Do you have some space outside your home or in your yard or patio that you plan to hide from other people’s views and shield from the harsh heat of the sun? Then learning about fast-growing privacy trees, so you can plant some of them there is a great idea.
By growing the best privacy trees, you can enjoy a lush and dark green living fence that will give you the privacy you need for several years.
In This Article
Qualities of Good Privacy Trees
When searching for the best trees for privacy that you can grow around your outdoor space or yard, it is advisable to look for the following qualities:
Easy to grow and maintain
Avoid trees that are a total hassle to grow as they do not fit the goal of creating privacy. Choose a tree that is not too hard to grow and is capable of surviving various sunlight and soil types and conditions. The best trees for privacy are also tough that they do not require a lot of coddling.
Remember that you will want privacy the entire year. With that said, avoid a deciduous tree that only has the tendency of dropping leaves during the winter season.
Go for dense and fast-growing evergreen trees that have thick branches as they work as the best trees for privacy.
Can grow and survive even when planted close to each other
The best trees that can give you privacy are also those that you can plant close together. They should have fairly tight spacing. They should be able to survive in dense plantings, meaning they do not require plenty of space and room for growth.
Taller than eye level
The best privacy trees are also those that are over 6 to 8 feet tall as this height blocks and shields you from the view of your neighbors. In case your yard is small and prefers a privacy tree capable of topping a certain height, then you have to be more particular to every variety’s mature dimensions.
You also have to avoid trees that grow a bit slower than usual since your goal here is to create a live fence that will shield you from the full sunlight and hide you from view. The tree varieties should grow pretty quickly so you would not have to wait years before you can gain your desired peace and solitude.
What to Consider When Searching for the Best Trees for Privacy?
Aside from ensuring that the privacy or screening trees you have chosen possess the qualities mentioned above, you also have to take your pick based on the following factors:
Preferred Amount of Privacy
Find out how much privacy you need as this will help you decide on the trees that will meet your requirements. Note that trees have different growth capabilities. Once they reach full maturity, you can also expect them to have different widths and heights.
Determine whether you need a full or partial shade. This means figuring out your required level of privacy in advance. It is also advisable to consider the height of the privacy screen relative to your home, so you can prevent your backyard from crowding.
Time You can Afford to Spend for Maintenance
Remember that while shrubs and trees are easier to maintain than fences, you still need to provide them with proper care and love for them to grow healthily and properly. Trees grow healthily by providing them the care and nourishment they need until they reach their full maturity.
One of the things your chosen tree requires from you would be a regular trim. Trimming is necessary to prevent them from growing in incorrect directions. Shrubs also require pruning to maintain their orderly and neat look.
Since you will be doing some maintenance work, you have to find out how much time you have for it. If you are busy, you should go for a low-maintenance tree or privacy screen.
Size of Yard
Pick privacy or screening tree based on the actual size of your backyard. Remember that some trees require plenty of space for growth. The lack of space may hamper the growth of trees, preventing them from working as an effective privacy screen or shade for your house.
It is also advisable to consider the effect of the roots of trees on your house or property, such as the pavement.
Another important consideration is the hardiness zone in your planting location. Ensure that your chosen plant or tree is hardy in the specific growing zone you are in.
If you are in a cold region, then emerald green thuja is a fantastic choice since it is hardy up to Canada. If you are in a warmer region, then the fast-growing choices you have include the wax myrtle and some bamboo varieties.
You also have to check the pace through which your chosen privacy trees grow in your yard. Of course, you want the fastest-growing ones since your goal is to gain the privacy you need as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, modern breeding techniques now result in the production of fast-growing plants – those that turn them into immediate privacy screens. For instance, there is the Leyland cypress that can grow a max of four feet tall in just one year.
With that rate within such a short period, there is a possibility for you to enjoy a thriving and healthy hedge that will give you your required screening. However, if you are not on the lookout for trees that grow too rapidly, consider planting trees with a rate of growth of around one to two feet tall yearly.
What makes them good trees for the purpose of privacy is that they require minimal clipping and trimming when controlling their final height or size.
It would also be better to pick a tree with high salt tolerance. This is especially true if you plant your living fence for privacy along a highway or road. This is also important if you are living in a place that has snow and ice due to the winter season.
In that case, your best option is the salt-resistant Leyland cypress. It would also do you a lot of good to go for a drought-resistant tree as it assures you that it can survive regardless of its surrounding conditions.
Sunlight Needs – Partial Shade or Full Shade
One thing to note about most trees for privacy is that they tend to grow and survive well when exposed to full sun. However, there are also other plant species that prefer growing in partial shade.
You can still go for shade-tolerant species capable of growing under deciduous trees or beneath the shade of fences or buildings. This means that they only require partial sun.
You also have to consider their soil requirements. Note that your goal is to plant trees that grow strongly and quickly. With that in mind, you should choose the most suitable and perfect plants for the level of moisture and the actual type of soil in your area.
There are trees that do well when supplied with sufficient water while other trees, like the drought-tolerant ones, can extremely resist dryness, provided they are already well-established. This makes them suitable for sandy and exposed areas.
Best Trees for Privacy that Grow Fast
Now, let’s talk about the specific trees known for their ability to grow fast and give you the privacy you need.
Eastern Red Cedar
Thuja Green Giant (Arborvitae)
Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja)
Eastern White Pine
Japanese False Cypress
Bald cypress is the perfect choice for areas that have a swampy or wet soil. What’s good about this tree is that it can withstand standing water and only has minimal disease or insect problems.
It features foliage that turns to russet-red during the late fall before they drop then expose appealing bark that is reddish-brown in color. Bald cypress is also capable of growing around 18 to 24 inches annually. It can go up to a hundred feet tall and around forty feet wide.
A native tree in North America, bald cypress is capable of growing at its best in zones 5 to 10 while providing it with full sun exposure regularly.
Leyland Cypress is also one of the evergreen trees you can grow. You are allowed to grow the Leyland cypress as just one tree or plant several of them in groups so you can create a rapidly-growing and tall hedge that promotes screening and privacy.
This famous evergreen tree can grow up to three feet tall annually and it can reach a max of 70 feet tall. It favors full sun and a properly nourished and well-drained soil, specifically those in growing zones 7 to 10.
Note, though, that if you do not prefer the Leyland Cypress to go to towering heights, pruning it regularly is a must to ensure that its size will remain under control.
Eastern Red Cedar
You can also choose to grow the Eastern red cedar. It is the perfect privacy tree for you if you prefer one that is capable of providing full privacy coverage due to the wide and thick foliage.
One important trait of the Eastern red cedar is that it can be classified as a coniferous evergreen. It has an annual growth of one to two feet and can reach a height of up to 66 feet tall.
Thuja Green Giant (Arborvitae)
This tree is a good choice if you have a medium-sized yard. What’s good about the Thuja green giant is that you can also use it to complement or substitute fence lines that already exist around your yard.
It is also a fast-growing tree, relatively faster compared to the others. It can reach up to a height of 30 to 40 feet tall.
Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja)
Another option for the best privacy tree is the Emerald Green Thuja (Arborvitae). It is a bit smaller than the green giant thuja we talked about just a while ago, making it perfect for use on small yards.
It has a modest growth rate, at only six to nine inches annually. This is actually a good thing as it promotes ease in trimming and maintaining it. As for its mature height, it can get to 14 feet tall at the most, making it effective as a fence and in blocking street noise.
You will not also go wrong by choosing silver maples. What’s great about this tree is that it grows rapidly. It adapts well to a lot of environments, even those with poorly drained soils and in urban areas.
Silver maples also have the ability to reach a max of 60 feet tall. With that, it complements well with your large yard. The speedy growth and huge volume of this tree make it necessary to plant them around ten to twenty feet apart.
Eastern White Pine
If you are looking for one plant that can give you an elegant-looking tree for privacy, then the Eastern white pine, a native in North America is an incredible choice. It will definitely fascinate you with its long and graceful branches and finely textured and silky needles.
It has an annual growth of 12 to 15 inches and is capable of reaching a height of 100 feet. This tree loves the full sun and well-drained soil in zones 3 to 8.
Another privacy tree that many are so fond of is the Lawson Cypress. One advantage of this tree is that it is low-maintenance. It also boasts of its lush and soft evergreen foliage.
One crucial fact about the Lawson cypress is that it tends to grow large, more than forty feet tall, in fact, upon maturity. It is also accompanied by its 20-feet spread.
The good news is that you can also find some compact cultivars capable of remaining smaller and are worthwhile to incorporate into urban yards.
Japanese False Cypress
The false cypress is also another of those privacy trees that leave a good impression on a lot of homeowners. It has a soft and feathery nature and features shorter cultivars capable of topping out at only 6 feet in height.
It also has straight species that can reach 60 feet tall and can be found in Japan’s wilds. One amazing thing about the false cypress is that it does not require pruning for maintenance because of its pyramidal form.
You can also choose from its attractive cultivars that have silver, yellow, and blue foliage. It is the perfect screening plant that can transform your yard into a place where you can enjoy peace and solitude.
Hybrid poplar is an incredible privacy tree that grows fast. It even boasts of a rapid annual growth of 5 to 8 feet provided it is in zones 3 to 9. It also takes pride in its broad shade-tree shape as well as its silvery green leaves.
This is the best plant for you if you are looking for a really rapid privacy screen. It would be best for you to plant it in alkaline, wet, and slightly acidic soil, specifically during the fall.
Ensure that it also receives full sun, the unfiltered one, daily, as well as mulch so you can easily conserve moisture or retain the moist soil.
There is also what we call the wax myrtle, which is perfect for you if you own a small yard but prefer using a hedge for your fence or property line. It has dense and deep green foliage, making it effective when used as a fence to protect the privacy of your home.
It has an annual growth of 12 to 18 inches and can reach 6 to 12 feet tall. With that rate, many say that it is not that hard to maintain and prune. This olive-green bush is also one of the fastest-growing evergreen shrubs you can take care of in your own yard.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What tree grows the fastest for privacy?
When it comes to the fastest-growing tree for privacy, hybrid poplars seem to be at the highest rank. The reason is that it can grow around 5 to 8 feet every year.
Other choices for fast-growing privacy trees are the green giant, silver maple, and Leyland cypress as they are known to have a yearly growth of about two feet.
What is the fastest-growing evergreen tree for privacy?
The fastest-growing evergreen trees that you can use for privacy and screening are the green giant and white pine. Expect them to add around 2 feet of height yearly.
What is the fastest-growing tree for a backyard?
Hybrid poplars are also said to be the fastest-growing trees for backyards. With its growth of 5 feet annually, you will surely be able to turn your backyard into a private space.
What’s great about this tree is that you can use it in any part of your backyard, including the front, making your house more secure and attractive.
What is the best tree for screening?
Most homeowners agree that the best tree for screening is the hornbeam. It is a famous deciduous tree, which is perfect for screening. It also has the ability to regenerate after you prune it.
Hornbeam is notable for its vertical trunk and dark-gray and smooth bark. It also has fresh green leaves during the early spring that tend to turn into golden yellow once the autumn season comes.
You really have several choices when it comes to the best trees for privacy and screening. Find out what your specific privacy requirements are and the size of your yard or outdoor space, so you can better decide what trees for privacy you can grow without hassle.
Make sure that you can also provide what the trees need for growth, including partial or full sun, well-drained soil, and sufficient water. By providing them with what they specifically need, the new plants will turn into large trees that are effective for privacy anytime soon.