Best Evergreens for Living Fences

Planting a living fence can be a low maintenance way to privacy from an annoying neighbor or disturbing traffic noise. Green fences, especially when they are evergreen, can provide a year-round buffer from wind and noise, create shade, and add beauty. Planting an evergreen living fence will allow families to enjoy their yards year-round without feeling like their family activities are on display.

There are many choices when searching for the ideal trees to use for screening. It’s best to begin your quest by measuring your area to determine how much or how little room you have available. Choose plants that fit the space at maturity to avoid maintenance and overcrowding. It’s essential to learn the growth habit, along with height and width at maturity to match the best plants for your conditions. Here are a few of Uncle’s Idiot Proof Plants for living fences.

See Related: Skinny Trees for Skinny Spaces

Green Giant Arborvitae

Green Giant Arborvitae is Uncle’s favorite backyard screen. It’s considered one of the best evergreen trees for privacy. This western red cedar is fast-growing and can provide privacy quickly. Cold hardy to our region, the Green Giant can survive harsh conditions and tolerant of pests and disease. The uniform, natural cone shape requires very little pruning. Height: 30’-40’ Width: 5’-8’ Spacing: 10’-12’

Green Giant Arborvitae

Emerald Green Arborvitae

Emerald Green Arborvitae is another of Uncle’s favorites. Half the size of its cousin, the Green Giant, Emerald Green, is ideal for small yards or narrow corridors. Emerald Green is low maintenance reaching a mature height of 12 to 15 feet. Slower in growth rate than its cousin, the Emerald Green average growth rate of six to nine inches makes it an excellent choice for small spaces. Height: 12’-15’ Width: 3’-4’ Spacing: 4’-5’

Sky Pencil Holly

Sky Pencil Holly, a broadleaf evergreen, will make a space-saving privacy fence. Sky Pencil has a narrow width of only two feet. Unlike traditional holly, the Sky Pencil’s foliage is soft to the touch. This variety of holly thrives in well-drained soil or large containers, making them ideal for patio privacy. Height: 8’-10’ Width: 2’ Spacing: 4’

Sky Pencil Holly
Hetzi Columnar Juniper

Upright Juniper

Upright junipers work very well as a screen. Hardy varieties include the Caenarti, Hetzi, Spartan, and Taylor Juniper. The Caenarti, also known as red cedar, has the best drought resistance. They reach a mature height of twenty to thirty feet and width of up to fifteen feet, making Caenarti ideal for larger open areas. Hetzi and Spartan junipers make excellent windbreaks reaching fifteen to twenty feet with a width of only four to six feet.

Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen Viburnum

Evergreen and semi-evergreen viburnum are impressive for privacy hedges. Burkwood Viburnum, with stunning clusters of pinkish-white spring flowers and red berries in fall, is well-suited for use as a hedge screen growing up to twelve feet tall and five feet wide Leatherleaf Viburnum is an outstanding choice for a fast-growing evergreen viburnum reaching ten feet tall and eight feet wide.

Burkwoodi Viburnum Living Fence
Fineline Fern Leaf Buckthorn

Fine Line® Fern Leaf Buckthorn

Although not an evergreen, Fine Line® Fern Leaf Buckthorn,Proven Winners introduction gets an honorable mention from Uncle. The lacy fern-like foliage combined with a narrow columnar habit makes this an excellent plant for adding texture and shape to the garden. Foliage turns yellow in fall. Ideal as a narrow hedge, accent specimen, and to frame doors and pathways. Height: 5’-7’ Width: 2’-4’ Spacing: 2’-3’

Planting Living Fences

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The next best is today. Fall is the right time to plant, and we have truckloads of Idiot Proof trees and bushes arriving daily at all Grass Pad locations. Get off your duff and bring your measurements to the Grass Pad. Our experienced nursery staff can help you find the right tree for your conditions.

See Related: How to Plant Trees and Shrubs


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