Shade-enjoying tall evergreens for Zone 5-6?
May 7, 2019 1:13 PM   Subscribe

What would be shade-at-least-tolerant evergreens that might fill up a wooden fence (which is 8-ft. tall) in New York City? Now that it's spring it looks nice with ivy and some tall house plants, but this winter it was very depressing to look at it from my window. Zone 5 definitely bug might be 6 (the Village. Manhattan). It's under two maple trees, hence, really shady, though some filtered son gets through the trees for a few hours a day. A climber would be ideal.
posted by DMelanogaster to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don’t think there’s any plant that fits all your criteria.
You’ve got some edge cases on zone, some edge cases on light, and some edge cases on ‘evergreen’. This link lists some of those, and explains how most evergreen climbers are adapted to more southern climates, and those that are hardier to the north tend to need more sun, etc.

‘Semi-evergreen’ and ‘semi-deciduous’ are terms that may help you find something that works that is green for most of the year.
posted by SaltySalticid at 1:35 PM on May 7, 2019

How close to the ground does the tree canopy come? I'm thinking about what else I could grow in the volume.
Do you own the land? Are the trees on your side of the fence?*
Are you able to crown thin the maples (right-most image on page) (or afford to pay an arborist to do this?). This would give more light and expand plant choice.

If not - Clayera japonica - Romeo or Tricolor are two named forms. is an 8' shrub that comes in variegated (coloured leaf) forms and would handle the shade.

Some smaller hollies \ Illex should work. There are variegated ivies (Hedera) but they are horrible for air quality and quality of life for gardeners, here they attract wasps too!

Aucuba - Surprisingly these are quite cold tolerant; this is 6a.

It's an offence in many places to overly shade neighbours.
posted by unearthed at 4:30 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

NYC Parks offers these options - I'd look at the shrubs, as they're most likely to be evergreen. And I think you can order from them?

Another possible option is to look at grasses or ferns. They won't give you quite as much height as you're wanting, but they will provide some additional interest.

Your best bet, however, is to take some photos of your site and find a garden store/nursery somewhere near you and ask their expert opinion. They'll be of the most assistance.
posted by hydra77 at 5:38 PM on May 7, 2019

NYC is zone 7b and you can push that if you are willing to wrap things and spray them with anti-dessicant. Generally wind and hear are bigger issues.
posted by JPD at 6:08 PM on May 7, 2019

Response by poster: This is the area. It looks pretty lush now because the maples and everything else are in bloom. The maples are in our garden - we own this land.

I've had the maples trimmed down at times, but it is so expensive, can't really afford it this year. Funnily, there's ivy there which I've identified as English ivy, which should be perennial, but it doesn't seem to appear until spring each year.

I'm going to follow the above suggestions. Interesting ideas! any more are of course welcome.
posted by DMelanogaster at 7:08 PM on May 7, 2019

It's a nice looking area, but I can see why it might be a bit dull in the winter. I don't have further suggestions for plants, but recommend that you might look for colorful garden art to either hang from the fence, or to stick into the ground (or both!). These will help add some interest, and you'll be well on your way to a beautiful oasis!
posted by hydra77 at 2:00 PM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older How to find platonic friendship only at midlife?   |   New Cell Phone: Current Gen or Wait? (2019 Edition... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.