Forum home Plants

Slow growing screening conifers

andyspeedandyspeed Posts: 7
edited April 2021 in Plants
Hi all,

I’m looking for recommendations regarding a conifer to be used for screening. Basically I’m looking for something that is slow growing and doesn’t spread too much. Something that will grow to a max height of around 8 feet and doesn’t drop any of its foliage. I know this seems like I’m asking for a lot but I’m looking for some low maintenance screening that doesn’t shed throughout the year, I figured that conifers were the best option.

thanks, Andy.


  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,990
    You could have a look at thuja plicata aka Western Red cedar, that may meet your criteria.

  • Thanks for the replies.
    The reason I would like it to be slow growing is so that I don’t have to trim it a couple of times a year....who would! I intend to purchase them at the approximate height that I require so they provide an instant screwing.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 766
    Just a reality check - all plants drop foliage even evergreens, it’s a natural process to renew their foliage and keep it healthy. Evergreens such as conifers just do it more steadily throughout the year rather than all in one go in Autumn
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • TopbirdTopbird Mid SuffolkPosts: 7,571
    edited April 2021
    What about yew?

     It will grow steadily until it reaches the required height but, once the leading stems are cut, it grows much more slowly and just requires one cut a year to keep it looking tidy. Can be cut back very hard if necessary. 
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 7,092
    I just spilt me tea... lol.. I do hope you find the conifers of your desires Andy..

    ..but seriously.. they can be expensive to buy as large plants.. most are sold as 2 foot container plants.. slow growing means maybe 6 inches a year... calculate how long to 8 feet.. can you wait that long?... do you want wide bulky conifers or slimline ones.. only you know that.. 
  • Again thanks for the answers, the non sarcastic ones anyway. I’m not much of a gardener hence why some of my questions might seem stupid to some of you green fingered experts.
    The screening doesn’t have to be conifers, but I wanted something as low maintenance as possible that doesn’t shed too much. My neighbour is a prick, hence the screening, and to avoid them complaining about an excessive amount of leaves dropping onto their drive I thought that conifers would be the best choice, I am very much open to other suggestions though. I already have a number photinia’s but they do visibly shed a lot of leaves in autumn which would give them an excuse to go on the attack. I also figured that will a conifer it would provide a nice dense coverage. 
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,448
    I also think Yew would be a good choice rather than a conifer.
    Can be dense and slow growing.
    As said before all trees shed leaves and need maintenance but I think yew only needs trimming once a year.
    It also sprouts from old wood which a lot of conifers don't, so if it is neglected for a year or so you can still cut it back hard and it will regrow but a conifer might not.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,649
    A fence would be more instant and non-shedding, then you can plant whatever you like on your side (not overhanging so it only sheds on your side) to make up the extra 2 feet above a standard 6 foot fence.
  • PianoplayerPianoplayer Posts: 624
    Sorry about your neighbours, that can easily get you down. I agree a fence would be the simplest and quickest. You're allowed 2m.

    Another point about buying large specimens is a) they are very expensive and b) can be harder to establish:

    Other evergreen possibilities are Pyracantha, Euonymous, Eleagnus.
Sign In or Register to comment.