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What are some fast-growing shrubs for hedges?

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The arborvitae is a fast growing evergreen shrub that creates a dense hedge for privacy and wind protection. Popular varieties include the American and green giant arborvitaes, both of which grow to a height of 60 feet. Arborvitae cultivars that are easily pruned to shorter heights include nigra, which attains a height of 30 feet and emerald, which grows as much as 5 feet per year to a mature height of 15 feet and maintains a year-round brilliant green color.

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The redosier or red-twig dogwood is a fast-growing deciduous hedge shrub that produces white spring flowers, pretty white berries in late summer and a brilliant show of red twigs throughout the winter once its leaves have dropped. This beautiful dogwood reaches a 9-foot height with a matching circumference to create an interesting shrub border.

Variegated weigela is lovely as a flowering hedge of medium height with decorative leaves bordered in creamy white and pink, deeply throated fragrant flowers that attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. This weigela variety has a unique arching shape that spreads wide to fill in a hedge and needs only light pruning to keep it manageable.

Modern lilac varieties such as bloomerang are compact, upright shrubs that make a colorful hedge with light purple spring blooms that rebloom later in the summer. The Bloomerang lilac's 5-foot height makes it ideal as a densely beautiful hedge.

The viburnum "Odoratissimum," often called sweet viburnum, is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with bright green, leather-like leaves and white, sweetly-scented spring flowers. A robust grower, this viburnum does best in a partially-shaded area and matures to a height of 20 feet, making it ideal as a background hedge or screen. Its berries, which change from red to black during the summer, are highly attractive to birds.

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