Green Spire Euonymous


Help! My neighbour has stained his backyard fence a strong shade of dark red — the kind you see on country barns. Not great. We live in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. I would like to obscure the view next door by planting a fast-growing evergreen along our mutual fence. My back yard is tiny, sunny (west-facing) and sheltered all on sides by buildings and wood fences. I have two trees in my backyard: a honey locust and a small serviceberry. I’m thinking about planting a Green Spire Euonymous, which is rated Zone 6. Would it survive our Toronto winter? If not, any other recommendations for tall, narrow (with an emphasis on “narrow”) evergreens?


Unsightly fences can be a problem.  There are a number of choices which might work for you.  Which you should choose depends very much on the soil conditions (well draining, dry, wet) and other elements (amount of light, exposure to salt etc).

Your suggestion of Green Spire Euonymous (Euonymus japonicus) is a good one.  Unlike some other members of the species (for example Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei), or Winged Euonymous (Euonymus alatus)) it is well behaved and will not get out of control.

You could also consider a yew.  There are a number which might be suitable for your location.  Here is a link to a previous response to an ASK question which discusses the use of yew to provide privacy along fencing.

Eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is another fast growing evergreen often used to provide privacy along fences.  It would not completely hid the fence, but would mask it enough to tone it down. Eastern white cedar need to be trimmed regularly to keep the height, depth and and width that you desire.

Others to consider are juniper, for example Ontario Green Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Ontario Green’) or an unusual and extremely narrow weeping cypress (Chamaecyparis nootakatensis ‘Vanden Akker).

There are a number of choices that should work in your yard and conditions.  I suggest you research the look of the difference choices to determine which you think would work best for you.