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Friday - June 04, 2010

From: Angola, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Fast-growing screen for New York
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need a fast growing screen to put along my fence due to undesirable neighbors who moved next door to my summer place. Small lot: 25'x25' . The side is south and the lot is partially shade w sandy soil. I wanted bamboo but cannot find it. Thank you. P.S. I love your site

ANSWER:

First of all, thank you for your kind words.  Our focus and expertise are in plants native to North America. There are three species of bamboo native to North America and two of those are native to New York: 

There is another North American native species of bamboo, Arundinaria appalachiana (Hill cane), that occurs in Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama, but is not shown as occurring in New York.

 You may already be aware that bamboos can be invasive since they spread quickly by rhizomes (underground stems).  The article on ehow.com, How to Get Rid of Bamboo, gives you a pretty good idea why you might not want to use bamboo.  However, if you do decide to use it, you certainly should install a barrier to keep it from spreading out of control.  You can visit our National Suppliers Directory to look for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants to look for a source for this native bamboo.

As an alternative to the native bamboo, my first thought was that you would want an evergreen shrub or tree for your screen.  There aren't but a few native to your area (in or adjacent to Erie County) that show rapid growth.  In fact,  Pinus strobus (eastern white pine), is the only evergreen one I found identified as having rapid growth.  Of course, its maximum height is more than 100 feet so that might not be something you want. Two other evergreens of a more moderate size and moderate growth rate are Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) and Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel).

Since this is your summer place, you might be happy to have a rapidly growing deciduous species to act as a screen and intersperse it with evergreens.  Here are some possibilities for deciduous small trees/shrubs:

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) and here's more information.

Corylus americana (American hazelnut) is fast growing and here is more information.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) and here is more information.

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) is fast growing and here is more information.

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) is fast growing and here is more information.

Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow) is fast growing and here is more information.

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry) is fast growing and here is more information.

Staphylea trifolia (American bladdernut) is fast growing and here is more information.


Pinus strobus

Juniperus virginiana

Kalmia latifolia

Cornus alternifolia

Corylus americana

Lindera benzoin

Physocarpus opulifolius

Rhus copallinum

Salix bebbiana

Staphylea trifolia

 


 

From the Image Gallery


Giant cane
Arundinaria gigantea

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