Growing A Living Fence

When you think of a fence, you probably think of chain-links or tall picket fences. There are other options that will help make your yard both sustainable and beautiful, like utilizing a living fence. Living fences are comprised of trees, shrubs or other plants that serve as a barrier. Historically, living fences have served as property lines and defense from enemies.

Living privacy fences can be better than traditional fences for a few reasons:

  • Their colors and textures make them more aesthetically pleasing
  • They often change looks depending on the season, such as flowers in the spring or leaf changes in the fall.
  • Some plants produce fruit for you (or local wildlife) to enjoy.

However, living fences can be labor intensive and sometimes costly to maintain depending on what type of plants you use. It's also important to keep in mind that it could take years for your living privacy fence to grow to the desired height. Here are some common plant options for growing a living fence:

  • Rugosa rose
  • Bamboo
  • Willow
  • Osage orange
  • Evergreen shrubs or trees
  • Pyracantha (firethorn)

There are many species that can make a good living privacy fence. Be sure to use plants native to your region for best results and consult your state list of noxious weeds and invasive plants from the United States Department of Agriculture.