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Do you love your neighbors but not your view of their carport complete with garbage cans and assorted appliances? Don't want to offend or cut off communication by building a privacy fence? Then consider planting a hedge to screen this unsightly view. A hedge of attractive shrubs could be pleasing to your neighbors as well.

What should you consider when choosing a shrub for your hedge? First, for use as a year-round screen, the shrub should be evergreen. Second, choose one that will grow to the height that you want your hedge to be. You want the view to be hidden, but you don't want the hedge to be so large that it requires excessive pruning. Third, buy the largest plants possible for quicker screening. In addition, you will want to choose plants that are suited to East Texas growing conditions and that are relatively resistant to diseases and pests. Shrubs that flower, are fragrant, or have berries can be an additional bonus.

Shrubs that make some of the best hedges include the following:

  • Elaeagnus, Elaeagnus pungens 'Fruitlandii', 8-15' tall and wide gray-green foliage with inconspicuous fragrant flowers in late fall
  • Burford Holly, Ilex cornuta'Burford', 6-12' tall with dark green foliage with red berries
  • Indian Hawthorn, Raphiolepis indica 'Majestic Beauty', 10-12' tall with dark leathery foliage with light pink flowers
  • Juniper, Juniperus chineusis 'Hetzii', 10-15' tall with fountain-like, branching, blue-gray foliage
  • Southern Wax Myrtle, Myrica cerifera, 8-15' tall with serrated, dark green narrow leaves
  • Viburnum, Viburnum (many varieties), 6-10' tall with glossy, dark green foliage with cream white flowers in spring
  • Nelly R. Stevens Holly, 30' tall and 15' at the base, bears spiny, dark green leaves and round red berries, a fast grower

Terrie Hammer, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Trees & Shrubs Index
Gardening Tips For Northeast Texas Index