Posted: 08/03/2012 at 21:03
Hi! I work as a local authority arboriculturalist (tree officer) and from almost 25 years experience I'd recommend you stay away from conifers! What you gain in the short term - a quick dense screen- you may come to regret for years to come. Conifers - as previous poster has said- need to be kept on top of. They will shade you (or your neighbour depending on the aspect) and if left unchecked can look awful when you try to bring them under control. If you only want something to reach to 6ft bear in mind you are trying to keep conifers that can achive considerably larger heights into a confined height- so it may be wiser to invest a little more time and take the opportunity to plant a mix of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and climbers that will be an asset and delight to your garden than just providing a green wall. Also bear in mind that if your conifer hedge shades your neighbour they may approach your local council and if judged a problem evergreen hedge under the High Hedges Regs then you could be required under the law to prevent your hedge growing above a set height. I'd suggest having fun designing a mixed boundary, preparing the ground well and keeping on top of watering during establishment to give plants a good start - once they start thriving I bet you'll have forgotten you ever thought of conifers! If you really want a single species hedge why not try beech or hornbeam as traditional native hedging? Buy small bare root whips and plant before the end of march to keep the cost down.