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Best Fast Growing Privacy Trees for Your Yard


privacy

A row of evergreen fast growing privacy trees or shrubs can become a living privacy fence that blocks noise, reduces air pollution, slows the wind, and, most noteworthy, hides an unwanted view. It isn’t hard to grow a privacy screen and it doesn’t take as long as you might think. Fast growing privacy trees are your best choice!


Where to Start with Your Privacy Needs?

privacy fence shrubsFirst of all, decide how tall your privacy screen needs to be. You may be able to get by with a 6-8 foot hedge, or you may need a taller living wall of majestic conifers for privacy that measure up to 30 feet, 40 feet, or 50 feet. Think about your planting site and what your privacy tree requirements are.

Our favorite trees for tall privacy screens are cone-bearing evergreens — such as cedars, cypress, junipers, and pines. Evergreen conifers tend to grow fast and have very low maintenance requirements, therefore needing less pruning.

  •  low Privacy fenceFor lower screens, a dense hedge of broadleaf fastest growing evergreen trees just 6-8 feet high might be all you need. Evergreen shrubs spaced 2-4 feet apart will fill the bill nicely. Sky Pencil Holly also makes a great option for vertical appeal!
  • For low, hedge-like screens, we recommend Walter viburnum, Boxwood, Podocarpus or any of the evergreen hollies such as Perfect Plant’s Oak Leaf Holly trees or the American Holly. They can get up to 12 feet tall. Perfect for hedging privacy trees to plant.
  • To create a classic, formal screen of trees fast growing privacy — It is common to plant a single species, evenly spaced, in a straight line. However, planting a mixture of different kinds of fast growing evergreen trees adds diversity and architectural interest to your landscape. Also, a mixture of species could minimize the spread of pests or diseases should they rear up. When considering the aesthetics, try planting in clusters rather than a simple straight line.

Here are the Best Privacy Trees to Create a Formal Screen:

  1. thuja green giant privacy fenceThe pyramidal shape of the  Thuja ‘Green Giant’ makes one of the best fast growing evergreen screens. These beauties are capable of putting on 3-5 feet per year of growth in height; they are adaptable to most soil types, and they are drought tolerant and have high disease resistance. Read more about the Thujas here
  2. Additionally, Leyland cypress is another great choice since they grow fast and quickly fill the gaps between individual trees spaced 5-8 feet apart.
  3. Norway spruce and Colorado spruce are among the best for wind breaks.

4. Japanese cedar, Italian cypress, American arborvitae, and Canadian hemlock are other good choices for tall privacy screens. They can grow up to 15 feet to 25 feet to 40 feet tall. Note that Canadian hemlock tolerates shade better than other conifers, but is not suitable for hot climates. Keep in mind the amount of sun your planting location… most trees need full sun.

5. Emerald Green Arborvitae is popular because it doesn’t grow more than 2-3 feet wide, and doesn’t require any pruning. 

privacy hedge leyland6. For really big screens, consider Leyland Cypress and Excelsa Cedar (a cultivar of giant arborvitae), both of which can get up to 20 feet wide. Douglas Fir and giant arborvitae get even bigger, growing as wide as forty feet at maturity.

7. For extremely fast growing trees, try the Willow hybrid or Weeping Willow. Alternatively, red maple trees are extremely fast growers

Planting

When planting a privacy screen you should position the trees growing at least twelve feet away from your home or foundation. You will also want to stay at least six feet away from patios, fences, and other structures. If planting under a utility line you will want to use trees or shrubs that will not get too tall. Also, pay attention to their width at maturity and space your new plants as far apart as their mature width.

You might want to take into consideration if it is a deciduous tree – meaning it will lose it’s leaves over the winter and flush out in the spring with all new green leaves. Also shade trees are an option if you want some nice land underneath to sit and relax under.

Zones, Zones, Zones

The biggest thing to take into consideration for your fastest growing trees is USDA plant hardiness zones. Be sure to check those here before purchasing and planting your trees in early spring. We have some great options!

Listed below are our favorite fastest growing evergreen trees:

CultivarMature HeightMature WidthGrowth RateUSDA Zone

Spring Bouquet Viburnum 2

(Viburnum tinus ‘Compactum’)

4-6′ feet tall4-6′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Schilling Holly 2

(Ilex vomitoria ‘Schilling’s Dwarf’)

4-7′ feet tall6-10′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Edward Goucher Abelia 2

(Abelia x grandiflora ‘Edward Goucher’)

4-6’feet tall4-6′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Boxwood 1-2

(Buxus microphylla)

5-6’feet tall5-6′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Dwarf Burford Holly 2

(Ilex cornuta ‘burfordii nana’)

5-8′ feet tall5-8′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Japanese Holly 2

(Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)

8-10′ feet tall2-3′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Oak Leaf Holly 2

(Ilex x ‘Conaf’)

10-15′ feet tall6-8′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Needlepoint Holly 2

(Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’)

10-15′ feet tall5-10′ feet wideFastzone map - privacy

Ocala Anise 2

(Illicium parvoflorum)

10-15′ feet tall6-10′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Walter Viburnum 1-2

(Viburnum obovatum)

10-15′ feet tall8-12′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Zhuzhou Loropetalum 2

(Loropetalum chinese rubrum ‘Zhuzhou’)

10-15′

feet tall

6-8′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Emerald Green Arborvitae

(Thuja occidentals ‘Emerald Green’)

13-15′ feet tall3-4′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Hicksii Yew

(Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’)

15-20′ feet tall10-12′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Tea Olive 1-2

(Osmanthus fragrans)

15-30′ feet tall10-20′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Podocarpus 1-2

(Podocarpus macrophyllus)

20-35′ feet tall10-15′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Rocky Mountain Juniper 1

(Juniperus scopulorum)

20-40′

feet tall

4-12′ feet wide6-12″/yearzone map - privacy

Thuja Green Giant

(Thuja standishii x plicata)

20-40′

feet tall

10-12′ feet wide3-5’/yearzone map - privacy

Sweet Viburnum 1-2

(Viburnum odoratissimum)

25-30′ feet tall15-25′ feet wideFastzone map - privacy

Italian Cypress 1

(Cupressus sempervirens)

30-40′

feet tall

3-5′ feet wide2-3’/yearzone map - privacy

American Arborvitae 1

(Thuja occidentalis)

30-50′ feet tall10-15′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Colorado Spruce 1

(Picea pungens)

30 to 60 feet tall

10-20′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

English Yew 1

(Taxus baccata)

30-60′ feet tall15-20′ feet wideSlowzone map - privacy

Japanese Cedar 1

(Cryptomeria japonica)

30-60′ feet tall15-30′ feet wide2-3’/yearzone map - privacy

Eastern Red Cedar 1

(Juniperus virginiana)

40-50′ feet tall8-20′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Arizona Cypress 1

(Cupressus arizonica)

40-50′ feet tall20-30′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

White Spruce 1

(Picea glauca)

40-60′ feet tall15-20′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Canadian Hemlock 1

(Tsuga canadensis)

40-70′ feet tall25-35′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Dawn Redwood

(Metasequoia glyptostropoides)

50-80′ feet tall15-25′ feet wide3-4’/yearzone map - privacy

Norway Spruce 1

(Picea abies)

50-80′ feet tall20-30′ feet wide2-3’/yearzone map - privacy

Leyland Cypress 1

(X Cupressocyparis leylandii)

60-70′ feet tall15-20′ feet wide3-4’/yearzone map - privacy

Giant Arborvitae 1

(Thuja plicata)

60-70′ feet tall20-35′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

Douglas Fir Tree 1

(Pseudotsuga menziesii)

60-150′ feet tall20-40′ feet wideMediumzone map - privacy

1 – Cultivars are available with smaller dimensions and/or narrower shapes;  2 – Broad-leaved evergreen trees

Hence, don’t forget that you will need to water the trees until they are well established (probably several months), consequently be sure to have a water source in place. Happy planting! These fast growing privacy tree fences will be providing you with seclusion in no time.

Another great blog post about fast growing privacy trees here!

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