Which Tall Fast Growing Non Invasive Privacy Hedge would you plant from seed in Los Angeles?

(Question)

Hi – I want to plant a privacy perimeter around the entire perimeter of my house – it’s about 147 linear feet.

I absolutely love love the look of yellow oleander, but I didn’t want to plant something poisonous that might harm wildlife, or my 2 cats. I don’t know if squirrels go eat the poisonous seeds and die or what. I was also reading that other plants don’t like to grow around it – they keep their distance, and I just didn’t want an unfriendly plant in the yard.

Can anyone recommend a shrub/tree I can start from seed now – which might be ready to plant in 6 months when I’m ready to plant? I’m getting some work done to the house so I thought why not save money by planting the seeds myself. I have grow lights and a setup.

Can anyone recommend a great privacy shrub that grows at least 8 feet tall – even higher, that doesn’t have invasive roots, doesn’t hurt to walk past.. I’m a fan of soft, gentle leaves and curved shapes.

Also, I really like dark green leaves, less a fan of yellowish ones.

I’m going to try to be having an extensive garden as well. I’ve been planting any seeds from fruits I eat, and so far have a bunch of tangelo seeds going, licorice plant, lemon, lime, lavender and rosemary seedlings. As well as 2 volunteer fig seedlings and 4 volunteer japanese maple seedlings.

What are the odds I can espalier fruit trees in a row to become narrow privacy screens?

I want ultimate privacy, so you don’t even know there’s a house behind the hedge from the street.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your kind help. I’ve worked and slaved, and planned, and saved, and finally landed myself in a cheap little house I can fix up and put a lot of love into the garden. I’ve been apartment living all my life, and now finally get to have a yard, so excited! Just trying to do it economically by planning ahead. :)

My conditions sunny north front of property, shady west side (neighbor’s japanese maple), sunny south back line, and medium sun east line of house.

I’m a novice gardener, but I think the soil is not too sandy, and not too clay??

I did love the pittosporum tenufolia

(Answer)

Unfortunately, we are not equipped to respond to questions from outside our province, Ontario. Here are websites that provide contact information for the Los Angeles Master Gardener Helpline:

University of California Cooperative Extension. Los Angeles County – Gardening questions?

University of California. Agriculture and Natural Resources. Master gardeners help Los Angeles County residents grow their own food.  This site (which dates from 2009 but also includes recent entries) also provides information about Master Gardeners in the Los Angeles area.  Although this site gives the same email address as the link above, the phone number is different.  You may have to try both phone numbers.