February 12, 2020 Have you been considering planting a privacy hedge? Privacy hedges have a variety of benefits that they offer your home. Hedges provide some protection against elements like wind, snow, and some cases of rain. Many corner homes or homes with large properties choose to protect their yards and homes from unwanted visitors and privacy in general. They are always a great way to add a beautiful garden while protecting your space for all types of homes. However, trying to get that perfect line of symmetrical same-species trees proves to be very difficult and often not practical. With disease, different growing patterns, and expensive upkeep- many find that they get missing trees or misshapen growth. If you want a more cohesive look without the extensive maintenance of a same-tree fence, try using multiple species and different heights to create a beautiful wall of foliage. There are two methods you can take to create a more natural privacy hedge: Cluster Planting You can choose to plant various species or even the same in cluster patterns in the space to look more like natural growth. Plant your choices of foliage in groups of odd numbers to enhance a natural look and find that your space will look even more open than a bulky solid hedge. Consider adding various flowering plants and fruit trees to your clusters for a functional garden while also adding privacy to your home. Depending on your area, orange trees, roses, and evergreen shrubs are great additions to your privacy wall. Staggered Rows Another style you can try is staggering your rows. Plant multiple rows of trees and shrubs and stagger each additional row so they fit in the empty spaces. This method provides a faster and more solid wall that blocks out noise from traffic and some elements. To make staggering successful you need to: Make sure you measure out a standard growing diameter for your plants, so they aren’t too close together Keep the plants a similar size so they grow to more cohesively Consider an additional row of smaller plants to blend the look Staggered is a great way to try a more symmetrical look and a quicker result. However, it does take a lot of maintenance and planning to pull off. Try getting a consultation from a professional arborist to plan for your perfect privacy hedge. Whatever your method, keep these factors in mind: Plant a couple of focal point plants in your design Measure your location and plan proper growing room Test your soil and determine plants best suited for survival Plan the design of your yard and where permanent structures will go Have backup plans for tree death Most importantly, keep your foliage healthy and taken care of to maintain a beautiful outdoor landscape. Providing privacy and protection is important, but it can become a real stress when your once-magnificent hedge is overgrown, dry, or messy. For help with planting, planning, and maintenance contact your local arborist for a free consultation.