Cedars or Japanese Yew for Hedge in Shady Area?


Hi Master Gardener!

We are about to have some trees planted in our backyard against the back fence for privacy, and because it is a bit of a shady area (under the canopy of a large Maple tree), we are wondering if you would recommend what would be best: Cedars or Taxus (Japanese Yew).

Thank you!



Because your hedge will be grown in shady conditions, you may wish to go with a Taxus variety rather than a cedar.  Cedars have a preference for sun/partial shade conditions, and while the Japanese Yew will be slower growing in the shade, it will eventually provide the privacy that you are looking for.

Here is a previous Toronto Master Gardeners response to a question similar to yours, and it includes a couple of our Gardening Guide suggestions, for evergreen hedges (which includes some specific varieties) and for ornamental shrubs (which can be used for hedging) for various light conditions:  https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/askagardener/privacy-hedges/

Whatever you end up choosing, do make sure that you are giving your newly planted hedge a good start by topdressing with compost or manure which will help provide nutrients for your newly planted hedging, as well as helping to retain moisture around the plant.