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
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:
If there is room for a mixed hedge, black twinberry should do well in your
chilly zone, & it will be a five by five foot shrub in one year even if
you start with a one-gallon size, & 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.
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
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:
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
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
From: "Dan J.S." email@example.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
as a natural fence. What is the fastest growing shrub out there?
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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