Top 5 Most Popular Privacy Trees

Top 5 Most Popular Privacy Trees


We all love privacy! Especially when we’re outside, enjoying our backyard!

That green seclusion, the cooling shade, and the knowledge that we can sunbathe, splash in the pool, barbecue, and socialize without the neighbors looking, is refreshing!

But sometimes you need privacy on a grand scale! We’re talking about the block-the-neighbors-second-story-window type of privacy, or when a new apartment building is going up behind your home-sized privacy!

Then you’ve come to the right place!

Nature Hills has a wide selection of columnar and space-saving, or large and in charge privacy trees that will work to give you soaring privacy when the prying eyes have a height advantage!

Nature Hills offers a wide variety of plants that will effectively screen a view for you. But which is the RIGHT tree for you? Well, take a look at this "Top 5" selection to get a sense of what other homeowners have used very successfully!

Top 5 Large Privacy Trees!

What makes a great tall privacy tree? Dense greenery, year-round privacy, AND fast-growth of course!

  • The density of a good privacy tree not only screens your home and property from view (or a nosy viewer) but also blocks noise, slows wind, and creates living walls of green to bring a protective castle wall feel to your landscape!
  • Year-round greenery is a bonus, allowing you privacy at all times of the year and something pretty to look at besides tall walls of bare stems during the winter months.
  • And fast growth, well because you need privacy and you most likely need it ASAP!

So without further ado, here are the best tall privacy trees that pack all these perks into one gorgeous and easy-to-grow package!

#5. Little Gem Magnolia

Little Gem MagnoliaThe Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora 'Little Gem') is a great broadleaf evergreen tree that is perfect for smaller modern yards with huge fragrant white blossoms for an added perk! While Little Gem may be smaller than its larger siblings, it’s still a formidable privacy tree with branching that extends all the way to the ground! Growing into a narrow pyramidal form 15-20 feet tall at maturity and spreading just 7-10 feet wide, you’ll easily block second-story windows with the bi-colored lustrous green leaves with fuzzy brown undersides.

  • Growing Zones 7 to 9
  • Broadleaf Evergreen With Glossy Green/Fuzzy Brown Coarse Foliage
  • Huge Saucer-Shaped Creamy White Fragrant Flowers Sporadically All Summer
  • Narrow Pyramidal Crown 15-20 Feet High
  • Pest, Disease, Deer-Resistant
  • Salt & Pollution Tolerant

Great for Southeastern and Southern Midwest states, Little Gem is heat and humidity-tolerant! It will really do the trick to block unwanted views all year long! Plant them 5 feet on center, measuring from the trunk of one tree to the trunk of the next for a seamless solid fill, or loosen the spacing a bit for privacy that still allows each individual tree to show off each tree's beautiful pyramidal form.

#4 Spartan Juniper

Spartan JuniperSpace-saving columnar evergreens, Spartan Junipers (Juniperus chinensis 'Spartan') are gorgeous slender Juniper trees with upward-swept branching and ornamental blue-green round 'cones' for added interest. Like most soldiers, this Spartan keeps a tidy appearance. The Spartan Juniper naturally maintains a pyramidal form that requires minimal pruning for a more refined appearance. While only growing 4 - 5 feet wide at maturity, these evergreen coniferous trees reach 15-18 feet in height. If you've been procrastinating and want privacy now, the strong and hardy Spartan grows quickly! Plant yours about three to four feet apart for a dense hedge.

  • Wide Range of Growing Zones 4 through 9!
  • Columnar Form With Upright Branching 15-18 Feet Tall
  • Deep Green Dense 'Needles'
  • Hardy, Fast-Growing & Strong
  • Only Grows 4-5 Feet Wide
  • Great For Tight Spots & Narrow Hedges
  • Needs Sun, Well-Drained Soil
  • Deer-Resistant

The Spartan Juniper also does well as a windbreak or as an accent plant that will add height to your garden planting. You can even keep a few in large, deep planters for a Mediterranean feel around your patio or pool!

#3 Nellie Stevens Holly

Nellie Stevens HollyThe Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex x 'Nellie R. Stevens') is a shade-tolerant broadleaf evergreen that has a rounded, egg-shaped form and showy red berries in the autumn! The dark green foliage is the fastest-growing Holly available. Tolerating coastal conditions, heat, humidity, and drier areas, Nellie Stevens can be planted 5 feet apart (measuring from trunk to trunk) to achieve complete privacy with a living wall or use it as an accent to create texture and color in your yard.

  • Adapted to a Wide Range Of Climates - Growing Zones 6-9
  • Mature Height 15 - 25 feet
  • Mature Spread 8 - 12 feet
  • Fast Growth Rate
  • Abundant Brilliant Red Berries 
  • Heat, Humidity, Salt & Deer Seldom Bother Unless Desperate

For additional berry display in the fall (much to your songbird's delight) plant the Nellie Stevens Holly with a few Burford Dwarf Holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii’) for increased pollination.

#2 Leyland Cypress

Leyland CypressThe fast-growing Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a great warm-climate tall privacy tree, topping out at 60-70 feet in height and spreading only 15-20 feet wide! These blue-green evergreen conifers handle heat and humidity beautifully and have a uniform shape that won’t need much shearing or pruning to keep them looking tidy! However, you can trim these trees to keep them at the size you need that best suits your landscape. As a hedgerow plant, plant trees 8 to 10 feet apart "on center", measuring from trunk to trunk.

  • Growing Zones 6-10
  • Mature Height 60 - 70 feet & Mature Spread 15 - 20 feet
  • Fast Growing, Large Scale
  • Blue-Green Evergreen Needles
  • Handles Heat & Humidity
  • Resistant to Deer, Higher Rainfall, Coastal Conditions & Pollution!

In urban areas, The Leyland Cypress tree takes on pollution and thrives in higher humidity areas, higher rainfall, and coastal salt spray.

#1 Arborvitae

The emerald-green branches are arranged in flattened paddles that fill out densely from top to bottom, coming to a gradually tapering pointed top once mature. Soft instead of pointy or spiky, these are great trees for around seating areas and along pathways where you might brush against them - without getting poked or scratched. These columnar evergreen trees and shrubs are the best-known privacy hedge plants!

ArborvitaeThe North Pole® Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Art Boe') is great for privacy with a fantastic columnar and pointed form for cold climates. More resistant to windburn than many, the Proven Winners® North Pole® is a great screening option!

  • Growing Zones 3-7
  • Naturally Disease & Pest-Resistant
  • 10 - 15 Feet Tall & 4 - 5 Feet Wide
  • Pointed Columnar Form
  • Resistant To Windburn
  • Great For Full Sun & Some Part Shade

The lush rich green of the Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd') will envelop you and your landscape in supreme living walls! This shrubby evergreen tree is columnar and grows 10 - 15 feet tall at maturity with a slim 3-5 foot spread.

  • Growing Zones 4-8
  • Fast-Growing - Grows 1-2 Feet Per Year!
  • Pollution Tolerant
  • Bright Emerald Green, Soft Coniferous Foliage
  • Tolerates Some Partial Shade (But Won’t Grow As Dense)

The Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata 'Green Giant') is one of the fastest-growing privacy trees available and is our most popular privacy evergreen tree! These living walls shield you and your yard from noise, wind, and unwanted views (or unwanted viewers).

  • Most Popular and Tallest Arborvitae
  • Mature Height 40 - 50 feet
  • Mature Spread 8 - 12 feet
  • Very Fast-Growing & Low-Maintenance
  • Super Soft Fluffy Bright Green Evergreens
  • Fragrant Paddle-Like Needles
  • Clay Soil Tolerant (as long as it doesn’t sit in water)

If you need a solid screen in a hurry, simply plant North Pole® or Emerald Green Arborvitae close together every 3 or 4 feet apart on-center, and plant your Green Giant about 5 - 6 feet apart on-center. The plants will grow together and form a solid mass without any space between them. You can plant further apart for a more informal hedge, or stagger/zig-zag your hedge for dense coverage without the living wall effect. Natural-looking groves can be achieved by creating groupings of odd-numbered plants.

Thuja will stand out in your garden, but not in a flashy way. Instead, these become the "bones" of your garden. They'll give structure and definition year-round.

Honorable Mentions

  • The leafy Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a broadleaf evergreen with white flower panicles and bright green broadleaf evergreen foliage. Growing Zones 6-9
  • Cryptomeria Yoshino (Cryptomeria japonica 'Yoshino') and Cryptomeria Radicans (Cryptomeria japonica var. radicans) are both wonderful Japanese Cedar that can grow up to 45 feet and about half that in width. With blue-green dense foliage and bronzy winter hues, these are fluffy-looking fast growers that do well in more xeric conditions once established. Both are fantastic windbreaks and can tolerate part shade.
  • Hybrid Willow Trees (Salix x 'Austree'), also known as the Austree, are so fast-growing, you’ll enjoy a living green wall by the end of the first season. Willow Hybrid Trees are deciduous and moisture-loving, with light green leaves, grow an amazing 6-10 feet a year. Once established in your soil, it can put on as much as 15 feet in a single growing season. Cold and heat-tolerant, they can grow 60 - 70 feet in height fast, spreading 15 - 30 feet wide.

Honorable Mentions

Need More Help Deciding?

Ask our Plant experts! We'd love to learn more about your unique situation. What are your goals, and what characteristics does your property have? 

Privacy isn't always limited to fast-growing Evergreen tree selections, either. Flowering trees and shrubs can be used very effectively. Even Vines can be used to create a beautiful sense of privacy in your landscape!

Get in touch with us. Nature Hills is here to help you think outside the box and come up with a perfect choice to solve your privacy challenges with a wide selection of Privacy Trees available today!

Happy Planting!

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