Privacy Hedge Recommendation


I would appreciate advice re a quick growing privacy hedge (specimen tree ) in an area which is full sun/part shade. Tall growing please !! We would like to obscure wall of three story apartment building next door.
Chinese elm ? Pyramidal beech ?
We have a row of some type of beech in another location but wooly pests annual plague…. Also. small planting space available for trunks.
Soil type? Sorry. Do not know. (Rosedale)
Thank you !!


Your question is a popular one on the Toronto Master Gardener Website, which has resulted in a Gardening Guide on the topic.  To see the guide Evergreens suitable for hedging, click here.

If you search our Ask a Master Gardener website using the word “hedge”, or “narrow trees part shade”,  you will find many Q&A’s that provide helpful information regarding suitable tall screening plants and their maintenance.

When choosing plants for your site it is important to consider their eventual spread. Many taller trees are equally as wide, so look for ‘fastigiate’, ‘columnar’ or ‘pyramidal’ in the plants name.

The beech you already have maybe a fastigiate variety, so you could choose a green, gold or purple version of  Dawyck Beech, Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck’. They enjoy at least 6 hours a day of sun so should only be planted if the space available is not in the shady part of your garden.

As far as your existing beech in another location, you can squirt the woolly aphids with jets of water with the hose to drastically reduce colony numbers. This will also wash away the sticky residue, or ‘honeydew’ the aphids leave behind. For stubborn patches, or severe infestations you can also try insecticidal soap spray. Woolly aphids don’t usually kill beech, but can weaken them and cause twig die back on some branches- so some extra nutrient in the form of organic compost around your existing trees can help boost their nutrient uptake and restore their vigor.

Here, in Toronto, look for trees that are hardy when grown in Zone 6. Use a good quality soil mix when planting each tree and water regularly, especially over the summer months, during the first two years while the trees are settling into their new location.