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There are many species of trees and shrubs that can be clipped into beautiful, dense hedges. Here are a few of them.
Flame Amur maple (Acer ginnala ‘Flame’), native to Asia, is a small, multi-stemmed deciduous tree that has beautiful fall color, a fast growth rate, good for sun and shade, and is especially cold hardy. ‘Flame’ brightens up the landscape in the fall with its brilliant red, orange, and yellow foliage. It provides dense privacy during the growing season, but will let more light in during the winter after the leaves have fallen. It is a great seasonal privacy hedge or specimen tree for a small garden.
Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is a small, multi-stemmed, deciduous tree, native to eastern North America. It has a multitude of white flowers in the spring, followed by small blue fruits in the summer. It has a moderate growth rate, is quite cold hardy, grows well in sun and shade, and has a yellowish to red fall leaf color. Arrowwood Viburnum makes a showy seasonal privacy hedge, and is good as a border or in a woodland garden.
European Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) is native to Europe and Asia, and is medium-sized, often grown as a shade tree, street tree, or as a hedge. Hornbeam is deciduous, and has dark green, sharply toothed leaves that turn a yellowish color in the fall. Catkins of male and female flowers appear in early spring followed by small nuts, each within brown bracts. Its bark is gray and its trunk is ribbed, or fluted. It is cold hardy and grows well in both sun and shade and can tolerate a variety of soils, even in overly moist areas. With its color and leaf density, European Hornbeam makes a great seasonal privacy hedge, or as a shade tree in a large property.
Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) is a small deciduous dogwood, native from southern Europe to western Asia. It has clusters of yellow flowers in the spring that are followed by red fruits the size and shape of small olives. It is quite pest and disease resistant, and can grow well in sun or partial shade in a variety of soils. Cornelian cherry is a good seasonal privacy hedge, in a shrub border or at the edge of a woodland garden.
Royal Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata ‘Royal Star’) is a magnificent, small flowering tree that is native to Japan. It is multi-trunked, cold hardy, and needs full sun. Furry gray buds form in late winter and open to fragrant, double, white flowers in spring, followed by bright red fruit. The green leaves give way to a yellow color in the fall. This little magnolia makes a spectacular specimen tree, as part of a border, or as a beautiful, flowering hedge.
Teton Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea ‘Teton’) is a thorny, evergreen shrub native from Europe to Asia. It has tiny, white flowers that cover the shrub in spring, and then develop into small yellow-orange fruits in the summer that linger into the fall and winter. It can grow in a variety of soils in the sun or partial shade. Firethorn has substantial thorns that make it a good border plant. It can be trained as espalier, topiary, or a privacy hedge.