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Old 03-16-2012, 12:41 PM
Mama Zappa is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,193
Originally Posted by Ulfreida View Post
3. very fast growing trees are often brittle trees that break limbs easily. They also may be rather short-lived. You might want to incorporate some slower growing longer lasting trees into the mix to eventually replace the ones you plant for immediate screening. ...
Correct. Our neighborhood had a LOT of Leyland Cypress (fast-growing evergreen, provides great screening) and Bradford Pear (non-fruiting, very pretty shape). They're cheap, and the builders planted TONS of them, everywhere.

Trouble is, both varieties are very fragile. When we had a hurricane go through in 2003, 4 trees on our street went down. Two were Bradfords, two were Leylands. I think the problem with the Leylands is their roots are shallow; the Bradfords just have brittle wood.

So actually, you *could* try Leylands as long as you don't plant too close to the house - they'll offer prompt screening. However, do so with the plan that as you can, you'll replace them by better long-term choices.

Also - check with your county or state to get a feel for what kind of trees are native to the area - when our last Leyland went down (we had 3: 1 died in the hurricane, we had another removed, and the third went down in a windstorm a couple years later), we did the research and planted a serviceberry tree / shrub. Not *quite* as good screening, but native and it'd doing well.