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Looking for a hedge along a fence line under Norway maples

 
pollinator
Posts: 142
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
41
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Hi all. Hope I can tap into the collective wisdom. My neighbor to the south has tons of weedy trees on our fence line. There are one or two nice(ish) sycamores, a ton of Norway maples of various sizes, from whips to fully mature, a mostly dead butternut, and one or two completely dead trunks that have started to fall, but are propped up by other trees. This is all on a border that is only 110 feet long. Needless to say, I have a problem with this situation, and when I asked to do something about it, I was rebuffed, because he doesn’t care. (He now lives full time in Florida, and has carved up this large historic house into cheap apartments).

I have inherited a ratty white picket fence on the line, but I have absolutely no interest in repairing and painting it. I’d like to create a privacy hedge of some kind along the fence line, and as it gets tall  enough, just remove the fence.

My wish list for this challenging area:
1: visual border. Doesn’t need to be so dense that it’s actually a privacy screen
2: Tall enough that it will eventually discourage deer from jumping over and eating my everything
3. Ideally native-ish, or at least supports a bit of life
4. Moderate to quick growing.


Challenges:

1.  Norway maples create dense shade and suck all the moisture out of the soil. They are pretty in fall, though.
2. This is on the southern edge, too!
3. USA Ag zone 6b, so the potential for hard winters.


Features:
1. The kids’ play structure is nearby, and we load it up underneath with arborist wood chips every year, so that soil is becoming nice and rich and deep over time. When we remove it as they outgrow it, it’ll be a lovely place to plant.
2. Everything on his side is deciduous, so there’s sun in winter, which will probably help ground covers in the future.
3. Some of the trees are dead and dying, and I’ll probably Try to get the city to make him remove them at some point in the next couple of years.
4. Unrelated, but the trees shade the south side of my house in summer, which I’m sure keeps me from having to run the AC except during the hardest and longest heat waves.
5. His son killed my cat with a car, something I don’t actually hold against him (cat shouldn’t have been outside), but it means that he does feel a bit guilty.


I’ve thought about yews and arborvitae and mountain laurel. I have some small spice Bush (less than a year old) that I am cultivating in pots for the next layer inwards from the hedge.

Thanks, folks!
Daniel


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pollinator
Posts: 2137
Location: 4b
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I would ask him if I could remove the dead trees myself with the condition that I would replant and maintain the area.  He may be willing if it is no cost or work to him.  Maybe throw in that it would raise his property value and reduce his liability.  If one of the dead trees on his land falls, he is liable for any damages caused, especially if you can show that he was notified about the situation ahead of time.  There isn't going to be much you can do about the healthy trees.

If he isn't reasonable about it, I would plant a row of Osage Orange along the property line and make a living fence.  You can buy them for about $.50 a piece from the Missouri Conservation Department.  I bought 200 from them this year and they are beautiful, healthy, and with great root structure.  I bought 50 False Indigo and they looked great too.  I was very impressed.  If you put 1 Osage Orange every foot, in a couple years you will have a living fence that nothing can get through.  It may take 4 years or so until it keeps deer out completely, but even at 4 feet it will be dense enough that that probably won't jump over.  If you plant some other trees, bushes, or shrubs inside the Osage Orange row, you can really up the diversity and the deer won't jump because they don't have a good landing place.
 
Daniel Ackerman
pollinator
Posts: 142
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
41
cat urban cooking bike writing
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I wish I could do Osage orange. It’s really interesting! I had a look at the shade tolerance, and it looks like it is intermediate at best. It’s almost full shade underneath the maples.

As far as removing the trees myself, it really isn’t in our budget to take out large trees. The things about 4-6” in diameter I’m comfortable with, but anything larger gets a bit on the dangerous side for the novice. We are on an urban lot, so there isn’t room to just drop trees. It’s a good thought to reach out and see if I could maintain the area. When he rebuffed that offer before, he was still in part time residence. He’s not there at all anymore.

Thanks for the reply! Anyone else have any hedge ideas?

Thanks,
D
 
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You are in PA.
I would go with Musser Forests, Inc. out of Indiana, PA:

http://www.musserforests.com/prod.asp?p=GGA
 
Daniel Ackerman
pollinator
Posts: 142
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
41
cat urban cooking bike writing
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Wow, that’s a good price for potted plants. Thanks!
 
We can walk to school together. And we can both read this tiny ad:
Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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