We have about 40 pyramidal cedars lining the perimeter of my backyard like a wall. We planted them about 8 years ago and they are now about 15-feet tall. Unfortunately they have a serious infestation of cedar leaf miner. We pruned and fertilized heavily last year to help the trees recover but the adult miners are back. They fly out in thick swarms when you rustle the trees. There is not much left to prune away. We have to accept our beloved trees are dying. Please recommend a fast growing but pest resistant hedge we could – and I say this with sadness – replace our cedars with.
So sad to lose such a large hedge. Normally, we would recommend cedar as a fast growing hedging material but I would not recommend replanting in a space that has been so heavily infested.
You haven’t described the growing conditions, so it is a little difficult to make a recommendation. That said, both Beech, Fagus sylvatica and Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, are excellent choices for hedging. Depending on the growing conditions (sun, soil, drainage) will determine which plant is best.
Although unrelated they are very similar looking when they are grown as a hedge.
Beech is the most popular due to its beautiful leaves. After they turn brown in autumn, they will hang onto the branches right through the winter. If you are planing to locate your hedge in a sunny location with good drainage, then a beech hedge will grow well. Hornbeam’s serrated leaves leaves will hang on the branches for most of the winter, but not as long as the beech. If the site you are considering has some shade, with damp soil and poor drainage, then Hornbeam is the better choice. Hornbeam is also faster growing than the beech.
I hope these suggestions are useful to you.