Fast Growing Trees
One of the best things about living in a house is the privacy it provides — that is, if the home and yard are hidden from the prying eyes of your neighbors or people passing by. You could always put up a wooden or metal fence, or even install a traditional wall around the house.
Unfortunately, both of those choices seem extreme and are often quite expensive. The best way to get more privacy for your property is by planting fast-growing trees and plants on its edges to create a lush, green, natural barrier that is both functional and beautiful to look at.
With the help of our lawn care experts at Tree Menders, we put together a short guide providing you with the best fast-growing trees for your garden.
What Is Privacy Tree/Shrub?
Privacy trees and shrubs are fast-growing plants that can quickly grow above eye level and create a physical barrier between your garden or property and your neighbors. Shrubs are bush-like plants with an extremely quick growth-rate and are resilient.
Evergreen trees are a popular choice for privacy screens, but you should have a balanced approach in mind. Try mixing several types of plants and trees to achieve diversity and lower the risk of pests and disease ruining your privacy screen.
Characteristics of a Good Privacy Tree/Shrub
Privacy trees can vary in foliage, especially in climates that permit various plants and trees to grow with ease. A tree or a shrub suitable for privacy screens has to have some common traits that are important for that role:
- Privacy trees and shrubs are easy to grow and maintain. These plants have to be tough and flexible regarding climate, type of soil, and surrounding vegetation.
- Privacy trees should protect from prying eyes year-round. Evergreen trees or shrubs are the best choices for privacy screens since their dense vegetation and resiliency can be relied upon year-round.
- Privacy trees should be available in your area and easy to obtain. You might need to add more trees to your privacy screen in the future, and the last thing you’ll want to do is wait weeks and pay huge shipping fees. Go for locally available evergreens; they are the safest bet.
- Privacy trees and shrubs need to provide pleasant aesthetics. You will be looking at them for years to come, so ensure it is a sight you enjoy. They can improve the curb appeal of your home and can even increase your property’s value.
- Privacy trees and shrubs have to integrate well with other plants, especially if you will be planting plenty of plants right next to each other.
Privacy trees should be either fast or, at least, moderate growers. As soon as you move into a new home, you’ll want some privacy on your property and garden. Finding fast-growing trees or shrubs will keep you from waiting years to see any growth progress.
What Are Plant Hardiness Zones?
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put together a list of different climates and average low temperatures during the winter, evaluating which trees will grow successfully in which zones.
Hardiness zones start with 1 and end with 13, with 1 being the coldest region. Most of the fast-growing trees should be able to survive in zones 3 and up. Each zone represents 10 degrees on the thermometer. For example, Zone 1 represents areas with average low temperatures of -60 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Zone 2 is -50 to -40, etc. Using this data can help you decide which trees will sustain in the climate in which you live.
Best Fast-Growing Shrubs
- North Privet has a pyramid shape and thrives in zones 4 through 8. The shrub has shiny dark leaves and grows up to three feet per year — an excellent choice for fencing off your back yard.
- Forsythia is a shrub well known for its blooming. Every spring, Forsythia will bloom, and its bright-yellow flowers are an excellent decorative piece. The shrub can grow up to two feet per year and is suitable for zones 5 through 8.
- Glossy Abelia is the most colorful choice on the list. Glossy Abelia will produce fantastic white flowers every spring, and in the fall, its leaves will turn purple. The shrub can grow up to two feet per year and flourishes in zones 6 through 9.
- Nelly R. Stevens Holly is probably the tallest and fastest growing shrub on the list. At a fantastic rate of more than three feet per year, this shrub should provide you with plenty of privacy in no time. The main aesthetic feature of the plant is its vibrant green leaves. It is ideal to grow this shrub in zones 6 through 9.
- Wax Myrtle is the slowest-growing bush on the list, adding about one foot every year. The main characteristic of the Wax Myrtle is its olive-green color and long lifespan. Fully-grown Wax Myrtles can easily reach 20 feet, primarily if grown in zones 7 through 11.
“Privacy trees and shrubs are fast-growing plants that can quickly grow above eye level and create a physical barrier between your garden or property and your neighbors. “
Best Fast-Growing Trees
- Eastern White Pine is an evergreen tree that should live and grow in hardiness zones 3 through 7. At nearly 3 feet per year, this quick grower is an ideal choice for privacy screens.
- Hybrid Poplar is the fastest going tree on this list, growing up to eight feet a year. If you need shade and privacy quickly, this should be at the top of your list. It features silvery-green leaves and groves in a wide range of zones, from 3 to 9. It is a sensitive tree, though, and quite prone to pests and diseases.
- Silver Maple is a large three with characteristic silver leaves and bark. It only grows about 2 feet per year but is one of the most resilient and universally beautiful landscaping and privacy choices. It can find its home anywhere in zones 3 through 9.
- Green Giant Arborvitae is an evergreen that grows at a pace of 3 feet per year, featuring a rich set of green needles. Unfortunately, this tree is a bit picky when it comes to climate and thrives only in zones 5 through 7.
- Dawn Redwood is a choice for those that would like a tree that requires minimal maintenance and can cover a large area. Ideal for large properties and gardens, Dawn Redwood thrives in zones 5 through 8.
- Leyland Cypress is a quick grower, adding up to 4 feet every year, and features a slim shape. While not covering a large area, it is an excellent highlight in a mixed privacy fence. It is exceptionally flexible in terms of climate and can grow in zones 6 through 10.
- Areca Palm is a hot climate choice, thriving in zones 10 and 11. It can grow up to 35 feet, at a rate of two feet per year, and is a fantastic choice for tropical locations and seaside properties.
If you would like to add some privacy to your garden or property, but you do not like the rigid and uninviting nature of fences and walls, perhaps you should consider privacy trees and plants. Our team of experts in Toronto, Markham, Mississauga or anywhere around GTA at Tree Menders can help you plan a fantastic natural privacy screen, featuring trees and plants that will provide the necessary shade and protection while improving the curb appeal and value of your property. Give us a call today!