Privacy or Screening Trees

Fast growing privacy or screening trees are dense trees or shrubs that protect a home or garden and provide a screen of privacy from vision from the outside. A narrow hedge that can be tightly clipped that can provide year round privacy is usually the best solution as a screening tree in urban areas.

A very popular species is Acmena smithii, very dense, easily clipped and providing not only a great screen but a wonderful background of foliage with brilliant new growth usually tinged with red.

Density and pruning of privacy trees

Some trees and shrubs are denser in growth than others and these may be more suited for use as privacy trees or screening trees. Some will require regular clipping or pruning.

Upright screening trees.

In gardens with narrow spaces, along fencelines and in many urban situations upright or columnar trees a useful for screening.

The Columnar Norway Maple, Acer platanoides ‘Columnare’ is one such tree, very tight foliage, deep green and copes well with sunny hot positions.

Quercus palustris ‘Pringreen’ is another, a wonderful upright form of the Pin Oak, the branches are nearly vertical excellent for planting along a driveway or avenue or used as a screen along a fenceline.

Year round privacy using evergreen trees

Although some deciduous trees and shrubs are suitable for use as screening trees, in most cases evergreen trees or shrubs are used for privacy as they provide year round privacy and screening. However in some climates deciduous trees many be a hardier solution.

Evergreen Trees and shrubs include many varieties that can be found to suit both small and large gardens. The best fast growing types of privacy trees for small gardens, yards and courtyards are often the more upright of columnar growing species.

Best Privacy Trees f or hedges and living screens

  • Thuja Green Giant
  • Leyland Cypress Trees
  • Chinese Privet
  • Michelia Scented Pearl
  • Viburnum odoratissimum
  • Pittosporum. Screen Master
  • Magnolia. Little Gem, Kay Parris and Teddy Bear
  • Camellia sasanqua
  • Photinia glabra ‘Rubra’
  • Aucuba japonica
  • Gordonia yunnanense
  • Prunus laurocerasus
  • Clumping bamboo
  • Buxus
  • Acmena smithii

Privacy or Screening Trees actually serve a number of functions, trees used to create visual screens for privacy also act as wind breaks and can help to deaden sound from traffic.

Planting Privacy trees or Screening trees.

When planting trees or trees for screening you need to consider the planting distance required as well as the eventual height of the privacy trees selected. Some trees and shrubs used as screening plants have a more upright growth habit than others, these will need to be planted closer together than those with a more spreading habit.

It is also worth considering that some screening trees have a denser growth habit than others and therefore are more effective at blocking views and provide extra privacy. Even closely related trees such as the well known ‘Magnolia Little Gem’ and Magnolia ‘Teddy Bear’ are very different, with Teddy Bear having closer and tighter foliage than Little Gem.

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