I am looking into planting a cedar hedge next to a fence in a small yard as shown in image. I would like to know how close can the cedar hedge be planted next to the fence without interfering significantly with the health or growth of the cedars. I am a little unsure about the side of the hedge next to the slats. Will that stay green or turn brown and die since it will get little exposure to sunlight?

The height of the cedars to be planted would be around 4-6 feet height with a maturity width of 10 feet.

Possible cedars: thuja occidentalis or thuja occidentalis Nigra. My hardiness zone is 4

Thank you for any ideas.

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1 Answer 1


Ten feet wide sounds quite wide for a six foot height, but ok, whatever height and width there are some principles we can apply.

  • Do you intend to get between the hedge and the chain link fence to trim it? You will need to get yourself in a progressively narrower space as the hedge matures.
  • What is the orientation of the sun with respect to the hedge? Hedges tend to be vigorous on the sunny side and thinner on the shadow side, unless you are in the Tropics with overhead sun.
  • What shape of hedge can you and your neighbour tolerate? Vertical sides to hedges tend to put the lower branches into shade, and therefore they run into problems staying vigorous and alive. With a pyramidal or conical shape (wide at the bottom and narrower at the top), the slanting sides permit more light to get to the lower branches.
  • 10 ft is the maximum maturity width--not the planted width. The basic question that I have is whether or not it is possible for a "healthy" cedar hedge to grow against a chain link fence with slats. In other words, how close can I plant to the fence. Sun exposure is toward the fence.
    – rehcsif
    Mar 27, 2021 at 10:35

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