What Deciduous Trees Make a Good Privacy Screen for a Small Area?

Written by richard corrigan Google
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What Deciduous Trees Make a Good Privacy Screen for a Small Area?
Screen trees create privacy and define areas of your property. (Row of trees image by Catalin Petolea from Fotolia.com)

Planting trees to form a screen not only creates privacy, but also protects an area from wind, blocks noise, defines an area and hides an unsightly view. While evergreen trees create a year-round screen, deciduous trees are also widely used for screening purposes. What trees you choose depends on where you live and your specific needs.


Screen trees should have dense foliage for privacy. Fast-growing trees have the advantage of forming a screen faster. Look for deciduous trees with colourful bark or some other feature for winter interest. For a small area, choose small trees or large shrubs rather than large trees.

Flowering Trees

Flowering trees and shrubs are commonly used for screens. Flowering dogwood is one example of a small tree that works well as an understory for planting under larger screen trees. Galaxy magnolia grows with a pyramidal form and produces showy pink flowers. Crabapple is available in many cultivars with varying shapes and flower colours. Callery pear is upright and tolerates urban sites well. Tree lilac is another screen option. It is small with delicate, white flowers.

Nonflowering Trees

Nonflowering, deciduous trees are suited to screen planting. Bald cypress is a tall, pyramidal tree that grows well in wet locations. Alder is a good choice for wet soil. A number of maples are useful for screens, including small varieties like hedge maple and Japanese maple. Bowhall red maple and columnar Norway maple are tall, narrow varieties. Weeping willow is a larger tree often used for screens.


Not all trees are universally suited to all regions, so consult with a local expert. Find your location on a U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone map, which helps narrow your choices.

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