Conifer shrubs, like coniferous trees, stay green year-round. When planted close together, they grow towards each other and create a thick wall of branches, forming a hedge. A hedge is used to give privacy to yards in lieu of a fence. Hedges can also be placed in various locations around a back or front yard to separate it into different sections. Planting a conifer hedge can be relatively simple, yet labour intense, since mostly-grown conifer trees and shrubs tend to be heavy. The best conifers to use are the various low-growing types of yew and arbor vitae.
Preparation for planting is important to get a good hedge. You will need to dig out a good sized hole for each plant, don't be tempted to cram a plant into too small a hole. When you remove the plant from a pot tease the roots out of the shape of the pot this will help them to grow out into the soil. Putting some fertilizer around each plant will also help the plants to grow away quickly.
Make sure that all plants are well watered the day before and that you water plants in well after planting. To get a hedge that is thick and even it is good practice to remove the growing tips from the plants before planting, this will encourage the secondary shoots to grow. This will mean that instead of one leading shoot you will have two.
When you are thinking about planting a hedge, consider where you want it and if it is easy to get to and maintain. It is far better to put a hedge away from the boundary of a piece of land so you can gain access to both sides. If you are going to do the work on your own hedge you will need to think about trimmers, electric motor or manual.
When trimming a new hedge it is best to do the work little and often, getting a straight hedge is also important so it is best to use a line to help at the beginning. The best shape for a conifer hedge is one that tapers from the floor to the top like a pyramid. This prevents a lot of snow falling on the top and breaking the middle of the trees out.