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PAL Questions: 1 - Garden Tools:
I am looking for evergreen hedges that will tolerate a windy site. Do you have any suggestions?
Sunset Western Garden Book (2007 edition) has a list of wind-resistant plants. From that list, there were a few plants which meet some of your site's needs (evergreen, fast-growing, about 7-10 feet tall). They are:
- Arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree)
- Arctostaphylos (Manzanita)
- Morella californica
- Pinus species (you would need a dwarf pine for your size limits)
- Pittosporum (many of these grow taller than 10 feet over time, but P. tobira might work)
I don't know if it is tolerant of winter winds, but Osmanthus delavayi makes a nice, dense evergreen hedge with flowers, and reaches about 8 feet. It grows fairly quickly also.
Also, I found an article (no longer available) on wind tolerance from Colorado State University Extension which may be of interest. Here is an excerpt about the physical characteristics of wind tolerant plants:
"When considering which trees and shrubs do well in windy conditions, examine the shape and thickness of the leaves, stems and branches. Wind-resistant trees usually have flexible, wide spreading, strong branches and low centers of gravity. Wind tolerant shrubs often have small, thick or waxy leaves or very narrow leaves (or needles), to help control moisture loss. Plant species that have large, flat leaves "catch" wind. These plants have a tendency for branch breakage when strong gusts blow, or if laden with heavy, wet snow. Evergreen (conifer) trees are an excellent choice, having needles and being flexible in high winds."
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January 13 2017 10:35:53