What if you're looking for a bit of privacy? As lots become smaller and houses closer together that becomes a more frequent need. You may want to screen only a window, or a courtyard, or as much as an entire property line, and if so, what are the best evergreens for a screen or a hedge? Well there are several basic considerations such as size of planting, amount of sunlight and the look that you desire, such as formal or informal. But one plant that will make for a fantastic hedge with year-round beauty in numerous settings is the Fastigiate eastern white pine as it's known in the US and Canada, or Fastigiate Weymouth pine as it's known in the UK, and is actually Pinus strobus 'Fastigiata'.

Fastigiate eastern white pine has a narrower, upright form that gradually widens as it ages. The ascending branches are at an angle of about 45°, unlike the species whose branches are closer to horizontal. If you're looking for a hedge in full sun on well drained soil, then it would be hard to improve on this much awarded tree. The Fastigiate eastern white pine has soft blue-green needles borne in groups of five. And although it can, after many years, grow to 40 feet or more, its spread is about 15 to 20 feet. But one of the best features as far as a hedge is concerned is that the growth is very rapid at first which means the privacy factor is quickly achieved. This graceful tree becomes more beautiful with age and the blue-grey foliage is always handsome.

This is a superb choice for privacy or even a specimen. It is successful in Canada, most of the US, the UK, New Zealand and parts of Australia.

As usual, this special tree will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.


Fastigiate white pine

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