Privacy is a common issue that faces many homeowners. One solution is to install a high privacy fence or screen. These can be made of wood, iron, or trees. When using trees for privacy, there are three basic choices, evergreen, deciduous or flowering. Depending upon the amount of privacy needed, the amount of space allotted, and the desired look, each type of tree has a different and specific use.
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Evergreen trees are by far the most popular choice for fencing and screening purposes because of their quick growth and natural shapes. Many evergreen trees require little maintenance and naturally grow in a tall cone or cylindrical shape that is ideal for privacy purposes and wind blockage. These trees also have naturally dense branches that provide additional screening. Evergreen trees do not have a very long lifespan relatively speaking and will only last 20 to 25 years. It is recommended that evergreen trees be set up in two lines, with the back row consisting of fast growing trees and filling in the gaps between the front row of slow growing trees. Some of the more popular varieties of evergreen trees that are used for fencing and screening are the Thuja Green Giant and Leyland Cypress. These trees are used in fencing and screening because of their quick growth and low, dense branches that provide the maximum amount of coverage.
Deciduous varieties of trees are less popular than evergreens for screening, but provide homeowners with adequate privacy and a nice wind break. Deciduous trees are less popular because they lose their leaves seasonally and therefore do not provide as much privacy during that time. The most used deciduous trees for fencing and screening are hybrid poplars and hybrid willows. Hybrid poplars can grow up to 70 feet tall and have a growth rate of about six feet per year. The hybrid willow also has a growth rate of about six feet a year and provides wind cover. Both trees are disease resistant and are very adaptable to many climates and soil conditions.
Flowering trees are an uncommon choice for privacy because they are often messy, have sparsely spaced branches, and grow in a circular shape that is difficult to line up for fencing and screening purposes. There are a few varieties of flowering trees that have been found to overcome many of the obstacles facing flowering trees used for privacy. One such tree is the Dynamite Crape Myrtle. The Dynamite Crape Myrtle produces scarlet red blooms in the summer, adding a colourful element to the fence or screen. It reaches 20 to 30 feet in height when mature and can be up to 15 feet wide. Another option is the Cleveland Pear Tree. The Cleveland Pear grows in an oval shape and is ideal for fences or screens that are used far away from the house or for large houses. In the spring the tree produces pure white flowers and will grow 30 to 40 feet tall when mature.
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