I've been investigating which shrubs or trees might work for a clipped hedge in a winter windy site not to go higher than 6- 8 feet max. The hedged area is meant for a garden enclosure along the west side of the house that gets some shade along the more western edge from 2 trees and sun in the rest of the rectangle. Four potential hedge plants I investigated are carpinus betulus (hornbeam), some type of shorter manicured arborvitae, the taller yews and just for the look as it may be unsuitable: tsuga (hemlock).
The hemlock is said to be not as wind tolerant, though we are talking only part of the year where it is bad. It will work where there is shade cast by a pin oak and ash to the west, but there's the eastern aldegid problem.
I already have one or two broader foundation yews, so I know they'll grow. I've never tried to plant anything close to them (perennials or shorter shrubs), so I don't know if there is a problem with that.
There's an old style conical arborvitae which will come down as it obscures the windows--I know that type arb will grow. However, I have seen posts about people losing their Emerald arb hedges to brownout or having to wrap them for the winter indicating breakage or wind damage.(?) Too much trouble for a hedge if that is the case and maybe part of my area will be too shady.
Then there is the hornbeam said to work in sun/shade, be wind tolerant and able to grow in more areas than the beech. Why is it so popular in Europe as a hedge and not here? Is there something about the growing conditions required for either the American or the English varieties that rules it out for that hedging purpose here in the US? I'm having a hard time finding a place that sells them for hedging online.
What gives? Recommendations? Put in a fence?