Zone 9 evergreen trees

Zone 9 Evergreen Trees: Tips On Growing Evergreen Trees In Zone 9

It’s always nice to have trees in the landscape. It’s extra nice to have trees that don’t lose their foliage in the winter and remain bright all year long. Keep reading to learn more about growing evergreen trees in zone 9 and selecting zone 9 trees that are evergreen.

Popular Zone 9 Evergreen Trees

Here are some good zone 9 evergreen tree varieties:

Privet – Extremely popular in hedges because of its fast growth and neat shape, privet is an exceptional choice for the zone 9 landscape.

Pine – A very broad range of trees, pines tend to be evergreen and many are hardy in zone 9. Some good zone 9 evergreen varieties of pines are:

  • Virginia
  • Short Leaf
  • Southern Yellow
  • Japanese Black
  • Mugo
  • White

Cedar – Cedars are usually tall, narrow trees that are very drought resistant. Some good varieties for zone 9 include:

  • Deodar
  • Coastal White
  • Dwarf Japanese
  • Top Point

Cypress – Usually tall, slender trees that work well planted in a line for privacy screens, good choices for zone 9 cypress include:

  • Leyland
  • Italian
  • Murray
  • Wissel’s Saguaro
  • Blue Pyramid
  • Lemon
  • Bald
  • False Cypress

Holly – An evergreen tree that is low maintenance and often keeps its attractive berries through winter, good zone 9 hollies include:

  • Nellie Stevens
  • American
  • Sky Pencil
  • Oak Leaf
  • Robin Red
  • Dwarf Box-Leafed
  • Columnar Japanese

Tea Olive – A wonderful smelling plant that produces fragrant white flowers and can grow to 20 feet in height (6 m.), the tea olive is hands down a top choice for the landscape.

Juniper – Drought tolerant, low maintenance trees that come in all shapes and sizes, you can’t go wrong with junipers. Good zone 9 varieties are:

  • Skyrocket
  • Wichita Blue
  • Spartan
  • Hollywood
  • Shimpaku
  • Eastern Red
  • Dwarf Irish

Palm – Palms are excellent trees for warm climates. A few good evergreen zone 9 options are:

  • Pygmy Date
  • Mexican Fan
  • Sylvester
  • Lady

The best trees for privacy in big and small yards

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Regardless of whether your yard is large or small, privacy is something everyone is looking for. While the old saying “fences make good neighbors” is definitely true, I’d much rather gain some much-needed backyard solitude by using lush, green plants instead of a stiff, boring fence. Thankfully, there are may great privacy trees for yards both big and small. They shield your outdoor space from nosey neighbors, help buffer street noise, and create the sense of seclusion necessary to make your yard a peaceful haven. Today, I’d like to introduce you to some of the best trees for privacy.

Great trees to screen out neighbors and noise have several things in common. They’re evergreen, low maintenance, and easy to find on the market.

What do all good trees for privacy have in common?

Before looking at which specific varieties of trees are best for screening, it’s important to discuss the traits all good privacy trees have in common.

1. Privacy trees are easy to grow.

Fussy trees are not a good fit for creating privacy. If a tree is difficult to grow, or it won’t survive in a broad diversity of soil and sunlight conditions, I don’t bother using it for this purpose. I need something tough that doesn’t have to be coddled.

2. Trees for screening are evergreen.

Since privacy is something most of us want year-round, why use a deciduous tree that drops its leaves every winter? Dense evergreens with thick branches are the best trees for privacy.

3. Trees to create privacy are easy to find on the market.

What’s the use of learning about the best trees for privacy only to discover you can’t find them at your favorite local nursery? All of the trees on this list are common finds at regional garden centers and online nurseries.

4. Privacy trees are pretty.

Most folks who install plantings for privacy want the results of their efforts to be attractive. They want to look at soft green foliage, not ugly plant shapes, needles, or leaves.

5. The best trees to create seclusion can be planted close together.

Most plantings for privacy are spaced fairly tight. Some evergreens need lots of room to grow and don’t do well so close to their neighbors. The best trees for privacy thrive in dense plantings.

Privacy plantings along streets and property lines should be thickly planted.

6. Evergreens used to create a backyard retreat are easy to maintain.

Yes, you’ll have to water your privacy trees deeply and regularly, at least for the first year after planting. But the best trees for privacy don’t have to be pruned, deadheaded, fertilized, or otherwise maintained. Plus, they’re pest resistant and tough-as-nails.

7. The best trees for screening grow taller than eye level.

To block the neighbor’s view, you need plants that reach at least 6 to 8 feet in height. Many of the trees on my list grow much taller. If you live in a smaller yard and want a privacy tree that tops out at a particular height, pay extra attention to the mature dimensions of each variety.

8. Privacy trees are moderate to fast growers.

There’s no place for slow-growing trees when it comes to creating a living fence. Since you likely don’t want to wait 10 years for your solitude, you need varieties that grow fairly quickly.

Based on these 8 essential traits, here’s my list of the perfect plants for the job.

Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)

This beautiful evergreen has dense, feathery branches in the most lovely shade of green. It’s a quick grower, adding several feet to its height each year. Fully evergreen, Leyland cypress is an all-around winner. Hardy down to -10 degrees F, it has few pests, but it grows very tall. Reaching up to 60 feet in height and about 10 feet wide, this tree for screening can block even the rowdiest neighbor! Makes a great hedge when planted on 8 to 10 foot centers.

Here, a homeowner uses a planting of Leyland cypress to block traffic noise and create privacy along their property line.

Lawson Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)

Oh how I love this privacy tree! We have three on the side of our house, blocking our view of the neighbor’s house from our dining room table. Hardy down to -20 degrees F, this low-maintenance tree is one of the best trees for privacy. The evergreen foliage is soft and lush. Lawson’s cypress grows very large. It’s well over 40 feet at maturity with a 20 foot spread (though in the wild it grows much larger). There are a few compact cultivars that stay smaller and are worth seeking out for urban yards.

Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

For decades, arborvitae have reigned supreme when it comes to the best trees for privacy and rightfully so. Unbelievably hardy (down to -40 degrees F) with deep green foliage and almost zero maintenance, arborvitae tolerate a vast array of soil conditions. Reaching 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 feet wide, few plants have the power to create solitude the way this one does. There are many cultivars of this privacy tree for small yards and large, including ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Emerald Green’. Arborvitae can be planted close together, about 5 to 6 feet on center.

Tall, narrow evergreens, such as these arborvitae, make excellent screens while creating intimate spaces in the garden.

Concolor Fir (Abies concolor)

This evergreen tree for privacy is noteworthy for several reasons. Its gray-blue needles are chubby and soft. And its natural conical shape requires no pruning. Toping out at 40 feet high and 20 feed wide, concolor firs are hardy to -40 degrees F and offer a great amount of winter interest. Skip this selection if your soil is poorly drained or if you live in the heat and humidity of the south. A tree with few insect and disease problems, you’ll find it to have a moderate growth rate. It’s a perfect choice for large properties.

Dense evergreens such as concolor fir make great living fences.

Red Cedar (Juniperus virginana)

Another great tree for blocking out the neighbors or the street, red cedars survive winters down to -50 degrees and are native across much of Eastern North America. Deer dislike them, and they shrug off drought and city pollution like a champ. Plus, the prickly foliage keeps wayward neighborhood kids in bounds. With dense growth and a mature height around 30 feet, red cedars are a great fit for tall hedgerows when planted 8 feet apart.

Dragon Lady holly (Ilex x aquipernyi ‘Meschick’ DRAGON LADY)

The only broad-leaved evergreen tree for privacy on this list, dragon lady holly offers many benefits. First, the prickly leaves deter deer and other animals (including humans). Next, dragon lady is an excellent hedge plant for small yards. It grows just 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide at maturity. The leaves are a very dark green. Since hollies are dioecious (meaning plants are either male or female) and dragon lady is a female, you’ll need a male plant nearby to pollinate if you want to see beautiful red berries. Good varieties for the job are ‘Blue Prince’ and ‘Blue Stallion’. Hardy to -10 degrees F, this hybrid holly is columnar in form which makes it great for narrow yards.

Dragon Lady holly is dark green and lush, perfect for property lines.

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

If you’re looking for a massive plant to block out a massive view, white pine is it. Long-needled and soft, white pines survive winters down to -40 degrees F. They max out at 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Stately trees that are tolerant of city pollution, white pines are quick growing and bear elongated cones. This is not a good plant for the humid south. While it has more pest issues than other plants on this list (including weevils, shoot borers, and sawflies), it’s still a privacy tree worth considering for large areas.

Japanese false cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)

One of the best trees for privacy, false cypress is feathery and soft. Shorter cultivars, such as Soft Serve®, top out at just 6 feet tall, while the straight species grows to 60 feet in the wilds of Japan. The pyramidal form of this tree requires no pruning to maintain. Look for cultivars with blue-, silver-, and yellow-colored foliage, too. Some of my favorites include the Squarrosa types and the Plumosa types. The Mop types are too short for privacy plantings. ‘Filifera’ tops out at 6 feet tall and “weeps”. Most varieties are hardy to -30 degrees F. This is an excellent plant for screening.

I hope you’ve found the perfect privacy tree for your yard on this list. Remember to keep new plantings well-watered for the first year, and mulch them well – but never pile mulch up against the trunk. With time and care, your yard is sure to become your own personal “fortress of solitude” before you know it (minus Superman, of course).

For more on the best trees and shrubs for your yard:

  • Dwarf evergreen trees
  • Weeping Alaskan cedar trees
  • Narrow trees for urban gardens
  • Compact flowering shrubs
  • Small evergreens for year-round interest
  • Blooming shrubs for shady spots
  • Shrubs for pollinators

What have you done to create a privacy screen in your yard? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

Squeeze me in! Trees for tight spaces

Our modern living has us making the most of every bit of landscape space we can. Trees for screening off other properties is in high demand and talking to nursery professionals for recommendations based on size and aspect is a sensible way to go. We have some suggestions to get you thinking…
For a residential situation, let’s look at the most common scenario. You need to screen off the neighbour’s house but only have a tight 2-3metre depth to work with. The options here include fastigiate forms – trees with an upright form which narrows toward the top – and columnar or column-like forms. Basically trees with either a fastigiate or columnar form allow you to screen effectively (by planting close together for that instant effect) without the need for a deep garden bed.
Evergreen trees for tight spaces
More columnar than fastigiate but great for that Mediterranean look is Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ or Italian Pencil Pine. This is a signature or specimen conifer that is commonly used as bookmarks to doorway or paths and is also used to line driveway s. Planted closely together they make an elegant screen.
Hakea multilineata is an Australian native growing to 5 metres tall by 2.5metres wide. It is an attractive evergreen with long slender leaves and magnificent pink flowers that hold to the inside of the foliage. So here you get a full and tall tree with brilliant, have-to-see flowering.
Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’ is a conical conifer with an upright growth habit, a dense growth habit with deep green foliage and small fleshy berries. It is great for topiary as it responds well to pruning which makes it a good candidate for a green screen in a confined space.
Thuja plicata fastigiata is a slower-growing conifer with similar attributes to ‘Spartan’ and is used widely as a hedging or screening tree. Growing 4-6metres tall by a measly 1.5metres wide is especially suitable for narrow gardens.
Another narrow growing small tree for a tight space is Syzygium australe ‘Pinnicle’. Growing under 4 metres by 1.5 metres wide it is ideal for hedges and screens with limited room. This variety has glossy deep green foliage which sits tightly together for optimum density.
Deciduous trees for tight spaces
If you would prefer a deciduous tree in a tight space, one specimen to consider is Betula pendula fastigiata. Known commonly as Upright Silver Birch it offers the elegant foliage and bare white limbs, paper-thin bark and attractive serrated leaf we expect to see with Birch, in a more slender form. Growing to approximately 9 metres it is tall and tapered, it is a deciduous option for those looking for autumn colour.
Pyrus calleryana ‘Capital’ is another one to consider for good autumnal colour. Growing 11 metres by 2 metres wide it makes an excellent screen for the narrow spot. Leaves turn a reddish-purple in autumn and lovely white flowers bloom during spring months.
Liriodendron tulipifera fastigiata is an attractive deciduous tree that requires minimal space due to its fastigiate from. It offers the same beautiful characteristics as straight tulipifera such as big yellowish-green flowers with orange markings and attractive large leaf but in a narrower form. The lime coloured leaves turn a golden-yellow in autumn.
For options a little taller in height but still great for confined space (between 2-4 metres) is Carpinus betulus fastigiata (deciduous), Quercus robur fastigiata (deciduous) and Callitris rhomboidea (evergreen). Both grow to over 12 metres with bushy green foliage that likes to be clipped into shape.
For many more options, please consult our Treefinder application or simply contact us directly.

How to Choose the Best Trees for Privacy in Your Backyard

Looking for trees that provide privacy from the wrong kind of neighborhood watch?

Planting a living fence is a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to a hardscaped privacy fence, and that’s not the only positive, according to Alex Kantor of Perfect Plants Nursery:

“The benefits of using trees for privacy are endless. They have low-maintenance qualities, help seclude you from nosey neighbors, provide lush green landscape year-round (especially if they are evergreen), shield your property from wind and noise, create shade and offer beautiful scenery to view.”

Alex Kantor | Perfect Plants

But when it comes to finding the best trees for privacy, there are a lot of options – and factors – to keep in mind. “While traditional fences can be installed almost anywhere, a ‘green fence’ needs sunlight and water to thrive,” says Missy Henriksen of the National Association of Landscape Professionals.

In order to find the best trees for screening neighbors, noise and the elements from your own yard, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into before planting. Our rundown of some of the most popular choices will help you find the best trees for privacy in your own backyard.

Guide to the Top 10 Tree Privacy Fence Options

1. Eastern Redcedar

For a large, rugged privacy tree that provides full coverage, the Eastern Redcedar is the conifer for you. “Evergreen plants like broadleafs or conifers are generally a good choice for year-round effectiveness,” according to Henriksen, making this durable juniper a great privacy tree option. Its red, aromatic wood and thick foliage will give your backyard an earthy fragrance and make it a magnet for local birds and other wildlife.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 40-60 feet
Width Range: 10-20 feet
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: Eastern Redcedars can reach 60 feet high and 20 feet wide at maturity, so they’re best suited for larger backyards. If you have the space, make sure to plant these about 20 feet apart and away from power lines or neighboring homes.

2. Hybrid Willow Tree

Looking for fast-growing privacy fence trees? The Hybrid Willow will have you covered, quickly. With a growth rate of 6 to 12 feet per year, this disease-resistant plant typically reaches its mature height in just five years. They grow well even in cold environments and their dense foliage makes them great windbreak trees. They’re also great for drying out swampy soil.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 35-45 feet in rows, 75 feet alone
Width Range: 20 feet
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: Hybrid Willows require a lot of water but can withstand periods of drought with the right maintenance. These plants do best in large to mid-sized yards. If spaced incorrectly, they can reach a towering 75 feet in height, so to create a manageable Hybrid Willow tree privacy fence, be sure to plant them about 5 feet apart.

3. Leyland Cypress

One of the most popular trees for privacy, the Leyland Cypress is a beautiful, fast-growing evergreen that is great for solid, full coverage in large backyards. They have been known to reach heights of 50 feet in just 15 years. When planted in a row, they create an impenetrable mass of branches that make them great trees for screening wind, snow and even noise.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 40-60 feet in rows, 70 feet alone
Width Range: 15-20 feet in rows, 30 feet alone
Sunlight: Full (6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: The Leyland Cypress can handle droughts, pests and even air pollution, and their high tolerance to salt makes them good privacy trees in coastal areas. However, due to their shallow root system, they are not well-adapted to hot summers and are susceptible to root rot, so they do best in large, well-drained yards with mild to moderate temperature highs.

4. Spartan Juniper

If your yard can’t accommodate some of the larger privacy fence trees, the Spartan Juniper is a great option for mid-sized backyards. Planted in a row, Spartan Junipers provide a stately, uniform look to any backyard, and their compact foliage makes them effective windbreak trees.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 15 feet
Width Range: 3-5 feet
Sunlight: Full (6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: Spartan Junipers prefer dryer soil and lots of sunlight. To prevent root rot and other ailments, make sure not to overwater them and plant them about 5 feet apart. These trees don’t do well with heavy pruning, so be sure to plant them in spaces they will fit naturally at their full size.

5. Sky Pencil Holly

Looking for trees that provide privacy while taking up very little space? The Sky Pencil Holly is the right plant for you. With a mature height between 8 to 10 feet tall and a width of just 2 feet, Sky Pencil Hollies act as the ultimate space-saving privacy fence trees while still providing solid protection from wind, noise and wandering eyes alike.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 8-10 feet
Width Range: 2 feet
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: Sky Pencil Hollies are able to thrive both in the ground and in decorative containers, and unlike their thorny cousin the Holly Bush, their foliage is soft to the touch, making them perfect trees for privacy on patios, urban decks and small backyards. Like many evergreens, these plants can develop root rot if overwatered, so just be sure to give them a well-drained environment.

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6. Green Giant Thuja (Arborvitae)

The Green Giant Thuja is widely considered one of the best trees for privacy, and certainly a fan favorite in many backyards. “Thujas are one of our most popular trees,” says Kantor. “They are extremely fast-growing, provide privacy quickly and are also cold hardy. They can survive in a multitude of climates and are not affected by many pests or diseases.”

Their uniform, cone-like shape and consistent annual growth rate of 3 to 5 feet make for a polished tree privacy fence that requires very little pruning to maintain. You can trim the tops regularly for a classic, French Renaissance feel or leave them be for a more natural look.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 30-40 feet
Width Range: 5-8 feet in rows
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: If you like the height and density of the Leyland Cypress but don’t have the conditions to maintain it, the Green Giant is a great alternative. Just be sure to have a defense against deer on hand, as their soft leaves and branches are irresistible to these native grazers.

7. Emerald Green Thuja (Arborvitae)

With a mature height of just 12 to 14 feet, the Emerald Green Thuja offers all the classic beauty of its giant cousin at half the size. Their controlled growth rate of just 6 to 9 inches per year makes them a great choice for landscaping areas that are pressed for space.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 12-14 feet
Width Range: 3-4 ft in rows
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 – 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: These beauties are a great choice for mid-sized yards, and their slender shape makes them ideal as foundation plants along the home – just be sure to give them enough room to grow vertically. When planting these trees for privacy or wind blockage, it’s best to space them about 2 feet apart for optimal coverage.

8. Flowering Dogwood Trees

Flowering Dogwoods are good privacy trees for those looking for seasonal coverage with a pop of color. Dogwoods come in a variety of colors including white, pink and red, and their ornamental berries will make your backyard popular with local robins, cardinals and blue jays.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 15-25 feet
Width Range: 15-25 feet
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: Dogwoods prefer well-drained soil that is not too dry and do best in large to mid-sized backyards. Their beautiful, compact blooms are great for vertically extending an existing privacy fence when planted 20 feet apart. They can also be strategically placed for spot coverage – for instance, blocking your neighbor’s favorite view of your lawn chairs.

9. Weeping Podocarpus

These fast-growing, woody evergreens are a popular privacy tree choice in places like Florida and California. Weeping Podocarpus trees have plush, billowing foliage and work well as spot privacy trees or in a full privacy tree fence.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 35-45 feet
Width Range: 10-20 feet
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: This plant’s drought tolerance, preference for dry soil and ability to thrive in mildly salty conditions make it an ideal choice for southern and coastal areas. These plants will do best on large properties and should be planted 10-15 feet away from homes and other buildings. When planting in a row, allow about 5-10 feet of space between each tree.

10. Goldspire Ginkgo

For privacy fence trees that are as beautiful as they are functional, try lining your yard with Goldspire Ginkgo. These unique trees take on a narrow, pyramidal shape with their deep green summertime leaves giving way to stunning golden hues each fall.

What You Need to Know
Height Range: 14-16 ft
Width Range: 5-6 ft
Sunlight: Full to partial (3 to 6+ hours of direct sun per day)
Planting Guidelines: The Goldspire Ginkgo is a durable, smog-resistant tree that will do well in mid-sized backyards. It thrives in a wide variety of climates and requires little maintenance. Just be careful not to confuse it for its cousin, the Ginkgo. Ginkgo trees can reach sizes of 40 to 60 feet, and their berries smell awful. Goldspire Ginkgos are specifically bred for their smaller, slender shapes and lack the pungent fruit of their cousins.

When in Doubt, Talk to a Local Expert for Tree Privacy Fence Help

“When selecting plants for a fence, it’s important to take into consideration the specific region of the country where you live,” says Henriksen. So, if you’re ever unsure about a tree’s fit, just ask a nearby landscape expert. They have extensive knowledge of trees that provide privacy and that will also thrive in your local climate.

Take measurements and have a few pictures of your backyard on hand so they have some idea of the space you’re working with; you’ll be on your way to a great, natural privacy screen in no time.

And always remember: good tree fences make good neighbors.

Going for a whole new look outdoors? Check out these articles for more landscaping makeover tips:

  • 10 Budget Backyard Landscaping Ideas
  • How to Upgrade Your Lawn Using Hardscaping and Softscaping Elements
  • 10 Landscape Mistakes to Avoid

Have a few tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!

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