Houzz Logo Print

Medium 30 foot evergreen options USA zone 6-7 New Jersey?

barplants123 barplants123
last year
last modified: last year

been researching hours, days, months trying to figure out what to plant a row of in the backyard.

I love everything about Green Giant arborvitaes but I'm afraid anything over about 35 feet could fall in a hurricane and GGs can get about 50 feet tall. Planting site isn't near the ocean or a hurricane zone but every ~8 years a big storm or hurricane like Sandy comes through and I don't want a disaster. Hence I never suggest planting any large type trees near houses. Seen plenty fall, patched some roofs, etc.

Whatever I choose, I plan on planting them somewhat close which might not allow them to grow as tall but might not let them live long as long as a single specimen planting.

Just please suggest anything you know that maxes at at least 20 feet and preferably no more than about 30 or 35 and then I'll look into the traits of the trees myself because I am looking for something dense, lives long like 75+ years, no disease or drought problems, can handle somewhat wet feet during long storms, etc.

Houses are about 35 feet from planting spots and sheds and pool(s) and fences are right close by but I don't really care about those.

Green giant is supposed to be well rooted, better than leyland cypress (gets 60-70' anyway so forget those). GG is supposed to be very windthrow resistant unlike spruces which also get taller than I want and neighbor had a ~35' spruce uproot and windthrow the whole thing tipped over in a storm not to mention ~30 of the top of his ~70 pine snapped during a previous storm and luckily didn't really hit anything.

The soil here is kind of clay but has about a foot or two of dark rich topsoil which should be fine depending on the rooting habit of the trees is likely not even that deep anyway. And I'm adding about another foot of topsoil to create a berm to avoid more standing water during long storms because about 8ft from the trunk will have standing water for a day or few during heavy rain so I want to reduce that as much as possible but don't want to make too much of a berm that it directs so much water near the house foundation.

Dwarf southern magnolia 20-25 feet but they're not as dense as I prefer. I do want privacy but also just want to add value and character and the yard to not feel like it's been nuked because it used to have lots of trees but the big maple was taken down that was 2 splitting trunks, and we had a row of blue point junipers but they only live about 40 years, and they don't get tall and they're full of sharp needles if a ball or something gets in there and they weren't routinely pruned once they got to about 12 feet and started looking scraggly/drying and were all removed (there was no internet info back then when they were planted and in a nursery bluepoints are nice and dense soft and whippy but they get pretty sharp and scraggly towards the end of their lifespan.

Nootka cypress / Alaska Cedar is an OK height 30-45' , lives hundreds of years in right conditions, but not as dense as I prefer plus are like $300 each and I have about 150 feet I want to cover. But I might actually plant these or some of these if can get small cheaper ones.

Or Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' 25-30 ' unless is same tree and source claims 30 instead of 45' but these all get very confusing sometimes with all the varieties and mislabeling.

I plan on just leaving whatever I plant and not pruning anything which may make it grow denser.

Green giants would be perfect, are cheap but again , if they get 50-60 ft tall I don't want them to fall in a storm.

I already did plant 2 on each corner and might remove or just leave those corner ones and hope for the best since they're also farthest away from houses and even if it hit a house at 50-60 feet I hope the whippy 20-30 foot top section wouldn't even cause much damage.

I might do a mix of different trees and keep the corner GGs, some nootka cypress and dwarf southern mags etc but would prefer something more solid and columnar.

Whatever might grow too wide I'll likely just suggest skirt it back to the trunk once it gets older, up to about 8 ft high so it doesn't grow into the yard for the lower 8 ft. Even a GG that can grow 20 ft wide would only hang over a yard about 8 feet but that's be at 8ft high and not really in the way, and would only grow over a neighboring 6ft fence about 5 ft and gradually less upwards.

Korean Thuja – Thuja koraiensis is dense and maxes about 30 feet and I'll look into that about windthrow and lifespan and disease.

Nellie Stevens Holly , hollies live like hundreds of years and this one maxes around 20 feet but I think someone later might chop it down and then others down because of the sharp holly leaves. So I don't think I'll be planting any hollies.

dragon lady holly 20 feet might live long, stays very columnar so likely won't annoy by dropping sharp leaves over fence if planted near fence but still not crazy about the sharp leaves it drops.

Yews live very long and might be a type that stays dense and maxes around 30 feet and I'll look into yews but I'm not crazy about how toxic the seeds can be in case a baby or dog eats them, even a handful of just the needles can kill an adult.

cryptomeria I really like but afraid will get 80 feet.

some say only 40 ft max some say 80. The tree will grow 50 to 80 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. Heights of 100 to 125 feet are not uncommon.

also might not like the cold here and fungal also causes dead brown inner branches to drop.

Cupressina COLUMNAR NORWAY SPRUCE unsure but might only live about 50 years. 30 feet. maybe I'll put one/some of these if I do a mix of trees if there's no disease probs etc.

pillar arborvitae 25', fast grow. narrow. looks like a dwarf green giant, might plant theses if long lived but are a new variety so no one knows.

nigra arborvitae 20-30' but some guy on youtube swears they're more fragile than green giants in snow/ice/wind

thuja junior giant 15-20' not really as tall as want, and unsure lifespan, disease etc.

Spring Grove arborvitae 30' will look into these.

pyramidalis arborvitae 30 ft unsure lifespan/disease etc will look into.

Eastern Arborvitae – Thuja occidentalis. 40-60', 40 would be fine but 60 might be better to use green giants/ also Thuja occidentalis gets confusing and might be mislabeled etc and end up w something totally didn't want.

Comments (12)