What is a good native shrub for a small, narrow property line?


I’m looking to put in a small hedge in along my property line. The site receives part-sun, and is on the dryer side. It’s a relatively narrow area, so I don’t want anything really large or fast growing. Do you have any suggestions for native plants for this spot?


Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional

Hedges are so overlooked lately but they played a big role in the past in defining spaces in the landscape.  I have two suggestions for you-the first is a resource you may find interesting if you are interested in using Native plants.  It is an article from the Wild Seed Project and it talks about hedges for small spaces.  The height you are looking for in the hedge will play a big role in your choice.  Plan to find something that will be mature at your desired height at the 5-year mark.  That means you will have a decent size going into the planting yet not a lot of long-term maintenance keeping it at the desired height.   Hedges are essentially all the same plant and hedgerows are usually a mix of plants.

I have found that a nice option for hedges are columnar junipers if you also want these hedges to deter traffic (wildlife) through the yard,  They are very dense and there are several options depending on the final height you are seeking.  I softer hedge could be made of fruit shrubs such as Highbush Blueberries or American cranberry.  They are not real narrow but they don’t mind pruning.  The University of Colorado has a nice list of columnar/fastigiate trees and shrubs worth looking at.  Many of them would be hardy in Maine as well.