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5 evergreen hedge plants that thrive in Western Washington


The plants below all form good hedges, meaning that they are green year round and can be pruned to  maintain size and shape. They all do well in full sun and can tolerate only partial shade.

Note that, although you can prune your hedges to almost any height you need, getting a hedge that is  close to your ideal height once it reaches maturity will reduce the amount of pruning you have to do.  Still, if you want say, needles over leaves, a little extra work might be worth it.

Leyland Cypress


This needled evergreen is the biggest on the list, growing as high a 70’ in some cases. You can keep it  to almost any height you want with regular pruning, but keep it in mind that it is fast growing (as much  as 2-3’ per year in early years) so you will be dong a fair amount of pruning.

The natural shape is that of a narrow pyramid, but that too can be altered and maintained with regular  pruning. The Leyland Cypress makes a great privacy screen and windbreak.

Note that that the Leyland Cypress is a hybrid species and thus is usually sterile, but you can use  cuttings to plant new ones.

Best for:  as the tallest on the list, and a fast growing tree, the Leyland Cypress is your best option for a tall privacy screen and windbreak

Thuja Emerald Green

  This needled evergreen is similar to the Leyland Cypress in both shape and appearance, but is much  shorter. Expect it to grow between 12-14’ tall, though in some cases it may reach as high as 20’. It will  attain a width of 3-4’.

Best for:  When you need a tall privacy screen and/or windbreak, but don’t want a 60’ behemoth and  don’t want to prune so frequently.

Schip Laurel

This leafy hedge is the third tallest on the list, and grows roughly as wide as it does tall (6-10’). Keep in  mind the closer you space them together, the sooner they will grow into each other and create a  complete privacy screen.

Best for:  This is your best leafy option on the list for a complete privacy screen. Though not as tall as  the above trees, this shrub will reach over head height.

Green Mountain Boxwood


This leafy shrub grows only up to about 5’ feet tall and 3’ wide, making it the right height for a barrier  between you and your favorite neighbor’s yard. You’ll still be able to see it over it (you can always  trim it down if it gets too tall) but it will create some separation and hopefully keep the dogs and the  kids in.

Best for:  a barrier that separates but doesn’t completely block the view.

Green Velvet Boxwood


This leafy shrub is the shortest on the list at 3-4’ in both width and height. That means its easy to see  over but can create a nice barrier for garden paths, to hide a ditch, or to create a separation between  sections of yard, garden beds, or your yard and your favorite neighbor’s.

If left unpruned, the Green Velvet Boxwood will take on a round shape.

Best for A barrier that doesn’t block the view.