A row of fast growing evergreen trees for privacy or fast growing privacy 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 evergreen privacy screen and it doesn’t take as long as you might think. Fast growing privacy trees are your best choice!
Most Popular Privacy Trees
Where to Start with Your Privacy Tree Needs?
First 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. What types of soil conditions are present? Is it well drained soil or moist soil?
Our favorite trees for tall privacy trees 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.
- For 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 a 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 at mature height. Perfect for hedging privacy trees to plant or as a living fence. They also produce gorgeous red berries that attract birds and other wildlife to your landscape.
- To create a classic, formal screen of trees for 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 privacy plants 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 privacy trees in clusters rather than a simple straight line. The diversity amongst the bright green foliage will complement each other.
- Check out our Evergreen Grow Guide for more information on growing these dark green giants in your outdoor space. Evergreen trees for privacy are your best choice for seclusion all year long.
Here are the Best Trees to Plant for Privacy & Create a Formal Screen:
- The pyramidal shape of the Thuja ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae makes one of the best fast growing evergreen screens. These beauties are capable of putting on 3-5 feet a 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. We believe they are the best evergreen for privacy.
- Additionally, Leyland cypress is another great choice since they grow fast (up to 4 feet per year) and quickly fill the gaps between individual trees spaced 5-8 feet apart.
- 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 trees for a privacy screens. They can grow up to 15 feet to 25 feet to 40 feet tall. Note that Canadian hemlock tolerates part 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 to partial shade.
5. Emerald Green Arborvitae is popular because it doesn’t grow more than 2-3 feet wide, and doesn’t require any pruning.
6. For really big privacy fence trees, consider the dense branching 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.
8. If you are looking for spring flowering shrubs or trees, the white flowered tea olive is a huge specimen with highly fragrant white blooms!
Planting A Fast Growing Privacy Hedge
When planting trees for 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 power line you will want to use trees or fast growing shrubs that will not get too tall. Alternatively, you can perform regular pruning if you would like a larger specimen in a smaller spot. Just dont sacrifice the natural shape of the privacy tree or shrub.
Also, pay attention to their height and 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 its leaves over the winter and flush out in the spring with all new green leaves. In contrast, the best evergreen trees will stay green all year round and do not lose their leaves. Also, shade trees are an option if you want some nice land underneath to sit and relax under.
Growing Zones, Growing Zones, Growing Zones
The biggest thing to take into consideration for your fastest growing trees is the USDA plant hardiness zones. Be sure to check those here before purchasing and planting your trees in early spring. We have some great options for cold hardy trees if you live in the northern United States.
Listed below are our favorite fastest growing evergreen trees and popular plants:
|Cultivar||Mature Height||Mature Width||Growth Rate||USDA Zone|
(Viburnum tinus ‘Compactum’)
|4-6′ feet tall||4-6′ feet wide||Medium|
(Ilex vomitoria ‘Schilling’s Dwarf’)
|4-7′ feet tall||6-10′ feet wide||Slow|
(Abelia x grandiflora ‘Edward Goucher’)
|4-6’feet tall||4-6′ feet wide||Medium|
|5-6’feet tall||5-6′ feet wide||Slow|
(Ilex cornuta ‘burfordii nana’)
|5-8′ feet tall||5-8′ feet wide||Slow|
(Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)
|8-10′ feet tall||2-3′ feet wide||Slow|
(Ilex x ‘Conaf’)
|10-15′ feet tall||6-8′ feet wide||Slow|
(Ilex cornuta ‘Needlepoint’)
|10-15′ feet tall||5-10′ feet wide||Fast|
|10-15′ feet tall||6-10′ feet wide||Medium|
Walter Viburnum 1-2
|10-15′ feet tall||8-12′ feet wide||Medium|
(Loropetalum chinese rubrum ‘Zhuzhou’)
|6-8′ feet wide||Medium|
Emerald Green Arborvitae
(Thuja occidentals ‘Emerald Green’)
|13-15′ feet tall||3-4′ feet wide||Medium|
(Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’)
|15-20′ feet tall||10-12′ feet wide||Slow|
Tea Olive 1-2
|15-30′ feet tall||10-20′ feet wide||Medium|
|20-35′ feet tall||10-15′ feet wide||Slow|
Rocky Mountain Juniper 1
|4-12′ feet wide||6-12″/year|
(Thuja standishii x plicata)
|10-12′ feet wide||3-5’/year|
Sweet Viburnum 1-2
|25-30′ feet tall||15-25′ feet wide||Fast|
|3-5′ feet wide||2-3’/year|
American Arborvitae 1
|30-50′ feet tall||10-15′ feet wide||Medium|
Colorado Spruce 1
30 to 60 feet tall
|10-20′ feet wide||Medium|
English Yew 1
|30-60′ feet tall||15-20′ feet wide||Slow|
|30-60′ feet tall||15-30′ feet wide||2-3’/year|
Eastern Red Cedar 1
|40-50′ feet tall||8-20′ feet wide||Medium|
Arizona Cypress 1
|40-50′ feet tall||20-30′ feet wide||Medium|
White Spruce 1
|40-60′ feet tall||15-20′ feet wide||Medium|
Canadian Hemlock 1
|40-70′ feet tall||25-35′ feet wide||Medium|
|50-80′ feet tall||15-25′ feet wide||3-4’/year|
Norway Spruce 1
|50-80′ feet tall||20-30′ feet wide||2-3’/year|
(X Cupressocyparis leylandii)
|60-70′ feet tall||15-20′ feet wide||3-4’/year|
Giant Arborvitae 1
|60-70′ feet tall||20-35′ feet wide||Medium|
Douglas Fir Tree 1
|60-150′ feet tall||20-40′ feet wide||Medium|
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.