How To Plant Trees For Privacy From Neighbours

Trees For Privacy From Neighbours

While a nice fence would be my preferred way to shield our property from the neighbours, sometimes that just doesn’t make sense. Either in the practical or financial sense depending on the situation.

However, the good news is, a natural wall can provide an excellent layer of privacy to protect your windows and backyard from prying eyes. Here’s how to plant a privacy wall of trees.

What Kind Of Trees Do You Want?

Evergreen are the most popular option and for good reason. They are, as their name implies, ever green – providing protection to your home the whole season long. They are also fat and bushy, creating a very nice wall.

However, you can mix and match with other tree varieties to add beautiful colors and textures to your hedge through the seasons. In many ways, your “tree fence” can be more beautiful that any wooden fence ever could be.

Proper Spacing and Planning Is Important

While it’s tempting to really cram those seedlings in there for good coverage, your plants will suffer for it. When choosing your trees make sure you know how large they will get. A good rule of thumb is offering each plant at least a 12 to 24 inch space allotment on either side of it. However, some larger evergreens may be spaced even further as they will fan out and take up more space as they grow.

It’s also important to check carefully how TALL the plant will get. If your backyard is a bit cramped, the trees could quickly crowd your house or create a dangerous situation with power lines. If you have a septic tank, you should also make sure that any trees you plant are far away from it, because the roots of many trees can be very destructive to tanks, sidewalks, or patios.

Choose A Good Tree For Your Climate Zone

Some plants will struggle and others simply won’t grow at all if you live in a climate which is unsuitable to them. Do yourself a favor and research your climate zone before you buy anything. Choose trees which are well suited and your job will be that much easier.

For example, if you live in a tropical climate – growing evergreens is not an ideal situation. Choosing to instead go with the Arcea palm will give you plenty of privacy without the headaches of trying to force a plant that is ill suited for your climate to cling to life in your yard.

Fast Growing Privacy Trees By Zone

The below list offers a good starting point for finding good privacy trees which will grow in your zone. You can use this zone map if you’re not sure exactly which zone you live in.

  • Eastern White Pine (Zones 3-7) [3 feet per year in growth]
  • Green Giant Arborvitae (Zones 5-7) [3 feet per year in growth]
  • Leyland Cypress (Zones 5-9) [3-5 feet per year in growth]
  • Green Giant Arborvitae (Zones 5-8) [3-5 feet per year in growth]
  • Nellie Stevens Holly (Zones 6-9) [3 feet per year]
  • Emerald Green Arborvitae (Zones 3-7) [1 foot per year]
  • American Holly (Zones 6-9) [1-2 feet per year]
  • White Pine (Zones 3-8) [2 feet per year]
  • Hybrid Poplar (zones 3-9) [8 feet per year]
  • Silver Maple (Zones 3-9) [2 feet per year]
  • Dawn Redwood (Zones 5-8) [3 feet per year]
  • Areca Palm (Zones 10-11) [2 feet per year]
  • Blue Ice Cypress (Zones 6-10) [2 – 3 feet per year]

Managing Your New Privacy Trees

Trees do need to be maintained, and if you’re looking to get a hedge which is rather low maintenance – look at medium sized evergreens as these will require the least work. To keep up a tidy appearance, you’ll need to do a bit of pruning and the taller the trees – the tougher the job will be. (Pyramid shaped trees also require less maintaining.)

However, you should hold off on pruning for at least a couple of growing seasons. Give your new trees time to acclimate themselves and get stronger. Then you can clean them up a couple of times per year for a more manicured look if you so please.

By Tanya Womack

Tanya is a stay at home mom who blogs online to earn a bit of extra income from her hobbies. She also loves working on projects which she can involve her two kids in and teach them the valuable life-skill of sewing.