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Green Mountain
Green Mountain Boxwood (Buxus x ‘Green Mountain’) is an extremely popular boxwood. It has great cold tolerance and is one of the most naturally resistant to Boxwood Blight. It is deer and rabbit resistant and grows well in full sun to shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Schmidt Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Schmidt’) is a lesser-known boxwood variety but has a desirable tall and narrow growth habit making it great for hedging. It is deer resistant and grows in full sun to partial shade. It is hardy in USDA Zones 5-8.
Box Honeysuckle
Box Honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida) is lovely hedge in its own right but also makes a great boxwood substitute for areas with Boxwood Blight. The foliage is evergreen and very similar to boxwood. It is deer resistant, takes full sun to full shade, and grows in USDA Zones 6-9.
Hick's Yew
Hicks Yew (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’) is the best hedge for deep shade locations, although it also thrives in full sun. This is a naturally narrow plant, so it is good for small spaces. It has evergreen needles and bright red fruits. Hicks Yew is hardy to USDA Zones 5-8.
Little Simon
Little Simon Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Little Simon’) is a dwarf selection of Emerald Green that only reaches 3-4’ tall. It is a great boxwood substitute for colder regions and blight-susceptible areas. It grows best in full sun and is hardy in USDA Zones 3-8.
Teton Firethorn
Teton Firethorn (Pyracantha ‘Teton’) is an evergreen hedge that boasts billows of white flowers in spring, followed by bright orange fruits that feed birds through winter. Sharp thorns keep deer away. It grows well in full sun to shade and is hardy in USDA Zones 6-9.
for Shade
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Our hedges come in multiple, convenient sizes. Learn about which hedge size option will work best for your project, from our 18-24” tall MiniHedge to our 5-6’ tall InstantHedge. See detailed dimensions for all of our different hedge sizes, including root balls.
You have multiple options for the kind of container in which your InstantHedge is shipped. Learn about our standard Biodegradable Cardboard Boxes, as well as the fabric bag and cedar box options. This page will lead you to the best choice for your project.
InstantHedge is a unique product and the planting process is very unlike installing a traditional hedge. This page takes you step by step through the easy process of how to plant an InstantHedge. No doubt about it, it’s the fastest way to plant a hedge.
About Us
Learn about our company’s past and present, and all about how we introduced this revolutionary product to the US market. You can also get a peek at our farm and meet our team of hedge experts who make all the hedge magic happen!
Find out where you can purchase our hedges in your area, whether you are a retail or wholesale buyer. We have exclusive wholesale distributors in some states, and this is where you can connect with them.
See real-life examples of our hedges being used in projects all over the country. These photos are provided by our customers and can be used as inspiration for a wide range of uses, from commercial to residential. You can find customer reviews here as well.
Got questions? Of course you do! And chances are, many others have had the same questions. We know that with an unusual product like our hedges there are always many questions. We answer some common questions here on this FAQ page, so it’s a great place to start.
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What to Plant instead of Leyland Cypress…and Why

Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a popular choice for a hedge to provide privacy and wind protection due to its extremely fast growth rate. Leyland Cypress Trees is noted for its fastest screening tree for privacy. These trees are widely used in the USA. However, many people who plant Leyland Cypress hedges without knowing all the potential problems find themselves in a big pickle a few years later and ruing the day they planted the pesky trees. Here we have collected all the reasons not to plant a Leyland Cypress hedge, as well as the best alternative to Leyland Cypress.

Reasons people like Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress Growth Rate is the main reason people choose to plant Leyland Cypress. No one likes to wait, and the idea of buying small, inexpensive plants that will grow to huge trees in just a few years is very appealing. The problem is that most people fail to think farther than those first few years and anticipate the enormous eventual size of the plants (they don’t stop growing, folks!).

Evergreen foliage of Leyland Cypress is a big factor when choosing a privacy hedging plant, and also Leyland Cypress has a nice-looking, feathery, evergreen texture.

Large size of Leyland Cypress is good when you need privacy, but the tree can get absolutely massive (anyone wants a 75’ tall hedge?). Most privacy hedges are sufficient at 6-10 feet tall, and much easier to maintain.

Leyland Cypress Problems

Can anyone suggest to me a fast growing tree that provides a lot of privacy like a Leyland Cypress (except not a Leyland Cypress)? Sounds familiar statement for Leyland Cypress right?

Leyland Cypress problems are common these days, Leyland Cypress growth rate is the main thing that draws people to Leyland Cypress, but it is also the biggest problem in the long run. Leyland Cypress grows extremely fast, up to 4’ per year, even in poor soils. That sounds great when you think you could have your goal 12’ privacy hedge in 3 years, but think about how much you will have to prune it to keep it at 12’ tall in the long run. Hint: it’s a lot.

You will need to prune intensively multiple times per year to maintain the size and shape of Leyland Cypress. The larger it gets, the more difficult it will be to prune. You also have to be careful about what time of year you prune, as pruning in early spring may simply encourage faster growth, but pruning in the fall or winter can cause unsightly browning. If the size gets out of hand, you can’t prune it back too far or you will be left with ugly brown patches that never fill in.

Once the Leyland Cypress reaches large height and width, you will likely run into problems with foundations, sidewalks, and power lines, and eventually end up needing to remove the plants.

Leyland Cypress leyland cypress trees

Leyland Cypress growth rate – the first photo is from October 2012, the second is from August 2018. The trees have grown about 12’ taller and significantly wider in 6 years in a spot with likely no supplemental water. Imagine how much faster they would grow in a normal garden setting!

Leyland Cypress diseases are another factor to consider. Their root systems are quite shallow, and any stress on the plants weakens them to some common diseases, including blight, canker, and root rot. When planted as a hedge, the diseases can run right through the plants, damaging or killing the entire row. Once the plants are infected, fungicides and other chemicals are ineffective for treatment.

Hedging is not simply compatible with Leyland Cypress’s growth requirements. They don’t grow well in crowded conditions. They are notorious for developing somewhat random brown patches and sustaining winter damage, which results in an uneven, unsightly hedge. They are shallow-rooted and unstable in the soil. They have no drought tolerance, but excessively wet conditions result in root-rot. Finally, they are short-lived plants, usually lasting only up to 25 years before needing to be replaced. None of these are good conditions for hedging!

Leyland Cypress Alternative

  • thuja green giant vs leyland cypress

    Green Giant Arborvitae is the best fast-growing Leyland Cypress alternative. It is essentially disease-free, with moderate drought resistance and excellent tolerance of heat and humidity. It can grow up to 3 feet per year and can be maintained with 1 or 2 pruning sessions per year. It is hardy in zones 5-9 and can be grown in full sun to partial shade.

  • trees similar to leyland cypress

    Virescens Western Red Cedar is another great alternative for Leyland Cypress, with a nice, upright growth habit. It can either be tightly pruned for a formal look or causally pruned for more relaxed garden styles. It can grow up to 2 feet per year which is less than Leyland Cypress growth rate. It has moderate drought tolerance and can be grown in full sun to partial shade. Virescens is hardy in USDA zones 5-9 and does especially well on the West Coast, where it is native.

  • what to plant instead of Leyland Cypress

    American Arborvitae is an extremely cold-hardy Leyland Cypress alternative, growing in USDA zones 2-8. It is native to the Eastern United States and Canada, and has been a popular hedge choice for many years. It can grow 1-2’ per year and thrives in both full sun and partial shade. It responds very well to regular pruning and is very low-maintenance than Leyland Cypress. American Arborvitae has moderate drought resistance.

By brent | August 1st, 2019 | Plant Spotlights

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