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Beautiful Trees For Privacy Between Houses

If your home or yard is overlooked by neighbors or nearby buildings, one of the best ways to increase your privacy is to grow trees that grow quickly and provide good, year-round screening. Here’s a useful guide to the best trees for privacy.

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Beautiful Trees For Privacy Between Houses

The Best, Fast-Growing Privacy Trees

Trees are the ideal solution to your problem, whether it’s a new extension that overlooks your home, or a less-than attractive house that’s bordering yours.

Not only do fast-growing trees provide dense screening, they also help block wind and noise, while also benefitting your natural environment and creating ever-changing beauty in your space through the seasons.

What are the Fastest Growing Trees for Privacy?

If you want fast-growing privacy trees or privacy shrubs, consider the Japanese maple, silver maple, or hybrid poplar, all of which grow 2 feet or more per season.

Good fast-growing privacy shrubs to consider include cherry laurel, bay laurel, privet and bamboo.

The Japanese Maple

Acer Plamatum is commonly known as the Japanese maple, and is a hardy and adaptable ornamental tree well-known for its striking and delicate colorful Fall foliage

Acer Plamatum is commonly known as the Japanese maple, and is a hardy and adaptable ornamental tree well-known for its striking and delicate colorful Fall foliage. 

Sango-kaku is one of the most widely available varieties and is one of the best screening trees for both large and small gardens.

These trees are well-known for their exceptional beauty, with delicate pale green leaves that transform to red and gold in the Fall.

They do lose their leaves each year, but the elegant coral-red bark keeps your space visually interesting through the winter.

  • Size – There are many varieties of Japanese maple, but most typically grow to a height of 10-25 feet tall and have a rounded spread of about 9-11 feet. A dwarf variety will only grow 1-15 feet tall, so avoid these varieties when looking for privacy trees.
  • Hardy – This tree is cold-hardy and very adaptable to different soil types (although they need well-drained soil with a good amount of compost) and climates, and can grow in zones 5, 6, 7 and 8.
  • Position – It prefers semi-shade to sun and grows well in cooler positions of the yard (North and Eastern sides). The leaves can burn in very hot, sunny conditions. Yellow varieties require more shade, while red varieties enjoy more sunshine.
  • Water – When newly planted, water deeply once a week or when the soil is dry. The established tree should grow well just with rainwater, but may need additional weekly deep watering if you’re in a very dry climate.
  • Maintenance – These trees are easy to grow and care for. Prune in late winter if needed. The roots are shallow and non-invasive, so they are safe to plant on borders, near patios and fences.

This is a truly special and beautiful tree, and I’ve included a video to show you what a striking impact it can have in your yard.

Grayswood Ghost

Grayswood Ghost tree, Betula jacquemotii, is from the birch family, all of which are popularly used as fast-growing privacy trees

The Grayswood Ghost tree, Betula jacquemotii, is from the birch family, all of which are popularly used as fast-growing privacy trees.

I’ve chosen this variety for its striking looks, as it offers the whitest bark of all birch trees, contrasting beautifully with the green foliage in summer and golden leaves in Fall and creating an eye-catching screen for your garden.

  • Size – This is a vigorously-growing deciduous tree, reaching heights of 30-50 feet tall with a spread up to 33 feet wide by the time it reaches full maturity, which takes about 20 years.
  • Hardy – Originating in the Himalayas, this tree is very hardy and should grow in any climate, being especially well-suited to Zones 4a up to 7b.
  • Position – They can grow in full sun or partial shade and tolerates a wide range of soils.
  • Water – When planting the tree, water it well every few days until established. Unlike many trees, the Grayswood Ghost enjoys plenty of water and wet soils, so be sure to water it well even when established if it’s been very hot or dry.
  • Maintenance – This tree requires no maintenance and pruning is not recommended. If you have to cut it back, minor pruning in the dormant winter season is advisable. Do not prune in spring or summer when the sap is running.

As one of the best fast-growing privacy trees, these birches work very well as screening trees, in borders and in small gardens as well as larger yards. They can be planted singularly or in a row to create a thick screen.

Here’s a useful video so you can see how these trees look when performing as a privacy tree.

Dwarf Crab Apple

Dwarf Crab Apple is one of the most popular trees for privacy from neighbors

Another really beautiful tree that’s one of the most popular trees for privacy from neighbors is the Dwarf Crab Apple.

Filled with clusters of fragrant bright pink, red or white flowers in the spring and colorful fruit in the Fall, this tree is a real showpiece that will transform your garden while adding privacy.

I’ve chosen the malus laura Dwarf Crab Apple as my recommended privacy tree because of its upright growth, ability to fit easily in smaller spaces, and the striking foliage, flower and fruit colors.

  • Size – This is a dwarf variety, so it is fairly small even when fully grown, only reaching a height of 13-27 feet with a spread of 6-12 feet. It matures in 10-20 years.
  • Hardy – This is a hardy tree suited to Zones 3 to 8, with some varieties even doing well in colder areas.
  • Position – These trees enjoy full sun or partial shade, and are adaptable to almost all types of well-draining soil. They enjoy a moderate amount of compost.
  • Water – When planting the tree, water it well every few days until established. It should thrive on moderate rainfall, but may require additional water if it’s been dry or very hot, especially during fruit development.
  • Maintenance – No pruning is required for these trees. They can be affected by apple scab, apple canker, and powdery mildew, all of which can be treated with anti-fungal sprays. Powdery mildew can also be treated with potassium bicarbonate. When harvesting the fruit (it makes a wonderful jelly), be sure to use the correct, clean harvesting tools.

Although it grows more slowly than other privacy trees, it is an exceptionally worthwhile and attractive screening tree that is easy to grow and needs minimal maintenance.

Pleached Trees

Pleaching is a French technique of training branches through one another or through a structure to create screens and even tunnels

Pleached trees aren’t a type of tree – instead, it’s a way of growing and shaping different tree types to maximize the screening and privacy they provide. 

Pleaching is a French technique of training branches through one another or through a structure to create screens and even tunnels.

These techniques can be used on deciduous trees as well as evergreens if you want year-round screening, allowing for sunlight to access the lower levels of the trees while creating a thick, green and hedge-like spread at your privacy height.

Planting a series of pleached trees in a row creates a tall, narrow screen and is an effective space saver which will effectively block out a line of windows or a neighbor’s extension.

You can also use this technique to block single windows, planting just one or two well positioned pleached trees to gain a magical, instant transformation to your garden space.

The Best Trees for Pleaching

The best varieties of trees for pleaching include the American Hornbeam, beech trees, maple trees, carob trees, Lindens, apple and pear trees, crab apple trees and hawthorn trees

The best varieties of trees for pleaching include the American Hornbeam, beech trees, maple trees, carob trees, Lindens, apple and pear trees, crab apple trees and hawthorn trees.

How to Pleach Trees

This is a very labor-intensive process that requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but creates breathtaking results, adding height on your boundary without crowding the lower levels. You can plant the trees as you usually would, spacing them properly according to their specific height and spread patterns. The real work is in the pruning and threading of the young tree’s branches to create the hedge effect.

You will need to:

  • Create a frame for the branches to be threaded onto
  • Shape the branches through the frame in the dormant winter months
  • Prune errant growth through the spring and summer
  • Prune away low-level growth

Here’s a great instructional video on how to pleach trees.

Create Your Ideal Space with Fast Growing Privacy Trees

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of screening trees that add beauty and privacy to your yard. These trees made the list because they are low maintenance.

They have unique and attractive characteristics, work well in both large and small gardens (especially on borders), and are tolerant of a wide range of climates and soil types.

Wherever you are in the USA, you’re almost sure to find the right trees for privacy on this list!

About the Author Ann

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