Privacy trees tend to be trees that are dense, moderately tall, and fast growing. Privacy trees provide the grower with a product that will prevent neighbors from viewing the yard, block an unsightly view, and assist in noise abatement. There a several choices of trees that will perform well in providing a living fence or screen. The first choice is whether the grower desires an evergreen tree or a deciduous tree. Evergreen trees tend to be denser and more long lived than some deciduous trees that are commonly used. Considerations for the choice of tree would include, how tall do they need to be, how thick or dense they need to be, how long they need to live, how fast do they grow, how much space the tree will encompass, and how much care they will need over their lifetime.
Popular fast growing privacy trees include the evergreens, Thuja Green Giant, and the Leyland Cypress. Popular deciduous trees are hybrid willows and hybrid poplars. The afore-mentioned fast growing trees are not long lived, 20 to 25 years is a common life span, or less. Many qualities of a long lived privacy trees can be found in slower growing trees in the evergreen and deciduous families of trees. Consider growing 2 rows of privacy trees if there is space enough. Plant the fast growing tree in the back row ant the slower growing tree in the front row. When the slower growing trees reach the desired size, remove the shorter lived trees in the back row. Choose trees that begin branching close to the ground for best results. Spruce trees branch close to the ground whereas pine trees will be branched several feet above the ground when mature.
Additional Resources from the Nature Hills Horticulture Team