10 Most Popular Plants and Trees For Creating Privacy in Your Garden

Trees may become living, breathing privacy screens that will quickly enhance the appearance and feel of the area by being strategically planted around the home.

Trees not only screen you from nosy passers-by and block out unsightly objects, but they also help to reduce noise, serve as windbreaks, add value to your property, and attract more wildlife activity.

When picking a tree, there are a variety of factors to consider. The type of tree that is ideal for your property will depend on a variety of factors, including the size and form of the tree as it grows, how quickly it develops if it needs trimming, and the size of the planting site.

To get you started, here are 10 of our favorite options:

1. Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii x plicata)

Green giants are a popular pick for privacy trees, and it’s understandable why.

Green giant arborvitae is tough, evergreen trees that grow exceptionally fast until they reach maturity. They have low upkeep, drought-tolerant, and disease-resistant characteristics.

Plant these six feet apart and they’ll fill in in no time, with a natural pyramidal shape that doesn’t need pruning.

Hardiness zone: 5 to 8

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 40 to 60 feet

Spread: 12 to 18 feet

Growth rate: Fast – 3 to 5 feet per year

2. American Holly (Ilex opaca)

American holly is a gorgeous broadleaf evergreen with thick, glossy, deep green leaves edged with a spiky border that is the stuff of Christmas carols.

It comes alive in the summer with tiny white flowers that turn crimson red berries in the fall. Birds adore the fruits, which last all winter on the tree.

While American holly may be shaped into a neat and clean hedge, it is naturally upright and conical in shape.

Hardiness zone: 5 to 9

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 15 to 30 feet

Spread: 10 to 20 feet

Growth rate: Slow – 6 inches per year

3. Yew (Taxus spp.)

English yew (T. baccata), Japanese yew (T. cuspidata), and cold-hardy Canadian yew (T. Canadensis) are the most commonly seen yews in the home garden, with over 400 cultivars to choose from.

Yews have a reddish bark that is covered in flat, dark green needles and is extremely long-lived.

Yews may be tall and thin, short and stout, or any combination thereof depending on the cultivar. Every garden, big or small, needs a kind of yew.

Hardiness zone: 3 to 8

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: Ranges from 3 feet to 30 feet, depending on the cultivar

Spread: Ranges from 1 foot to 15 feet

Growth rate: Medium – 1 foot per year

4. Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii)

The Leyland cypress, which is suited to warm climates and grows quickly, makes an ideal privacy tree.

With an upright pyramidal habit and feathery grey-green foliage, the Leyland cypress is also attractive to the eye. Yellow, vivid green, blue-green, and variegated hues are available in a variety of cultivars.

Hardiness zone: 6 to 10

Sunlight exposure: Full sun

Height: 60 to 70 feet

Spread: 10 to 15 feet

Growth rate: Fast – 3 to 5 feet per year

5. Dappled Willow (Salix Integra ‘Hakuro-Nishiki)

The willow tree with the dappled leaves is a tiny deciduous tree that is lovely throughout the year.

It has little yellow catkins in the spring and green leaves in the summer, making it a compact and quick grower. Foliage turns yellow in the fall and drops late in the season. Bare branches turn vibrant red in the winter.

Hardiness zone: 5 to 7

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 6 to 10 feet

Spread: 5 to 7 feet

Growth rate: Fast – 4 feet per year

6. Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)

Cherry laurel is a glossy, oblong, dark green plant with 2 to 4 inch long pointed tips that originates from the southeastern United States.

Although cherry laurel has a naturally high pyramidal growth, it may be trimmed into a hedge or shrub for privacy.

White racemes rise in the air, filling it with the scent of maraschino cherries when it blooms in early spring.

Hardiness zone: 7 to 10

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 15 to 20 feet

Spread: 10 to 15 feet

Growth rate: Fast – 1 to 3 feet per year

7. Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens)

The wait is worth it if you want to grow boxwood slowly.

Boxwood is a broadleaf evergreen with tiny elliptical leaves that are leathery and dark green on top and yellow-green below. It is Hardy, non-fussy, and low maintenance.

Boxwood may grow to a height of 15 feet if it is not trimmed, despite being commonly regarded as a compact hedge plant.

For a burst of color, try one of the variegated cultivars.

Hardiness zone: 5 to 8

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 5 to 15 feet

Spread: 5 to 15 feet

Growth rate: Slow – 7 inches per year

8. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

The ability to thrive in difficult circumstances makes this species of red cedar a tough one.

It’s a pioneer species, and one of the first trees to thrive in arid environments.

When you need an impenetrably large screen or windbreak, a densely branched and needle-covered conifer with a columnal profile is the best option.

Hardiness zone: 2 to 9

Sunlight exposure: Full sun

Height: 30 to 65 feet

Spread: 8 to 25 feet

Growth rate: Medium – 1 to 2 feet per year

9. Serviceberry (Amelanchier Arborea)

The rose family includes Serviceberry, which is a tiny tree or big shrub.

Serviceberry blooms with a profusion of white blossom clusters in the early spring and its June fruits are said to be delicious. Pepper is a term used to describe a specific substance. Green leaves turn into a rich parody of reds, oranges, and yellows in the fall.

Serviceberry may look like a single stem tree with a clear stem or a multi-stemmed tree with numerous branches emerging from the trunk near the soil line, depending on how you prune it. Give it a bushier habit by leaving the root suckers alone.

Hardiness zone: 4 to 9

Sunlight exposure: Full sun to part shade

Height: 15 to 25 feet

Spread: 15 to 25 feet

Growth rate: Medium – 1 to 2 feet per year

10. Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron Maximum)

Late in the season, thick clusters of pink to white blooms, each 2 inches across, adorn the leaves of rosebay rhododendron, a large broadleaf evergreen shrub.

Rosebay rhododendron has an upright, multi-stemmed habit that can produce thickets in the home landscape, even when not in bloom. The leaves are huge and strap-like, and they may grow up to 8 inches long.

Rosebay rhododendron is a fantastic option for privacy in a shadier environment because it needs very little direct sunlight. When planted in a location with a medium shade, it will grow faster and produce more flowers each season.

Hardiness zone: 3 to 7

Sunlight exposure: Part shade to full shade

Height: 5 to 15 feet

Spread: 5 to 12 feet

Growth rate: Slow – 6 to 8 inches per year

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