Tall privacy hedges in Los Angeles

jujigirlJanuary 27, 2012

Hi All - I'm looking for some hedges to line our front yard. The yard is full sun, and we're hoping to get something at least 10 feet tall (fast growing preferably), something that's thick so you can't see through it at all, and hopefully something that doesn't need tons of water. I was looking at Eugenia and Carolina Cherry (bright n'tight), but have heard Eugenia has some disease issues, and I'm worried carolina cherry might not be as dense as I'd like it to be.

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Two choices that are pretty common due to their toughness and drought tolerance for your area are Rhamnus alaternus (Italian buckthorn) and Pittosporum tenuifolium. Both dense fast growers.
Both can exceed 10 feet . I have Rhamnus in my N.Cal side yard garden and have never watered it. It actually resents summer water.

pittosporum shown as a tall dense background privacy hedge in photo below
From Garden Porn

Rhamus alaternus in background hedge below
From Pina Colada

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 12:25PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The buckthorn has made similar handsome screens up here also, although this far north coldest winters may hurt it. For other ideas try local public gardens, arboreta and other places with labeled or mapped plantings. I've heard the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum had serious (as in devastating) wind damage a few years back, I have not been there for some years but I was just at the Fullerton Arboretum recently and it has some nice specimens (of various trees and shrubs), as does the University of California Arboretum at Riverside.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:05PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Botanic Garden at Riverside.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:07PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

You don't also mention how much width you are willing to give this hedge; an equally important consideration for best selection. I am a big fan of the Lavender Star Flower, Grewia occidentalis, which can easily be kept narrow at less than 2 feet in width, is fast growing, and also has colorful blooms. I'd also suggest that a wire fence framework for an evergreen vine such as Star Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides or one of the Trumpet vines such as Clytostoma callistegioides, or Creeping Fig, Ficus repens might be good choices. If you are willing to install a root barrier, even common old Golden Bamboo, Phyllostachys aurea or Pseudosasa japonica might be good choices for such a screen. I often prefer to use a bamboo as a screen rather than a shrub/hedge, because it is less work to keep the width and height in bounds. Podocarpus gracilior is also a much used hedge material in Los Angeles, for good reason, and things like Pineapple Guava, Feijoa sellowiana might also work well for you.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 2:35PM
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I love Wax Leaf (Japanese) Privets. Evergreen, grow great in LA area and dense as can be. If you let them grow... they'll get as tall as you let them. And they are fast growers. I planted these on the side of my front yard when we had a problem with old neighbors and they are great. Now that I'm not liking the increasing traffic hereabouts... I just planted the entire front about 1/3 of the way up, to create a courtyard.

I now have everything on drip - but with our original sprinklers they were fine - I don't over-water and we live in the valley.

If you're in LA - I'd drive up and down Beverly Glen for some great inspirations for privacy hedges!

I saw that Bahia (above) mentioned Star Jasmine. As one who is terribly allergic to it when it's blooming, I'd never recommend it for any property with nearby neighbors or a lot of folks who walk past it. Just a personal issue but kind of like too much perfume... it can be a problem for some! :)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 3:30PM
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Does 'Sky Pencil' Holly grow there? It's very upright and narrow.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2012 at 8:51AM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

Sky pencil holly will grow here in California but you'll be hard pressed to find them in the trade unless a truck is coming down from Oregon or Washington state.
This is usually a special order plant and available only during certain times of the year ( usually bare root season ).
With supplemental summer time irrigation they can perform fine.

The beauty of our Mediterraean climate is that we can grow so many wonderful drought adaptive plants that only approx. 5 percent of the world can grow.

What horticulturally inclined gardener amongst us would love to have leucospermums, leucadendrons,leptospermums, pine apple guavas, citrus, figs, grewias, bromeliads, succulents, cymbidium orchids, and giant tree ferns, cussonias growing year round in our gardens ?

If given the rare and wonderful opportunity of a mediterranean growing zone to garden within, why not make the most of it ?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2012 at 1:32PM
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