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Tuesday - April 17, 2012

From: Falmouth, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
Answered by: Anne Ruggles


Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing and reach about 8 to 10 feet. I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Thanks, Cheryl


A good place to start is Wildlfiower Center's web site. Go to the "Recommended Species" page and click on Massachusetts on the map. In the column to the right you can narrow the species shown to meet your requirements.

The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension is an excellent local resource. They have an extensive website with links to lists of native species that grow well under a variety of conditions. They are located at:

3195 Main Street
P.O. Box 367, Barnstable, MA 02630

The Extension has published a very informative list of native tree and shrub species that do well in coastal environments. This list is very specific about where on the Cape each species is best suited.

The Barnstable County Municipal Shade Tree Nursery has published a list of shrubs and one of trees native to your area. These lists provide information about the form of each species and the conditions under which they grow.

You will find many of the species on these lists on the Wildflower web site in our "Plant Database". Once you have narrowed your search and have some species in mind. Click on the "Explore Plants" tab and in the drop-down menu, click on "Plant Database" to find information and photos of your selected species. Some species that might meet your requirements include:

American Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus)

Arrowwood (Virburnum dentatum)  

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)  Our web site doesn't have photos that show the entire plant but there are many photos of it at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)     

Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea) 

Smooth Alder (Alnus serrulata)  

Smooth Sumac ( Rhus aromatica)     


On the Wldflower Center website you will also find a list of nurseries in your area that carry native plants.




From the Image Gallery

American cranberry bush
Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Southern arrowwood
Viburnum dentatum

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Redosier dogwood
Cornus sericea ssp. sericea

Smooth alder
Alnus serrulata

Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plants for delineating property line
July 18, 2010 - I have a neighbor who does not mow his grass or take care of a strip that runs between my property and his. I would like to plant some inexpensive, low maintenance, shrubs, that would do well in full...
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October 27, 2010 - I'm trying to find a bush or shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the fence that would get between 6 and 8 ft tall. Something neat, and if possible with fra...
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Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
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May 01, 2015 - Greetings! I am hoping to gain privacy on a 30' swath with existing 6' privacy fence, I need about 14' of height to hide unsightly apartments. Location is full sun without a nearby spigot, I can ...
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June 11, 2005 - Hello, My friend and I are summer interns at the Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve Site in Freeport, Texas. Our jobs as the interns is to find a plant that is friendly to the animals around our...
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