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Fast growing evergreen

mrmhfmrmhf West MidlandsPosts: 345
We need a fast growing evergreen tree that we can plant to screen ourselves from a potential chicken factory that has gone into planning.

Any advice?
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,050
    Eucalyptus , Cherry Laurel. Both are rapid once established.

    We get this query frequently on the forum, and the reply always comes with a caution: Bear in mind that fast growing is exactly that, and nothing fast growing magically stops at the height you want, so get a good hedgetrimmer as well  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,948
    The problem with fast growing evergreens is that they don't stop growing fast when they reach the size you want and often become a problem in themselves because of that fact.  They will also suck all of the moisture out of the general area so any borders or lawn nearby will suffer.  Not a problem if you have a large garden with no pipes etc near the area of course, in which case one obvious choice would be Leylandii.  Any chance of photos of the side of your garden which will be affected?  It is often better to plant something less unruly but closer, or construct a pergola with climbers either of which will have the same screening effect from important viewpoints such as downstairs windows or seating areas.
    I've never used this company but their website may help:

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • mrmhfmrmhf West MidlandsPosts: 345
    Thanks guys - we really like eucalyptus as a tree so this is a viable option. These trees are going in a field and can grow as high as they like - in fact, the higher the better, so we can block out this potentially horrendous structure.

    Do eucalyptus drop a good, solid root, because the field can get a bit gusty at times. 

    Drainage in the field is excellent. 

    I will post some photos later.
    Our DIY & sustainability journey: My Home Farm
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,665
    For screening I don’t think you can beat Laurels, boughtnin the winter as small bare roots, they’ll soon grow, if you keep picking the tops out you’ll get thick hedge right down to the ground.  Here’s ours it screens us from the lane.

    this was it’s second year,

    We keep them now at about 7’ but once you’ve done the first nipping out of tops they need no attention,  just let them grow up as high as you like, water well in their first summer then leave, no feed or anything needed. 

    They've never damaged the grass here as you can see. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • WillDBWillDB Posts: 2,311
    edited August 2019
    Eucalyptus is evergreen but not very dense if you're letting it develop into a full size tree. It also might look a little "alien" planted in a field. 

    I would plant a copse with hollies, with other native trees that will give you height faster and screen it for most of the year. Even in winter, bare twigs will provide screening if you plant a dense copse rather than a single row of trees. (We use hawthorn for screening since it's very densely twiggy).  And the hollies will get decently high in time.  

    Coupled with a laurel boundary hedge as above I think that would really help with your screening, if you can spare all or part of your field to woodland.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,050
    I'd agree that if you have room - plant a selection.
    Eucalyptus wouldn't be so suitable if it's quite exposed , as you've now mentioned.  :)
    I'd go with laurels mainly as the wind barrier/background,  and a mix of some of the shrubs @WillDB mentions if you want more interest and variety. Allow enough room between both 'hedges' for maintenance, establishment etc. 
    As you can see from @Lyn' s pix, they form a really good, dense, low maintenance hedge. They will get huge over time, so it really depends how much trimming, or not, you want/need to do. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 19,934
    Well, if you have the space, I'd vary the greens and textures and leaf sizes and go for a mixed planting and include a cedar of Lebanon nearer to you and some English yew - taxus baccata - for the wildlife and a holly ditto.   Put faster growing laurels at the back as they will evolve into a dark, looming mass if you're not going to cut them.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Guernsey Donkey2Guernsey Donkey2 Posts: 6,645
    edited August 2019
    We have almost the same dilemma here @HomeFarm - we have a lovely field but with new two story high roofed  houses being built in our neighbours garden which are overlooking our field and buildings which we would prefer not to see.  We have been advised to plant various types of trees to limit the chance of disease spreading through the entire line but none of the trees were either evergreen or in our opinion tall enough to blot out the new houses.  We are now thinking of planting a few birch trees (quick growing and tall) with willow whips in between. Weeping willow is quick growing, fairly dense and a lovely tree in my opinion.  For density holy was recommended although slow growing it is everygreen, attracts insects and birds.  Good luck.
  • mrmhfmrmhf West MidlandsPosts: 345
    Thank you all for your very helpful suggestions.

    I have taken a photo that may cast some light on our dilemma - the photo is taken from our driveway, with a similar view from our front door.

    In the distance you can see a golden field - that entire field has been proposed to become a chicken factory. Our previous owners felled poplars, which you see sprouting again at our boundary line, and they are presently about 8-9m high - so we need height, and we'll need it quite quickly if they get approval for the intensive poultry unit.

    Our DIY & sustainability journey: My Home Farm
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 882
    Oh such a shame, that's a lovely view. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
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