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Privacy for tiny side yard

Posted by organic_misschris Zone 5/ CO (My Page) on
Sat, May 22, 10 at 10:58

I'm hoping for some tree suggestions. We have a long, narrow side yard in our corner lot, and we intend to put in a small stone patio against the house. We have two-story homes across the street, so the 6 foot privacy fence does not help too much.
The space I would like to plant trees is about 17' long, with 7 feet of grass between the fence and the edge of where the patio will be. I am considering planting 5 small, (but tall!) trees along the fence... I was thinking of alternating Aborvitae & deciduous trees- either Gambel Oak or Crimson Point Plum that would be leafy above the fence line. Chanticleer pears were suggested, but I ruled that out already. The area is East facing, with almost full sun all day. Please let me know what you think or if there are any other zone 5 trees I should consider. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

Wow, I have the same situation going on and was just going to post the same type of thread. Everything you desribed is pretty much the same as my house except my side lot is slightly larger, I don't have a patio and I also have a hedgerow of a white flowering spirea along the sidewalk. I was going to plant 3 Oaks then fill it in with under study plants down the road when the Oaks get bigger. While the Trees are getting big I was thinking about a wildlife/butterfly garden loaded with different perrenials.

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

I don't quite get how much space you have in between the houses or from the planting hole to the property line.
Emerald green type Arborvitaes are really good for privacy for 1 story but for 2 story you might look at western arborvitae like green giant. Or Moonglow juniper. I don't know how any of these will do where you are but I'm going to rattle off a list of columnar narrow growing trees.
franz fontaine Eu. hornbeam (oval)
Fastigiata Eu. hornbeam (pyramid)
corinthian linden
apollo sugar maple
prunus spire
crimson spire oak (holds leaves thru winter = good for privacy)
bowhall red maple
karpick red maple
armstrong freeman maple
exclaimation planetree
slender silouette sweetgum
dawyk purple beech
princeton sentry ginkgo
moshino (sp?) zelkova
arnold tulip poplar
swedish aspen

Some non columnars that you may have space for because they just don't get that big are trident maple and paperbark maple. Again I don't know what does or doesn't grow in colo

That ought to give you something to google around for.

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, May 22, 10 at 20:03

'Green Giant' is a hybrid rather than a pure western redcedar. Like many of the other trees listed in the same post it can be expected to grow quite large.

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

i really need a pic.. to understand your space ...


RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

"The space I would like to plant trees is about 17' long, with 7 feet of grass between the fence and the edge of where the patio will be."

"The area is East facing, with almost full sun all day."

I assume this space runs parallel to the nearest wall of your home.

How far will this planting 'island' be from your house?

How far will it be from the neighbor's property & home?

Is there a septic tank system nearby?

Are you ready for the bases of the trees to cover the whole 7' wide (formerly) grass patch between patio & privacy fence? I ask because it sounds like you want to screen out nearby 2 story houses, and I'm not sure how tall a tree you'll need. Would a 12' Emerald Green Arborvitae work? If so, may not be an issue. But if you plant a row of Green Giant Arborvitae, I'm thinking it WILL be an issue.

If you want to mix something a little different in with a row of arborvitae of whatever kind, a holly or two of the right variety might give you another evergreen influence.


RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

Thanks for all your suggestions. I agree a picture would help, but I couldn't figure out how to post it. Perhaps I'll try again tonight....
To clarify, there are 13 ft between the fence & the house, & I do want to keep the grassy area open.... so I really need small trees. Maybe a collumnar tree, or one with a 10-15 ft span at maturity. 10 ft tall would work. The trunk should be small as well.
We're on a corner, so the only thing on the other side if the fence is a sidewalk & the street. No other obstructions such as septic tanks etc.

Would alternating 3 emerald green with 2 deciduous trees be too busy? Or vice versa, 3 deciduous & 2 emerald green? Would the base of the emerald green get too wide, or can that be pruned? I think they would be planted about 3 ft apart. This is my first house/yard, I am a novice gardener/landscaper!

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

go to imageshack.US (not .com) and stick your photos up there. no registration required. then copy and past the strings of code it gives you to insert images and thumbnails or share links

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

Thank you musicalperson! Here are the pics. As you can see it's a very tight space. The air conditioner & bushes will be moved, & then patio will be alongside the house (which is actually the garage). Any suggestions?

Uploaded with [URL=][/URL]

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard- link to PICS

oops.... try these links for the pics:

RE: Privacy for tiny side yard

I'd go with the franz fontain hornbeam in the corners and one in the middle or alternatively junipers like witchita blue, spartan or skyrocket.
I can undestand you wanting to keep the grass but that is just a losing battle. Between the limited sunlight and the labradoodle pee burn marks, I think you're eventually going to end up with wood chips or synthetic turf there. Some shade tolerant shrubs as a mixed border or hedge along the fence would look nice and eliminate the need to use a trimmer along the fence.

RE: Privacy Tree Selection

I have 4 townhouses (2 story) behind me. I have a 5 foot wooden fence and need more screening due to the 2 story town houses.
I have considered emerald green arborvitae but some places say 8 foot tall, 10 ft tall and 12 to 14 foot tall. Which is correct. I live in zone 7a. The site faces North and they will get full sun all day.

I have a pool that is about 12 to 13 feet from the fence. How far should I place them from the fence, etc.

Do you know of something that would work better?

New Question? New Thread?

Hello posters,
Someone in the olden days of Gardenweb told me about a convention of posting questions.
Sometimes we piggyback on another person's ("OP" aka "original post or poster) question when it seems similar. Often, however, the specifics vary and the second question really should be answered separately.

You'll get better answers to your questions if you post yours separately with a different topic name.

Sometimes posting questions or problems in someone else's OP is called "hijacking." I think that's a bit rough in some circumstances. God knows I've done it. I mean no offense, and I hope no one takes it like that. I just noticed at a glance in the "tiny backyard" thread that a couple of us asked questions about our own challenges.



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