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There is a ravine behind our house (much of which is our property) with a busy road behind it. The ravine is home to many big leaf maples, alders, and shrubs, with a creek at the bottom. When the trees lose their leaves, the noise from the road carries into our backyard, and you can see cars driving by. The yard and ravine are east/south east facing.

This is in Delta, BC, Canada. Which evergreen(s) will grow quickly to a large size, and provide a thick canopy to block the view and noise from the road? Ideally it would also have an extensive root system to help prevent erosion on the slope. Note that this will not be a hedge, as they will need to be quite tall to fully obstruct the view from the road, and the topography does not allow for planting in a straight line.

The property is already home to a western redcedar and a beautiful old Atlas cedar, both of which appear healthy and mature.

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Delta, BC is a region known for its fertile soil, as it is in the floodplain of the Fraser River system. I am assuming this being on a slope it is well draining, unlike much of Delta which is standing water 1/2 of the year. If it is wet, you will be somewhat limited to your choices, but if it’s well drained you do have a nice selection of trees available for sale in that region that can fit the bill.

Conifers

  • Thuja plicata, Western Red Cedar. You already know this tree grows well at your location. It is native to that region and grow quite fast, easily up 3’ or more a year.

  • Sequoiadendron giganteum, Giant Sequoia, native to Seirra Nevada mountain range in California. It is an extremely fast growing tree up to 4’ or more a year, as long as the soil is well drained.

  • Cryptomeria japonica, Japanese Cedar, native to Japan. It comes in many forms. The fastest grower and fullest is in its natural variety. But, not as fast as the first two.

  • Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas Fir, a native to most of BC. It can take root and grow at an extreme rate. These are often in BC as both cut and living Christmas Trees. You might be able to get a deal after Christmas for some of the unsold living Christmas trees. This tree can grow 2-3’ in a year.

  • Abies grandis, Grand Fir, also a native to BC. It is not as fast growing as the Douglas Fir, also not as easy to find at the garden centre and will be considerably more expensive.

  • Cupressus × leylandii, Leyland Cypress, can easily grow more than 3’ a year in BC. It does never very well drained soil, but this and the Western Red Cedar are used most for fast growing privacy. They will not look as full when you buy it, because it gets taller faster than it does get wider when young.

For non-confiers you can try;

  • Prunus laurocerasus, English Laurel, once established it can grow 2-3’ a year.

  • Prunus lusitanica, Portuguese Laurel, once established can grow 1-2’ a year.

  • Laurus nobilis, Bay Laurel or Sweet Bay, once established can grow 1-3’ a year. It will may need protection from cold winds when young. Needs well drained soil.

  • Myrica californica, California Wax Myrtle, is also native to BC. It can easily grow 2-3’ in one year.

(I ran the nursery at one of the GardenWorks on the Island for many years.)

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