So I need to find something for a fast growing hedge / privacy screen bush or tree for planting in central NY. In particular, something that could survive in the partial shadow of a big old white pine tree would be wonderful. Soil is somewhat challenging, fairly rocky with shale and some clay in with it.
Welcome to the boards!
If you have room to let it spread, this euonymus "Manhattan" will make a pretty hedge that will keep its leaves in winter (although they'll look shaggy and just a little worse for wear until spring).
I've grown this shrub for years. It grows prolifically, adores heavy pruning to keep it checked in size, is semi-evergreen, makes a thick hedge, tolerates dry-hot weather, and the seed pods turn decorative red in late fall/early winter. I generally like the plant very much, although it can be a chore keeping it the size I have room for.
Good luck with whatever you choose!
Hedges come in many forms from deciduous to evergreen. Some can be kept low, some grow very high at slow, some moderate, some very fast speeds. Understand what it you want the hedge to do before deciding. How much maintenance are you willing to put into it. Some require very little, some can get away from you if you forget their there.
In your part of the country white cedar (arborvitae) does spectacularly--once it gets going, a foot a year is not out of the question.
It needs an annual clipping and it doesn't draw pests like many other plants.
Its evergreen so it stay green all year.
You will find birds like to nest in it while raising their young--especially jays, blackbirds. American goldfinch are an everyday sight. Emerald Cedar is another, but slower growing, variety that is also ideal for hedging.
Deciduous hedging, such as privet, also might be considered. It though, doesn't grow very high and needs regular clipping.
Thanks, but we generally call arborvitae "deer treats" in this area.
I do have one "flavor" they don't seem to like much, but they still do nibble. And though the arborvitae are supposed to be fast growing, they are not as fast growing as I'd hoped (guess I need to fertilize).
I'll look into the manhattan,
Privets, along with several other plants, are very high on the list of things anyone with allergies should avoid. Perhaps this link to Allergy Free Gardening will be of some help.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
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