Plant Choice For N-S 10'x100' Gap Between Yards
I have about a 10' gap between my 6' cedar privacy fence on the West side and my next door neighbor's 6' "good neighbor"-style cedar privacy fence on the East side. Right now, it is just a strip of bluegrass about 10'x100'.
I've considered poplars, but I don't want to dig out stumps down the road when they die. I've considered arborvitae but I'm a little worried about rabbits and frost/snowbanks killing the lower portion of the plants. I've considered a few trees of some variety, but I really don't want my branches hanging over the neighbor's back yard and have to worry about paying someone to cut limbs down the road. Also considered columnar buckthorn, but after reading about how invasive those are in local forests I decided that might not be the best, either.
I don't have any irrigation on that section of grass, but it stays wet enough that the grass hasn't died. I imagine the area gets decent filtered morning light from the East, the S end of the strip gets direct sun mid-day, and little light or shade late day due to my privacy fence. Old farmland, so thin topsoil and a lot of clay further down.
I'd like some privacy between us and the neighbors eventually, so looking for something zone 4/5 that will grow at least 15-20' tall.
Thanks for any advice.