Protect Your Privacy With These 5 Evergreen Trees

Updated on April 22, 2019
landocheese profile image

I'm a gardener and nature lover. I enjoy writing articles and how-to guides that help people learn new things.

Try using evergreen trees to create a natural privacy screen!
Try using evergreen trees to create a natural privacy screen! | Source

What Kind of Tree Works Best to Provide a Natural Privacy Barrier?

If you want to section off your yard from your neighbor's land naturally, trees are a great option to create privacy. Whatever route you choose, know that you'll enjoy it for years to come as you relax on the deck or play games in the yard.

The varieties I've listed below perform well in a variety of soils and are easy to maintain.

  • If you have enough space, a full-sized tree looks great and provides additional screening.
  • If you have limited room, you can go with smaller or narrower option and stagger trees in groups to create a natural screen.
  • I've included the plant hardiness zone map above so you can find your zone and choose trees that are right for your area.


5 Great Evergreen Trees for Privacy

Five great trees you can look at to use in a yard screen are:

  1. Japanese or American Holly
  2. Juniper
  3. Arborvitae
  4. Black Hills Spruce
  5. Austrian Pine

I've provided descriptions of each type below so you can determine which varieties are best for you. Some trees grow better in specific zones, which you can find below and compare with your zone in the map above to ensure they match.

Holly trees are a great option for narrow areas.
Holly trees are a great option for narrow areas. | Source

Japanese or American Holly (Zones 5-9)

Holly trees are a great option in tight quarters because they grow narrowly and can be easily pruned to maintain their shape. A bonus of planting holly is the red berries in winter, which contrast nicely with the snow.

Japanese holly-like Sky Pencil is a minimalist tree for zones 5-9, growing only 2-3 feet wide but 10 feet high. It's a moderate grower that doesn't require much pruning.

If you want to go big, American holly is the way to go. Also a moderate grower, this variety grows very large over time, reaching 30 feet wide and 50 feet high.

Juniper trees grow tall and require little maintenance.
Juniper trees grow tall and require little maintenance. | Source

Juniper Trees (Zones 4-9)

Juniper is a fantastic option if you want to incorporate icy blue colors and have a low-maintenance tree. Skyrocket Junipers grow tall and narrow, at 3 feet wide by 20 feet high. You can pack these in by planting them close together.

If you have room, Wichita Blue Junipers are awesome and stay a reasonable size at 5 feet wide and 15 feet high. Its shape resembles spruce trees, which looks natural in the landscape.

Arborvitae grow large and dense, making this a great option for yard screens.
Arborvitae grow large and dense, making this a great option for yard screens. | Source

Arborvitae (Zones 3-7 or 5-7)

Arborvitae has been a long-time favorite for yard privacy. These trees are dense and impossible to see through when planted in mass. Be cautious if you plant them where heavy snowfalls to avoid taxing them with the additional weight.

Green Giants (zones 5-7) stay green in winter and is one of the big boys at 60 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide and fill in quickly. If you want a smaller footprint, the Emerald Green (zones 3-7) stays more compact at around 15 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It develops more slowly, so put this variety just a few feet apart from each other for a beautiful screen.

Black spruce trees are one of the best options for privacy screens due to their dense leaves.
Black spruce trees are one of the best options for privacy screens due to their dense leaves. | Source

Black Hills Spruce (Zones 2-6)

Spruce trees make excellent cover for wildlife and privacy screens. They grow densely and don't drop needles and branches the way many pine trees do, making them one of the best options for privacy screens. At 30-50 feet by 15-20 feet wide, they won't overtake the landscape and look beautiful planted in a group or mixed with other trees. They grow at a slow to moderate pace but are worth the wait. Black Hills Spruce grow well in many areas. They do tend to speed up once established, and they go from small to medium-sized relatively quickly.

Austrian pine is a great choice for privacy.
Austrian pine is a great choice for privacy.

Austrian Pine (Zones 4-7)

An excellent pine option is the Austrian Pine. This stately tree grows to 60 feet tall and 30 feet wide over the years. With the Austrian Pine, you can look forward to the long attractive "candles" each summer as the new growth takes off. Once the tree establishes itself, its branches will grow 2-3 feet each year and fill the space quickly.

Why Evergreens?

Evergreens are the ideal trees for privacy because they don't lose their leaves. Deciduous trees lose their ability to function as a screen in the fall until they sprout new leaves in the spring. Like other trees, many evergreen types grow well in various soils and conditions.

You might be intimidated by the numerous pine or spruce tree options, but the list I've provided should help you narrow your search. The best tree for you will depend on your landscape, the amount of space that you have, and how tall you plan for your privacy screen to be.

Tips for Designing the Best Evergreen Privacy Screen

We've all seen neighbors who opt for a straight line of evergreen trees, but let's try considering more creative ideas. To create a natural setting, you need to play with different set-ups and varieties.

  • Clusters vs. Lines: When it comes to form, think about designing with clusters of trees, not lines. You may not need a long line of trees to achieve the privacy you want. Start the trees where you want to concentrate the screen most and work from there. For example, the area between your patio and your neighbor's patio may be perfect for trees, and the rest of the space can be home to grass. This approach looks more natural, and it won't matter as much if a single tree dies later on because a hole in a single row won't exist. If you have a cluster of evergreens, the one that dies can easily be replaced.
  • Mix Varieties for Visual Impact: As for variety, think about mixing it up. A combination of pine, spruce, and arborvitae looks very nice and offers some protection from disease that may afflict a specific variety. What's more, adding some deciduous trees like oak trees to the mix can create a striking screen. If you try adding birch or red twig dogwood near the evergreens, their white and red colors will really pop against the green.
  • Don't Forget Perennials: If you've constructed your screen and have some space left over, finish the area with suitable perennials to add lovely colors. Next to evergreens, native plantings like black-eyed susans, daisies, or coneflowers require little work. Everything will flourish slowly over time and look awesome in the front of the garden.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Bonnie, you're so right. I went to a nursery with my husband looking for sky pencils then my husband saw holly trees so healthy and shiny leaves that he together w/the salesman persuaded me to buy not one but 3 of them. So, we bought and planted them in front of the house. Days after, I was mulching around one of them suddenly, I got a deep pain in my left hand and a leaf was hanging on my left hand. Now, I am waiting the fall season to return all of 3. They are beautiful but " NASTY LEAVES."

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I HIGHLY recommend NOT planting holly trees in your yard or in any parks. The leaves of these trees are VERY NASTY. In fall when leaves are on the ground and need to be cleaned up if you grab a bunch of leaves that includes a holly leaf you will be very sorry. It's spines will get you! The leaves do not degrade easily and you can get stuck by leaves that have been around for over a year. I recently discussed this with our new neighbors who had a tall holly tree on the property line between our yards. He most happily cut it down as he has young children.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well wrttienaritcle. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your usefulinfo. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)