Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guide to Fast-Growing Shrubs

Forsythia in early spring

Property managers and/or Homeowners Association Reps sometimes ask for fast-growing shrubs to fill a need, but Crabapple LandscapEXPERTS caution that there are good and bad choices among fast-growers. Let us guide you and help you select choice shrubs for hedging or privacy. 

Fast-growing shrubs may quickly become rampant and often overgrow the space.Worse yet, invasive exotic plants from foreign lands can produce large crops of seed and spread indiscriminately.   

Fast-Growing Thugs:  

Overgrown Privet in flower
  • Ligustrum or Privet Extremely common and very fast-growing but it is also an exotic invasive plant ruining large stands of southeatern parks and forests.  
  • Leyland Cypress Fast growing but becomes much more huge than ever anticipated, with a circumference of 40 feet (!) and will soon outgrow nearly every location and certainly all but the very largest locations.   

Invasive Exotics Fast-growing Shrubs

Burning Bush fall color
The following five shrubs grow quickly but also produce bumper crops of seed that invade native forests and woodlands and spread like wildfire. These plants will out-compete native plants growing there, crowding out beloved plant species and creating solid stands of just that one type of plant. 
  • Burning Bush  Brilliant red fall foliage does not compensate for the spread of this Euonymus. 
  • Butterfly Bush Attractive to pollinators but if you must choose this invasive flowering shrub, be sure to select a sterile cultivar that does not set seed - newly introduced). 
  • Barberry Pricker bush but some cultivars have yellow, orange or red colorful folilage and some new sterile cultivars that do not set seed are being introduced. 
  • Lantana Quickly transforms from a low border perennial to a large shrub with too many seeds. 
  • Russian Olive Delightful fragrance in late fall/early winter, but beware both thorns and "olives". 
Knockout Roses
Crabapple Select: Good Choices for Well-Behaved, Rapid-Growing Shrubs 

  • Knockout Rose  Knockout roses in Atlanta bloom profusely at least 10 months of the year and are carefree once established. 
  • Forsythia Early spring burst of yellow grows quickly 
  • Tea Olive  Broad-leaf evergreen known for its enchanting fragrance each fall. 
  • Wax Myrtle, also known as Bayberry Delightful fragrance of twigs and waxy gray berries still used to make scented candles on this fast-growing evergreen shrub or small tree. 
  • Loropetalum Dark maroon-red foliage is evergreen, and shrubs are completely covered with pink or white tassel-like flowers in very early spring.
Your Crabapple Rep will be happy to help choose the very best fast-growing shrubs for the properties you manage; just give us a call 770-740-9739. 

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