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Friday - January 15, 2010

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
Answered by: Janice Kvale


I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in west Fort Worth. The soil is rocky with a lot of clay.


Disease resistant, minimal care, fast growing, 16 foot hedge for rocky clay soil? Now that is a tall order, but it can be done though you may want to compromise on some of your preferences. In terms of hardiness, if you stick with native plants you should have few problems. You may want an evergreen species so privacy continues through the winter months, but I have listed a few deciduous ones that meet most other desired characterisics. All are in the 12-36 foot class and require full sun, unless otherwise noted.

Evergreen species:

Citharexylum berlandieri (Berlandier's fiddlewood) fast growing, hardy

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) hardy

Condalia hookeri (Brazilian bluewood)  semi-evergreen, hardy, part shade light requirement

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany)  8-20 ft, "almost" evergreen, hardy, slow grower

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)  hardy, slow grower

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)  36-72 ft, hardy

Deciduous species:

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) 10-20 ft, hardy, fast grower

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)  hardy, fast grower

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)  hardy, fast grower

Castanea pumila (chinkapin)  may be subject to chestnut blight

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)  15-25 ft, some mostly cosmetic disease and insect problems

Check our Suppliers list to locate a source for the shrubs.

You are among many who are wisely planting native shrubs as privacy hedges. Check out some of the previous answers to similar questions here and here and here.

Good luck!

Citharexylum berlandieri

Ebenopsis ebano

Condalia hookeri

Cercocarpus montanus

Sophora secundiflora

Juniperus virginiana

Rhus glabra

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus copallinum

Castanea pumila

Amelanchier arborea


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