrote:

I have no clue what you mean about driving deep roots to the level o the rest of the land, but in a 'berm' that is only a foot or two wide it doesn't sound doable. You may need a consult with a landscap designer.
As to pests, I would suggest you choose plant material that tends no to be bothered by pests. Native plants would do best if this is you worry. Don't choose some exotic that could have problems. That is wh I made the plant material suggestions that I did. Many are natives o tend to be hardy.
New
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So the berm is bad, it runs north and south on the west edge of the property. Yes it is tall an narrow. Funny a large mulberry has voluteered right on top of it. What I meant by the driving deep roots is that this berm is so tall and narrow that I was concerned that the plants wouldn't reach enough moist soil with out deep roots. Thank again for working through my confusion.
Spitz
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Spitz Mcgee Wrote:

Spitz, you are very welcome. You will want to dig that mulberry ou yesterday! The longer you wait to plant the more you will have to dea with invasives. Mother nature doesn't like blank spaces and she wil fill it with plants of her choice, not yours.
With the berm running north and south on the west side, you should hav full sun on both sides, with the stronger sun on the west side of th berm.
Plants that like good drainage will appreciate the raised height of th soil. You might want to consider having it leveled and widened at th top for planting and easier maintenance. You might be able to decreas the angle of the slope as well. That way you could put the evergree trees on the top and the shrubs, and any other plant material, on th slope. You could either rent a mini bobcat or have it done by a pro. You may also need to plant some groundcovers so you won't have wee problems over time. It will also give the area a more finished look. Try and pick 3 or 4 natives (you don't want too many or it will loo too busy), or the creeping thymes, that won't invade the world and wil help make maintenance easier for you. They'll help to hold the soil i place on the slope and keep weeds at bay. The native Chrysogonu virginianum aka 'green and gold' isn't evergreen but will surely kee out the weeds. I've found that it's only real requirement is to mak sure it isn't covered with wet leaves in the winter. For you evergreen trees, it would make a lovely carpet. http://tinyurl.com/7qs4f http://tinyurl.com/bbzlj
New
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Newt wrote:

The sun always rises in the East and sets in the West.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis Wrote:

Travis,
I don't believe I said that!! I meant to say if the BERM is east t west or north to south it will make a difference as to how much sun th shrubs and flowers will get.
Thanks for catching that, New
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My doublefile viburnum (mariesii) quadrupled in size in one year, and by the third year, I was having to give her a haircut every spring, as she reached 6 feet tall and about 10 feet in diameter. Either our soil is even richer than I thought, or I accidentally found her the conditions she likes. She is in part shade (all shade during the winter -north side of the house) in fairly clayish rich black volcanic soil, but very rocky. "Newt" > One of the loveliest viburnums is the Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum

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