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Evergreen Trees for Privacy Planting

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Evergreens are plants that hold their foliage from season to season. Evergreen trees are well-suited as privacy plants. They create year-round living walls that can shield a garden or property from outside view.

Evergreens can be divided into two classes: conifers or narrow-leaved evergreens and broad-leaved evergreens. Both conifers and broad-leaved evergreen trees can vary in height and width and in color–from light green to deep green, some can are even silver-colored and some bronze.

How to choose an evergreen tree for privacy planting

Evergreen trees will maintain their foliage throughout the year; still, there are several considerations when choosing an evergreen for privacy planting. Consider the following: (1) will it grow and thrive in your region or growing zone; (2) how tall and wide will the tree be when it matures; (3) how quickly does it grow; (4) what is the color of the foliage and does it flower.

American arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis
American arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis

Evergreen trees for privacy planting

A-F Common NameBotanical NameZonesGrowth rate
Arborvitae, AmericanThuja occidentalis3-7Moderate
Cedar, blue atlasCedrus libani ‘Glauca’6-9Slow
Cedar, deodarCedrus deodara6-9Moderate
Cedar, eastern redJuniperus virginana3-9Moderate
Cypress, ArizonaCupressus arizonica7-9Rapid
Cypress, LeylandxCupressocyparis leylandii6-9Rapid
Fir, bristleconeAbies bracteata7-8Slow
Fir, DouglasPseudotsuga menziesii4-6Moderate
Fir, FrasierAbies fraseri4-7Slow
Fir, whiteAbies concolor3-7Moderate
Skyrocket Junipers
Skyrocket Junipers
H-J Common NameBotanical NameZonesGrowth rate
Hemlock, CanadaTsuga canadensis3-7Moderate
Holly, blueIlex x meserveae5-8Slow
Holly, lusterleafIlex latifolia7-9Slow
Holly, SavannahIlex xattenuata ‘Savannah’5-9Slow
Holly, YauponIlex vomitoria7-10Rapid
Incense cedar, CaliforniaCalocedrus decurrens4-8Moderate
Juniper, HollywoodJuniperus chinensis ‘Torulosa’4-9Moderate
Juniper, skyrocketJuniperous scopulorun ‘Skyrocket’4-8Moderate
Japanese black pines
Japanese black pines
M-Z Common NameBotanical NameZonesGrowth rate
Magnolia, southernMagnolia grandiflora6-10Slow
Magnolia, sweet bayMagnolia virginiana5-9Moderate
Myrtle, Pacific waxMyrica cerifera7-9Rapid
Pine, eastern whitePinus strobus3-8Rapid
Pine, Japanese blackPinus thunbergii5-7Moderate
Spruce, Colorado bluePicea pungens glauca2-7Slow
Spruce, NorwayPicea abies2-7Moderate
Spruce, SerbianPicea omorika4-7Slow
Spruce, whitePicea glauca2-6Moderate
Yew, Japanese uprightTaxus cuspidata ‘Capitata’4-7Slow

Also of interest:

Deciduous Trees for Privacy Planting

Trees in Garden Design

How to Plant a Tree

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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