It might be true that there is little better than Arborvitae, Junipers and Yews for providing a natural privacy screen, that is unless you are tired of evergreens. In that case… there are creative alternatives! In fact, many of these selections, although deciduous have dense enough branching to constitute sufficient screening even through winter!
Here are some examples of plants that give evergreens a run for their money when it comes to beauty and privacy needs…
Northern Privet is a deciduous, fast growing shrub with dark green foliage spring through fall. Although leaves fall off before winter, the dense branching pattern is thick enough to provide more than adequate privacy hedges for most needs as well as a wonderful wind break.
Psst.. for zones 7 and above there is Waxleaf Privet!
Dwarf Burning Bush is best known for its intense scarlet autumn color. These shrubs supply dense foliage and branch structure that can make a beautiful privacy hedge. Burning Bush also comes in a dwarf size that can still grow up to 8’!
Rose of Sharoncomes in a variety of colors. Blooms can persist from spring through fall, making this selection one of the most beautiful ‘living walls’ when used as a hedge or border.
Magnolia Trees are wonderful for standalone privacy needs. Try planting one of these medium sized trees at the corner of a patio or deck to accomplish summer privacy needs and gorgeous spring color.
Flowering Dogwood Trees are native to the Eastern United States and are considered an understory tree. Planted in groups they provide a lovely privacy backdrop in partly sunny conditions behind smaller shrubs like rhododendrons or azaleas.
For a smaller hedge or backdrop consider Red Osier Dogwood shrubs. These provide brilliant winter color with crimson branches that stand out brilliantly in an otherwise bleak winter landscape.
These are but a few of the many options readily available if you are looking for something other than evergreens. Just remember to consider the time of year you need the privacy, the size you will need, your planting conditions and plant color to get the most out of your creative aspirations!
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