What is the fastest growing shrub?

Hello
I would like to plant a very fast growing bush/plant/shrub that can be used as a natural fence. What is the fastest growing shrub out there? Thanks!
Dan
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Elderberry bushes.
-paghat the ratgirl
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paghat wrote:

How about bamboo? Technically not a bush or shrub, but it makes a nice screen just the same.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

Contrary to popular belief bamboo is not a fast grower. I know what I am talking about as I have 14 different kinds growing in my yard.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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wrote:

Do these grow over 2 feet a year? Thanks!!
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My North American red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa, available from native plant specialists) put on more than ten feet in one year. If you planted WILD Sambucus nigra or Sambucus racemosa, you'd have a row of ten to fifteen foot tree-shrubs in one year, starting with three to five gallon plants: http://www.paghat.com/elderberry.html
However, the wild forms can be just too large for a hedge, plus may not remain a thick hedge at eye-level unless often "topped." For a denser hedge in the five to eight foot range (achievable in as little as one year starting with three-gallon or five-gallon sizes), cultivars of Sambucus nigra or European elderberry are more restrained than the wild. Get two different cultivars ('Black Beauty' & 'Purpurea' typically for a black & purple-leafed hedge) as berry production increases dramatically from cross-pollination, the fruits are good for canning or to attract birds. These shrubs have enormous racemes of small white or pink-flushed white flowers, very, very showy. Here's an article: http://www.paghat.com/eldernigra.html
If there is room for a mixed hedge, black twinberry should do well in your chilly zone, &amp it will be a five by five foot shrub in one year even if you start with a one-gallon size, &amp its second year it will be eight by eight feet. The little yellow flowers dangling in pairs are unique & charming but not showy, but when the double-berries appear, they have a color of bright red bracts that are very showy. It's berries aren't human-edible, but attract birds. http://www.paghat.com/twinberry.html
Elderberries & twinberries are ultra-hardy almost no maintenance if the area is wide enough they won't even need pruning, though if their rapid growth needs to be restrained to keep it off a sidewalk or path, elderberry & twinberry do respond positively to sheering or pruning; serviceberry is easily trained to be more upright so won't need side-sheering.
Mixed hedges are more natural & beautiful than single-species hedges, & given room I'd also toss in a shadblow service berry (Amelanchier canadensis). Starting out it won't grow as rapidly as twinberry & elderberry, but more slowly it'll be a ten foot tall shrub or larger, upright & fountaining. Gorgeous white flowers early spring before it releafs, followed by extremely tasty fruits: http://www.paghat.com/serviceberry.html
These are all deciduous of course so you'll be able to "see through them" in winter, but they're very thickly limbed & continue to serve as a solid barrier. Watching the seasonal changes of spring flower, summer fruit, autumn leaf colors, & fascinating limb structure & textures revealed in winter, is much more entertaining than a changeless evergreen.
-paghat the ratgirl
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wrote:

Thank you very much for this long write up. Much appreciated!!
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Dan J.S. wrote:

Out where?
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Sorry -- Chicago area zone 5...
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From: "Dan J.S." snipped-for-privacy@hyperx.comDate: Tue, 10 May 2005 20:13:35 -0500 Local: Tues,May 10 2005 9:13 pm Subject: What is the fastest growing shrub?
"I would like to plant a very fast growing bush/plant/shrub that can be used as a natural fence. What is the fastest growing shrub out there? Thanks!"
Fastest growing shrub? Hell, that's an easy one! That shrub between paghat's thighs. Granny Artemis even claims that paggers parts her shrub with a weedeater.
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alice
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alice wrote:

Leyland cypress is not a shrub.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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tree. Used a lot for windbreaks. Makes a good fence because it is dense (if trimmed) and has thorns.
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Buddelia makes it from cut down to 8' every year here. Somebody else mentioned Elder- the cutleaf ones look nice
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