Hedges, Wind breaks, and Screens with California Native Plants.

Natives are great for hedges! Most species only need a little water to get established and then can be left on their own. They often attract birds and other wildlife and can be very deer proof. There are other natives that can be used for these purposes but we have found these to be the most effective.

These plants are good for giving you privacy from the neighbors or keeping their not-so-tidy yards out of your view. They can also be good for blocking future traffic. You can't stop traffic with a 6 inch tall plant so make sure it is well protected till it can protect itself. Or along these same lines they can be used to keep out trespassers. These plants are also good for hiding ugly fences or walls.

A hedge of Arctostaphylos Austin Griffin will grow to about 10 ft. tall and 12 ft. wide. - grid24_12
Manzanitas are evergreen and tidy. They are popular for their colorful red bark. The flowers are good for hummingbird birds. These are fairly deer proof and very drought tolerant. They make good hedges because they are clean, evergreen and many grow fast. To see more manzanitas see the manzanita page.
Amelanchier alnifolia. Serviceberry - grid24_12
10 feet This Service Berry, is a very slow-growing, deciduous shrub with edible blue berries 1/4" across. In moist coastal conditions it is much faster.
Amelanchier utahensis, Utah Service Berry is a big enough bush that it can be used as a hedge or screen. - grid24_12
10 feet Utah Service Berry is a very different looking shrub that can be used as a hedge in a mountain garden.
Baby Bear manzanita bush is covered with pink  flowers the hummingbirds and native insects like. Quite a hedge plant. - grid24_12
8 feet Arctostaphylos Baby Bear Manzanita Bush makes a wonderful evergreen shrub.
Arctostaphylos densiflora, Sentinel Manzanita works well as a low hedge or foundation plant. - grid24_12
4-6 feet Arctostaphylos densiflora Sentinel Manzanita is one wonderful shrub. It is one of the best plants we have to support native pollinaters and predators. It is a buzz with life.
Arctostaphylos stanfordiana bakeri, Louis Edmunds Manzanita can be very showy,  particularly as a hedge or specimen. - grid24_12
6-9 feet Louis Edmunds Manzanita makes a gray hedge that turns pink in spring.
Arctostaphylos glauca Ramona Manzanita with pinkish flowers because of the cold early winter makes a great little bush or hedge. - grid24_12
6 feet Arctostaphylos glauca Ramona makes a great dryland hedge in most California Gardens.
Manzanitas make a great hedge if your within 50 miles of so of the ocean on the west coast.
Howard McMinn manzanita can be used a low hedge, or foundation plant. - grid24_12
6 feet Arctostaphylos densiflora Howard McMinn Manzanita makes a great 4 to 6 foot hedge in most California Gardens. It tolerates regular water but can become fairly drought tolerant.
Ian Bush Manzanita makes a decent five or six foot hedge. Ian Bush is fairly fast. - grid24_12
5 feet Arctostaphylos Ian Bush Manzanita makes a fast five foot hedge in most California Gardens. For some reason this manzanita grows to full size in about 3 years, and then seems to stop.
Zin Manzanita is a very clean plant that makes a dark green bush that works as a hedge in most of coastal. Excellent in San Francisco, Oakland the Bay area or coastal Los Angeles. This one seems to tolerate garden conditions,while also being drought tolerant along the coast.<BR>Deer seem to leave it alone. - grid24_12
Arctostaphylos stanfordiana stanfordiana, Zin Manzanita grows into a 6-8 ft. bush and is used by native bees, flies, birds and still looks nice.
Dr. Hurd makes a good tall hedge.  - grid24_12
12 feet Arctostaphylos Dr. Hurd makes a good twelve foot hedge in most California gardens.
Arctostaphylos manzanita, Austin Griffiths, makes a very good eight foot or so hedge - grid24_12
10 feet Austin Griffin manzanita makes a good ten foot hedge in most of California and flowers just after Christmas.
Arctostaphylos patula in the ground in Santa margarita. Greenleaf manzanita becomes a nice 6 foot bush where the snow doesn't crush it. - grid24_12
6 feet Greenleaf Manzanita, Arctostaphylos patula.. If the snow load is not heavy it will make a six foot, evergreen screen.
Pointleaf Manzanita and Mexican Manzanita.,  Arctostaphylos pungens - grid24_12
7 feet Mexican Manzanita, Arctostaphylos pungens, can be used as a five to six foot hedge.Excellent nectar plant.
Bush Anemone makes a nice narrow hedge. - grid24_12
7 feet Carpenteria californica, Bush anemone needs some water but works in narrow side yards.
Owlswood Blue can make a good hedge. - grid24_12
10 feet Owlswood Blue Ceanothus is dark green with blue flowers.
Ceanothus aren't good for high deer areas unless you plant the Ceanothus native on the site, or the ones with holly like leaves. For more Ceanothus see the Ceanothus page
Ceanothus Concha has many colors, shades, and  tones. Some years the plants are more reddish purple, some years bright blue, some years larger flowers, some years more smaller flowers. Always beautiful. - grid24_12
8 feet Ceanothus Concha is very showy
Ceanothus Sierra Blue flowers. The Ceanotus cyaneus color shows in this photo - grid24_12
12 feet Ceanothus Sierra Blue is big and fast.
Ceanothus Frosty Blue as royal blue. - grid24_12
8 feet Ceanothus Frosty Blue has been reliable
Santa Barbara Lilac is fast and showy in most coastal California gardens. - grid24_12
8 feet Santa Barbara Lilac, Ceanothus impressus impressus is impressive.
Ceanothus Julia Phelps in full flower as a hedge. - grid24_12
8 feet Ceanothus Julia Phelps can be spectacular.
Ceanothus L. T. Blue covering the two story chicken coop - grid24_12
10 feet Ceanothus L.T. Blue is  drought tolerant.
Ceanothus Mountain Haze can make a good hedge - grid24_12
8 feet Mountain Haze grows fast, within about 2 years, to around 8 eight feet. It is also about 8 feet wide. Mountain Haze is another good Ceanothus for creating a hedge. It is fast, evergreen, and attractive!
Ray Hartman Ceanothus in full bloom. These plants were 12-15 foot tall and 15 foot wide. with no water in Atascadero. A Great big hedge. - grid24_12
12 feet Ray Hartman Ceanothus grows very fast. It reaches full sized, from a gallon sized container, in about 3 years depending on the location. It grows OK in sand or clay soil. Does well in the San Joaquin Valley.
Every thing died in this spot until we planted Ceanothus Remote Blue. Almost gravel soil, roof run off and a south wall. - grid24_12
8 feet Ceanothus Remote Blue has glossy leaves.
A short movie about a Ceanothus, Mountain Lilac, hedge.
This bush is about 10 years old with no additional  water. - grid24_12
10 feet Ceanothus Tassajara Blue in Escondido after 10 years rainfall only.
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Snow Flurry in San Francisco. - grid24_12
10 feet Ceanothus thyrsiflorus Snow Flurry only works in mild areas like this spot in San Francisco
Ceanothus tomentosus is a  pretty different mountain lila that grows in San Diego and Escondido, and up in the Sierras. It will grow fine in Los Angeles or even San Jose. - grid24_12
8 feet Woolly Leaf Mtn. Lilac.
Island Mountain Mahogany is one of the best hedge plants we grow. You can have a 15 ft. hedge in a 3-4 ft. wide space. - grid24_12
12 feet Island Mountain mahogany is excellent for tall narrow hedges. It grows about 12 feet tall and only 3 or 4 feet wide. It is evergreen and nice looking.
Cupressus forbesii, Tecate Cypress as a  hedge row. No water and the little trees look decent. Reports of 15 ft. in 3 years. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Cupressus forbesii, Tecate Cypress has been amazing from the Mexican Border, in the desert, along the coast and through the San Joaquin Valley.
Cercocarpus betuloides in the wild. This Mountain Mahogany  is about 30 years old. In most areas of California Mountain Mahogany makes a 5-6 ft. drought tolerant hedge. Useful in places like Los Angeles where green seems to be missing. - grid24_12
12 feet Cercocarpus betuloides can be made into a nice 10 foot hedge
A young Cercocarpus ledifolius above Big Bear. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Curl leaf mountain mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius makes a mountain cabin look
Gowen Cupress smells like lemon. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Gowen Cypress, Cupressus goveniana ssp. goveniana smells like lemon.
Cupressus nevadensis, Piute Cypress could be used as a gray hedge. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Piute Cypress , Cupressus nevadensis, can be used as a big gray screen.
Create your own desert mountain oasis with Desert Olive and Deer Grass - grid24_12
10 Ft. Forestiera neomexicana, a deciduous desert oasis screen
Fremontodendron Pacific Sunset seems to be the most stable of the hybrids but grows rather big. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Fremontodendron Pacific Sunset is really fast and big. Itchy, your neighbor pests will be scratching.
Garrya elliptica 'James Roof' - Coast Silk Tassel, the male flowers, catkins, can be a foot long on an interesting bush that can be wonderful hedge.  - grid24_12
10 Ft. Garrya elliptica James Roof can be sheared or left alone, green foliage is all you'll see, until the weird flowers show up.
A 100ft hedge of Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia, as a privacy screen between a house and the street.  Toyon used to cover most of the hills around Los Angeles. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Toyon and Christmas Berry makes a huge screen that is great for wildlife.
Garrya flavescens pallida Pale Ashy Silk-tassel Bush - grid24_12
8 Ft. Pale Ashy Silk-tassel Bush. can be used as a gray screen with weird flowers.
Garrya veatchii Silk Tassel Bush along a walkway - grid24_12
8 Ft. Silk Tassel Bush.. a wild looking hedge.
I have no idea how old this hedge is. It was mature 30 years ago. - grid24_12
6 Ft. Oregon Grape is great wildlife hedge..
Mahonia nevinii, (syn. Berberis nevinii) Nevin's Barberry flowers with a nectarine behind it. - grid24_12
7 Ft. Mahonia nevinii is REALLY slow initially, but after a few years it makes a GREAT hedge. Thorny and safe. Combine with a Ceanothus at first to get speed.the leaves are prickly
This bush mallow is native to South California and does well in Los Angeles and San Diego. - grid24_12
5 Ft. Many Flowered Bushmallow can be very interesting as a hedge.
Myrica californica, Pacific Wax Myrtle in Morro Bay - grid24_12
10 Ft. Pacific Wax Myrtle is not very drought tolerant, but it is fast. In heavy soil on drip irrigation(it tolerates drip well) it can go to full size in a year.
Philadelphus lewisii, Wild Mock Orange,  which is shaped and pruned like a lilac, is shown here in a closeup in our Santa Margarita garden. In inland gardens it needs some shade. - grid24_12
6 Ft. Wild Mock Orange. is deciduous, needs a little extra water, but will knock your socks off with it's fragrant flowers in summer. Who's out there in winter anyway?
This is a specimen of Pinus attenuata, Knobcone Pine, in its native habitat in central California, of mixed evergreen forest.  - grid24_12
20 Ft. Knobcone Pineis a small pine that can be used as a large screen
Here is Bishop Pine coming back after a fire in the area between Lompoc and Santa maria. - grid24_12
40 Ft. Bishop Pinecan be used in place of Monterey Pine.
Young Ponderosa pines on a ridge in the Sierras. - grid24_12
50 Ft. Pinus ponderosamakes a large evergreen screen.
Pinus sabinana, Gray, Foothill, Digger Pine - grid24_12
50 Ft. Gray Pine, Foothill Pineis fast gray screen.
A deciduous Populus fremontii Zapata Fremont Cottonwood in the snow. - grid24_12
70 Ft. Fremont Cottonwoodis huge and fast. Those of you on 2+ acres in the San Joaquin Valley that need shade and protection from that 70 year old neighbor that likes to naturally sun bathe.
Holly Leaf Cherry, Prunus ilicifolia with cherries - grid24_12
12 Ft. Holly-Leafed Cherryis a slow growing evergreen bush. The hybrid form (with lyonii) is fast and it's the form you commonly see along the 101 freeway.
Rhamnus californica, Coffeeberry can make a good hedge. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Coffeeberry is an evergreen shrub that grows fast
Rhamnus californica, Eve Case Eve Case old photo, plant still alive and well after 30 years. - grid24_12
6 Ft. Rhamnus californica Eve Case is slower and smaller, but it makes a nice hedge.
Tranquil Margarita is a beautiful coffee berry that looks very clean and neat in the ground. Wonderful for a small, 5 ft. hedge. - grid24_12
5 Ft. Rhamnus californica Tranquil Margarita is a very clean little shrub.
Rhus ovata, Sugar Bush in the garden. What a great hedge plant. Although it is sometimes called flammable, it is less flammable than most commonly watered garden shrubs, and it needs no water in most of Southern California, in particular Los Angeles. - grid24_12
10 Ft. Rhus ovata, Sugar Bushmakes a though screen.
Ribes indecorum, White Chaparral Currant, in full flower in the chaparral of central California. - grid24_12
5 Ft. Ribes indecorum, or White chaparral currant is a deciduous shrub that will work in sun or part shade.
Ribes specosum, Fuchsia flowered Gooseberry,  in flower with Anna Hummingbird up in left corner - grid24_12
5 Ft. Fuchsia-Flowering Gooseberryhas thorns and flowers, maybe a few leaves in spring. A barrier to humans and cats, not birds.the leaves are prickly
Purple Sage, Salvia leucophylla as a 30 year old bush. - grid24_12
6 Ft. Salvia leucophylla makes a really fast screen.
Salvia mellifera, Black sage is native behind the nursery in Santa Margarita - grid24_12
5 Ft. Black Sage
Salvia clevelandii, Alpine cleveland sage makes a small border or hdege. Native to San Diego and up into Riverside County it will grow in most of California with little or no water. - grid24_12
5 Ft. Musk Sage or Cleveland Sage makes a really fun border plant. Native from San Diego up into Riverside.
Salvia Pozo Blue in an overwatered flower bed in Bakersfield. This sage will grow in most of California. - grid24_12
5 Ft. Salvia Pozo Blue also makes a really fun border plant.
Young Coast Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens along the Big Sur Coast - grid24_12
75 Ft. Coast Redwood can be used as the "stop the UFOs" hedge
If you're after a windbreak you'll need to plant multiple species in a ragged line to be effective. Single species in a single line only give benefits for about 1/3 of the height. That is, a 100 ft. tall tree will only help your house if it's under the tree (about 30 foot from base of tree), If the line of trees and bushes varies in size and pattern you can slow the wind down to a breeze up to three times the height of the largest item, 300 ft.
Buffalo Berry makes an intense hedge of thorns and spines. Good for wildlife, bad for burglars. and cats. - grid24_12
12 Ft. Silver Buffaloberry can be used instead of Privet. On drip and planted at 3 foot spacing not much can make it through its thorns, except the birds. the leaves are prickly
Umbellularia californica Bay Laurel - grid24_12
30 Ft. Bay Laurel makes an excellent screen in areas out of the summer fog. In summer fog areas Bay can get Sudden Oak Death.
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Edited on Jan 04, 2014. Authors:
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