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Elaeagnus is getting hard to control

 
pollinator
Posts: 651
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Many years ago I put in an Elaeagnus x ebbingei (Pungens and silverthorn) hedge and I was hoping that the growth would slow down and it would be easier to trim each fall.   This hedge is maybe 10 years old now and so far it is just as out of control as before.

Will it eventually stop growing so much?  Should I replace it with something that does not grow as tall (Goumi maybe)?  I want some privacy, so 5 to 6 feet tall and getting fruit, feeding bees and nitrogen fixing is good too.  I live in Zone 7B (North Alabama)

All suggestions welcome.  
 
gardener
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Since you are continuing pruning, the plants will continue to grow, these only slow down if they are "in the wild" and even then they don't slow down their growth rate until near their dying time.

Goumi might be a better choice for a hedge planting, but be prepared to do pruning every year, that is just the nature of hedges you want to keep neat.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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It's a 16ft plant so trying to keep it at 5ft (30%) by cutting off the 11ft potential growth(60%), seems like a losing battle. Goumi which is naturally only 5ft does sound like a much better.
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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I need to start over for sure.  Thank you.
 
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Dennis,
Since I live about 6 miles from you I have been looking for something similar.  Have you considered the southern bayberry or also known as the southern wax myrtle?  It is a nitrogen fixer and has blooms for the bees and waxy berries for the birds.  The wax on the berries can be collected for scented candles.  But not much in the way for something to eat.  It is evergreen in our area.  I am in my second attempt to start some from seed.  The first attempt was a failure.  I can let you know if my second attempt works.
greybeardmike
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
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Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
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Thanks Mike, I will keep that in mind. I like Goumi because of the food value for people and of course birds can eat it too. I will look into bayberry.
 
pollinator
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If I may: Elaeagnus X ebbinggeii is an amazing rabbit food. Especially in winter, when everything else is dormant.

Mine grows too slowly...
 
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