Best cedar trees for privacy

What’s a fast-growing tree for a privacy screen?


Hedgerows have been used for centuries in English and American landscapes to primarily divide agricultural fields or residential properties. In addition to marking property lines, incorporating or maintaining hedgerows offer the some important benefits. Hedgerows are attractive borders. They can serve as privacy screens along roadsides and between properties. As they mature and become dense, they can reduce wind, noise and dust and can function as barriers. Establishing a hedge is a long term commitment. With proper planning and care, it takes approximately 4 to 8 years to establish an effective hedge. In recent years, scientists have come to realize that diversely specied hedgerows may play an important role in fostering wildlife and plant and insect diversity. For example, monarch and swallowtail butterflies are attracted to hedges.

It is important not to search for only one plant species such as the popular arborvitae or photinia. The widespread planting of a single plant species could possibly lead to a repeat of the problems that have affected red tips, American elm, and other plants.

Planting a mixed screen, where multiple species of plants are grouped together in small clusters is the best solution. Groups of three or five plants of a single species can be planted in a single row where space is limited or in an alternate layered (staggered, two-row) planting where more space is available.

Mixed species screens help to prevent the spread of pest problems from one plant to the next. The advantage to planting several rows of staggered plants is better air circulation around the plants. This reduces the humidity level around plants thereby reducing the incidence of disease problems while still achieving a full screen.

In a mixed screen, even if one species develops problems that are so severe it has to be removed and replaced, the entire planting does not have to be sacrificed. Mixed screens can also be far more interesting and rewarding throughout the seasons, offering the chance to turn a basic screen planting into a beautiful part of the landscape.

  • Hollies are my personal favorite for a long lived, attractive, low maintenance living fence. Several varieties are available that work well for hedges and screening because of their upright growth habit. They produce dense, dark green foliage year around and red berries in the fall that persist through the winter. Hollies grow best in sun to part shade with well-drained soil, are drought tolerant once established, are not often damaged by deer.
  • Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii has the noble, spire like shape that evergreen lovers admire so much. While often used as a featured specimen, it also looks great massed as a screen in evergreen landscaping. Douglas-fir does not like hot, dry winds but will do excellent where there is moisture—in the soil and in the atmosphere.
  • Juniperus virginiana is so adaptable you’ll find it growing on dry, rocky slopes and at the edges of swamps. This densely branched juniper is great for urban screens and rural windbreaks, with rich green summer foliage turning ruddy brown-green in winter.
  • Native pines, Pinus ponderosa, lambertiana, contorta, or monticola can grow 50 to 80 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide, so they need plenty of room. There are columnar varieties that max out at 20 feet in height and 14 feet in width, making them suitable as screens.
  • Abies concolor is quite adaptable. Also known as white fir, it’s a great choice for hot, dry conditions and winter cold. However, it grows best with an evenly moist soil that has good drainage.
  • Deodar cedar Cedrus deodara is very adaptable, grows fast, and has dense branching in youth. In short, it’s perfect for a screen or as part of evergreen landscaping.
  • Leyland cypress Cupressocyparis leylandii is a popular evergreen tree for privacy screens with its columnar shape and year-round color. If the feathery, blue-green foliage doesn’t grab you, there are cultivars with yellow, gray, or bright green foliage. Leyland cypress grows very fast and matures at 60 to 70 feet if not topped at an early age. It likes moist, well-drained soil but takes full sun or part shade.
  • Taxus is the tree of immortality, with ancient specimens living thousands of years. In evergreen landscaping, yews are often used as hedges and foundation plantings. The dark green foliage and colorful red berries are a welcome sight in winter, and birds love the shelter of yews, too. Yews are tolerant of sun or shade as well as poor, dry soils, but they won’t take soggy soil. Heights vary according to species and cultivar, with yews growing anywhere from 2 to 60 feet tall.
  • Many viburnums (Viburnum spp.) make excellent evergreen screens. There are numerous species and varieties with a wide range of sizes. They are shade tolerant. Viburnums are available for virtually any situation, and they will add to the landscape with flowers and berries.
  • Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is excellent for difficult sites with its tolerance of poor soil. This broadleaf evergreen shrub or tree grows quickly to 15 to 20 feet high and wide, and is tolerant of pruning. It requires full sun.

Last Updated on June 6th, 2019
By: Your Home Security Watch

Having privacy from neighbours and street traffic is something most homeowners enjoy having.

No matter how pleasant your relationship is with your neighbours, you still may not like them looking down at you while sitting in your garden from their upstairs balcony.

Having your own space is a natural desire, and it also can be useful for providing security for your property in other ways as well.

What you can do to ensure your privacy is planting privacy trees to form a natural fence that will not only limit your neighbours and street passers’ view, but it has many other advantages as well such as adding a sense of symmetry to your outdoor landscaping efforts.

Stay with us to find out more about privacy trees. Here is what we are going to talk about today:

  • Advantages of having privacy trees
  • Privacy Tree Fence Ideas
  • What are the fastest growing privacy trees?
  • The process of planting

Before talking about how to plant privacy trees, let’s take a look at all the benefits you’ll get by having a natural fence.

Advantages of having Privacy Trees

  • First, it’ll give your garden a better look. You can choose evergreens to have a nice, green natural fence, or deciduous trees to have a colorful fence full of flowers.
  • Second, it’ll help reduce the street noise acting as a sound barrier.
  • Third, it’ll help protect your property from strong winds.
  • Fourth, it’ll act as a snow fence, reducing the snow.

Now that you know all the benefits you can get from planting privacy trees, you should learn few things about choosing the right trees and the process of planting.

Privacy Tree Fence Ideas

1. The Right Type of Tree

That’s right. It’s not just planting any tree, but a specific type according to your privacy needs. For example, deciduous trees provide a better-looking fence due to the fall colours or spring flowers.

However, they don’t give a year-round screen, unlike the evergreens. If you’re looking for screening all year long, reduced wind, snow, and noise, you should go with evergreen trees.

2. The Height of Your Tree Fence

Deciding the exact height of your tree fence is another important thing you should consider when planting. To get a visual image of how high you want your fence to be, place a ladder or ask someone to stand where you are planning to put the trees.

For example, if you like a tall, evergreen fence, the Green Giant Arborvitae and American Arborvitae are excellent choices. The first one can grow up to 60’, while the latter from 40’ to 60’.

Besides trees, there’s the option of choosing shrubs. Good examples of deciduous shrubs are the fast-growing North Privet and Rose of Sharon.

If you like evergreen shrubs, then Nigra Arborvitae and Emerald Arborvitae are excellent choices. The first one can reach up to 30’, whereas the latter up to 15’.

3. The Available Space

Realizing how much width you have available determines the number of rows and type of trees you’ll use. So, if there’s a lot of space, you might do a double or triple row.

However, a tighter place requires a certain type of trees such as the narrow American Arborvitae with a pyramid shape. It can reach up to 15’ in width, but you can trim it shorter to keep it tidier.

4. Choosing the Right Tree

This involves choosing the right tree according to the available space, desired height, appearance and purpose of the natural fence.

Think carefully about each of these aspects, and you’ll get the tree fence you desire.

5. Rows & Spacing

To decide the number of rows, you need to know the available space and the density of your desired screen. Also, you should pay attention to the width of the crowns before determining the spacing between rows.

At least, plant your privacy trees at a 12”-24” distance measured from the plant’s center to prevent root crowding. Of course, the type of tree will determine the spacing, as well as how close you want the trees to be when mature.

For example, if you choose cedars, junipers, or similar evergreen trees, make sure you leave 6 to 8 feet distance between them.

If you use spruce trees and pines, plant them at a 10 to 12 feet distance apart. And, if your choice is American Arborvitae, it’s enough to leave 3 feet between the trees.

6. Mark the Planting Area

The next step is marking the location of your trees using wooden stakes. Put them in the ground at both ends and tie a string between them for a straight line.

Next, put some kind of marker like sprinkler flag on the places your trees should be, based on the desired space you’ve decided before. So, if the right space for your type of trees is 10 feet, put a sprinkler flag at 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, etc.

After planting your privacy trees, it’s best to let them grow naturally, take care of them regularly, and use good pruning techniques.

Next, we bring you some of the fastest growing privacy trees…

What are the Fastest Growing Privacy Trees?

Here is our list of some of the fastest growing privacy trees that are easy to plant and maintain. Some of these trees grow so fast that in just a few years you will have a beautiful privacy tree fence that will make your garden look amazing while giving you all the privacy you need.

Without further ado, here are some of the fastest growing privacy trees:

Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypres is America’s most popular privacy tree. This amazing tree can grow up to 5 feet per year.

Its artfully-textured foliage is incredibly soft to the touch – You don’t have o worry about unpleasant thorns or prickly leaves. In addition to this, Leyland Cypress stays green year-round, giving you complete privacy at all times.

Your Leyland Cypress trees will look amazing even without trimming. They tend to grow in a uniform, symmetrical shape that provides you with a dense, living wall.

Willow Hybrid

Willow Hybrid trees grow up to 6 feet per year. They can thrive almost anywhere, no matter the climate or conditions. From Canada to Florida, Willow Hybrids will thrive in almost any soil and any climate.

Willow Hybrid requires almost no maintenance. You can simply plant it and forget it! You can rest and let the nature do its job. As it grows up to 6 feet per year, you will have a beautiful privacy fence in no time.

Wax Myrtle

If you are looking for a beautiful and functional shade tree, Wax Myrtle is the right choice for you.

The Wax Myrtle is a perfect solution for smaller landscapes. Its incredibly dense foliage and quick-growing habit make it ideal for hedging, especially when it is nicely shaped and planted in groups.

You can plant several trees in a row to define your property line, or plant only one or two to accent your garden patio.

Wax Myrtles are also great for adding greenery around your back patio or pool to make them incredibly luxurious.

Now, let’s do some planting…

The Process of Planting

Dig a hole 2-3 times wider than the root ball of the privacy tree you’ve chosen, and as much high as it is. Be careful not to touch it and turn the tree in the desired direction. If there’s a burlap, remove it.

Backfill the hole and make sure the trunk stays straight all the time. Tie a stake loosely to the trunk, or several if the tree is larger, and water it every day, or according to the plant’s demands.

Even though every tree takes time to grow and become part of a natural privacy fence, you can also consider choosing fast-growing trees if you want to have a privacy ASAP.

10 Privacy Plants for Screening Your Yard in Style

If you’re searching for ways to create a natural screen for your yard, today’s post is for you! Kate here, and I have a little bit of experience in this area, as I spent the greater part of five years trying to block the view of my neighbor’s backyard, which had become a dumping ground for unwanted items. The problem: my living room overlooked the junk heap, and nothing but a chain-link fence separated our outdoor spaces. The solution: privacy plants. Get ready for some interesting vegetation that can can add shade, privacy and beauty to your yard. Below you will find 10 options to choose from, and at the very end of the post, I’ll reveal what I ended up selecting for my backyard. Ready to get started?…


We begin with bamboo, which adds height and modern style to the outdoor spaces it adorns. Below we see how a row of bamboo creates a poolside wall of greenery. But what about the fact that bamboo can be invasive and hard to maintain?!

Bamboo adds greenery to a poolside fence

Not all bamboo is invasive! While some can quickly get out of control, try Fargesia bamboos, which have clumping roots and grow more slowly than their unruly counterparts. There are many perks to Fargesia, including the fact that it’s fast-growing, evergreen and hardy, even in the cold. For more information, check out Nursery Management.

Non-invasive clumping bamboo near a front entrance


While not the obvious choice, cacti create sculptural modern fencing options with an unexpected twist! A February 2015 Gardenista article by Jeanne Rostaing showcases the Mexican Fence Post cactus, which graces the patio of El Montero restaurant in Mexico, as shown below. Did you know that this cactus was used by Mexican landowners to designate property lines?

Cacti provide privacy at El Montero in Mexico

Cactus can be the perfect solution for hot, dry climates, and there’s nothing like the modern feel that a row of tall cacti provides, especially when used to enhance the architecture of a home.

Cacti make a sculptural privacy screen


Boxwood is an ideal evergreen choice for pots and planters. Try tall, slender containers to add height, and sculpt the boxwood for a privacy screen with a bold, manicured statement!

Sculpted boxwood in tall planters

Boxwood also makes a lovely option for the ground, and it adds English garden-style charm when trimmed into spheres or hedges. If height isn’t a huge factor with your privacy screen, you don’t need to wait for the boxwood to grow tall before achieving the results you desire.

Boxwood shrubs provide a mini wall of greenery

Artificial Boxwood

If you need thick, tall, lush coverage and you want an instant privacy screen effect, consider artificial hedges. In fact, artificial boxwood is catching on as the perfect solution if you don’t have the time to cultivate tall hedges. Below we see artificial boxwood from Planters Unlimited via Dwell on Design:

Artifical boxwood hedges are a low-maintenance option

Another reason to go artificial: maintaining perfectly sculpted hedges takes time and money. These artificial boxwood hedges from Hooks & Lattice don’t require the maintenance of their live counterparts! Plus, they’re crafted from high-quality polyurethane with UV protection and hand assembled/attached. The boxwood can be bolted to planters (also from Hooks & Lattice) for a clean, modern look. If you choose to go faux, do your research and be sure you understand how much life you’ll get out of your investment before it eventually begins to weather and fade.

Faux boxwood hedges from Hooks and Lattice

Italian Buckthorn

We continue on our evergreen shrub kick, this time getting back to the real variety! Consider Italian Buckthorn for your privacy planting needs. This shrub will grow rather quickly, and its upright formations make it ideal for screen purposes.

Italian Buckthorn adds greenery to a modern patio

Because it’s taller than it is wide, Italian Buckthorn is perfect for placement in front of walls or other structures that don’t need complete coverage. After all, why would you want to hide a colorful wall like the one below?!

Italian Buckthorn is the perfect choice for this purple wall


It’s important to remember that tall, lush hedges (even fast-growing ones) can take years to cultivate and grow. If you have time to be patient, it’s well worth the wait to achieve a private space like the one in the next featured image. Privet is the plant of choice in this stunning outdoor area.

Privet creates tall green hedge formations

Keep in mind that when you’re planting greenery such as Privet, it’s important to consider the needs of your space and the growing potential of the plant you choose. Carefully plan out your privacy screen, taking care to research the proper spacing of each plant. Consult an expert, such as a landscaper or a knowledgeable employee at your local nursery. For more information, visit Arbor Day Foundation.

Privet creates a lush wall of greenery


There’s something unique about the clustered, textured feel of Arborvitae’s greenery. This tree is often layered with other selections, such as Boxwood. Below we see a lush garden filled with manicured trees and shrubs. Note the Arborvitae growing tall behind the Boxwood.

Arborvitae and boxwood in a manicured garden

If you’re considering planting Arborvitae as a privacy plant, there are some important hints to remember, including the value of properly researching the best variety of the plant for your yard. Get more information at

Privacy fence created with Arborvitae


Photinia offers ample coverage, as well as glossy leaves that add richness to your outdoor space. This evergreen shrub is often used as a privacy fence, as shown below in a hedge created by alternating Photinia with Dodonaea.

Privacy hedge created by Photinia trees

You can let your Photinia fill out, or you can trim and cultivate it, as shown in the next featured image. If you have other greenery to mix in or a fence or wall behind it, trimming this plant is an eye-catching way to add interest to the yard. Whether or not you go for a manicured look, it’s important to regularly prune Photinia in order to keep it healthy and thriving.

Sculpted Photinia trees add height and interest to the backyard

Cypress Trees

There’s nothing like the tall, stately silhouette of a Cypress tree. Because this plant grows tall and narrow, it’s perfect for planting in a row to create a screen, as shown by the patio space below.

A wall of Cypress trees borders a Houston patio

Leyland Cypress is a popular privacy fence choice, although the lifespan of this tree is rather short, with many estimates being between 10-20 years. As with all greenery you add to your yard, do your research so you can weigh factors such as cost and maintenance in relation to the longevity of your investment.

Cypress trees provide privacy to a pool area


Let’s end today’s post by considering the option of vines! If you have a fence with gaps or openings (in other words, a not-so-private fence), a good climbing vine is a great solution for adding privacy and beauty to your yard. One option is Clematis, which grows quickly and produces beautiful blooms. However, be forewarned that this vine requires dedicated pruning to keep it from growing out of control. In other words, if you want a fast grower, Clematis just might do the trick, but be prepared to keep it in check.

Clematis is a popular vine selection

In contrast to the Clematis, plants such as Confederate Jasmine are slower growers, taking years to cover a fence but providing solid, hardy evergreen growth with a big payoff. Beautiful year-round and stunningly fragrant in the spring and/or summer (depending on where you live), this plant is perfect for balconies, patios, trellises and chain-link fences. In case you were wondering, this is the plant I chose to cover the fence in my backyard. It didn’t block the view of my neighbor’s boxes right away, but boy did it grow lovelier each year. Totally worth the wait.

Jasmine grows on a balcony trellis

Which of today’s featured privacy plants would you consider for your outdoor space? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

Screening Trees

Our prices include VAT and delivery is charged at cost price, with your convenience in mind.

Many of our enquiries are from customers who crave trees for privacy in their garden. They are commonly used to screen overlooking windows or to block out another building or unsightly object (a neighbour’s trampoline is another common eyesore!). Unlike many other websites, all of our screening trees and hedging is available to view six days a week at our tree nursery in Rayne, Essex.

A hedge on legs! Raised screening solutions overnight to your door

No matter how difficult you may perceive the problem, we have a big selection of screening trees, plants and techniques to provide the answer.

A raised hedge is possible by using trees that have been specifically produced for this requirement. These trees will have a clear stem of around 1.8-2m and then a crown forming above this height that will sit just above your 1.8m fence panel. We usually recommend evergreens for this purpose which can be densely planted to achieve instant maximum effect. After planting, an extra 50% new bushy growth should be obtained within one to two years.

If you need more help please do not hesitate to phone us. We are experts in the use of screening trees and leylandii hedging and we will be happy to help with your project!

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