What trees for privacy in these areas?

homestylelisaMay 7, 2012

I have privacy needs in both my back yard, and in between my house and the neighbor and would really appreciate any thoughts.

In the back, we have a 4 ft privacy fence, but we are still in full view of backyard neighbors raised deck. I figure we need some sort of tree that will give us privacy from 4 ft - 10 ft up. Maybe some sort of crab apple or dogwood? I have eliminated the need for evergreen as I don't think we need more than screen in winter as they rarely use their deck in the winter months. This area is full sun from noon until sunset.

On the side, we need privacy from the ground up to about 6-8 feet high to give us coverage from the side neighbors patio and their side window. (old man likes to sit in side window and yell at my boy all day long about his wiffel balls) In this particular case, perhaps we need a shrub instead of a tree? Again, winter privacy isn't as important, but a nice full screen would still be appreciated. This area has full sun for the first 1/2 of the day or so.

Our lot is level. We live in NY, buffalo area. Thanks so much in advance. I am willing to answer any additional questions if I have not supplied enough information.

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ilovemytrees(5b/6a Western, NY)

Hi neighbor! I live near Fredonia. Nice to meet you on here!

I just planted 15 European Hornbeam Fastigiata's for privacy from 2 of our neighbors. 7 on one side, 8 on the other. The leaves are absolutely gorgeous! And the prettiest green ever. I'll include a picture of them I found online.

I am sure others will give you great ideas too.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 9:24PM
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A shrub? Sounds like it has to be a long hedge for the length of a patio and window. Have you considered a monster sized planting of grapes on supports? It would also make a nice backstop for wiffle balls and not be so deep as to make it intrusive on the other property. Plus, you can make wine or jelly in the fall.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:40PM
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Thanks, and nice to meet you both.

I looked at the pic you recommended, lovemytrees, but I think I want something fuller on top. I thought about arborvitaes, and because they taper at the top, it will create too many "holes" in the screen for the area I want to block out - if that makes sense? I think I want something that will grow fuller and wider on top, not too tall. Just something to fill in the 4 - 10 foot area above our 4 foot privacy fence.

Callipoe - yes, you are correct, a need more than just one shrub. I also thought about some sort of trellis with some kind of climbing thing - maybe Clematis? I am a little intimidated by the grape idea for some reason...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Why? They're a lot easier than clematis to get started, and are actually beautiful. In fact some are being sold now simply as an ornamental. It can take years to get the standard clematis to any size, however a grape vine can be substantial by its second year. If you want rampant vining, hops and sweet autumn clematis are also rapidly growing and can fill a space quickly.

Your idea of a living privacy screen is surely valid and it works.......but do you have any idea how long it's going to take to achieve your desired results? Will your child be an adult by the time your hedging gets big enough to screen him from the grouchy old man?

We are rural and I started years ago planning to protect our privacy from the influx of sub-division of farms in our area doing strategic plantings. You can still look out our windows in summer and not see another human habitation.........but it didn't happen overnight. Your's wont either.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Calliope - you make many great points about the long term results not quite matching up qith my immediate needs.

I was thinking two or three 6 x 8 panels of lattice with a climbing vine would be good - then the lattice would be a temporary screen while the climber is establishing itself.

Any thoughts, anyone, on the trees for the backyard with the 4 foot fence? Crab apples sound like an option to fill in that 4 - 10 foot range of vertical space?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:13PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Calliope, can speak for yours but our Clematis OVERRUN everything they can over the course of a growing season. They are cut back to approximately 1' every winter, and for several weeks have completely covered the trellis to the roof, and falling over everywhere. There is nothing slow growing about ours.

Lisa, the crabapples can be a good choice, but be aware you will need careful selection of "cultivar" for shape and disease resistance. You might also look into Golden Spirit 'Ancot' Smoketree for something a bit different. Supposed have nice fall color, the "smoke" of Smoketrees and colored leaves in spring summer. Should be fast growing and not too large. There are some Redbuds you might find suitable as well.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cotinus coggygria 'Ancot' GOLDEN SPIRIT

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 12:56PM
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Thanks, Arktress, for your recommendation of the smoketree. You know, we have a smoketree elswhere in our yard. In the winter, it dies back to only sparse sticks. I would like a denser screen (whatever is left after leaf fall) in the winter.

We have a neighbor who has a full mature hedge of burning bush in their backyard. I would love to have something like that, but as caliope pointed out, by the time it grows up and fills in, I'll be past my immediate need for privacy.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Yes on the clematis growing wild and wonderfully they can for sure if they like where they are planted, but it can take a few years to get them established to that point, they were one of the most frequent returned items in our nursery (fragile when young and usually broken off in the planting process by newbie gardeners) and can take a few years to get to robust depending on species.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:16PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Hmmm, ours have taken off from the start. Guess my S.O. knows what she is doing with them then. ;-) BTW, Jackmanii has been the one in common at both locations we have had them, and they did extremely well at both locations, just wish the period of being covered in intensely purple flowers lasted longer.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 2:32PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

arktrees - it depends a lot also on what clematis you are talking about. C montana can eat a building while some of the large flowered summer bloomers struggle to reach 5 feet.

The viticellas fit somewhere between the two.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:01PM
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