Fast Growing Trees for Screening

Written by callie barber
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Planting trees with rapid growth rates can help create privacy screening among the landscape in a short period of time. Grown in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, oftentimes evergreen trees are ideal for creating privacy around the home and garden because of their year-round foliage that remains vibrant and constant. Planted in areas like side or back yards, fast growing trees keep landscape screening intact and vibrant.

Blue Atlas Cedar

Blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica) is an evergreen tree with a rapid growth rate. It grows 60 to 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide, making for a preferred screening plant along the landscape. It has an open, pyramidal flat-topped form and retains its lower branches. The ½ to 1-inch-long green to silver and blue, narrow needles form spirals that are thicker than most cedar tree varieties. The 2- to 3-inch-wide, erect cones on blue atlas cedar trees are barrel-shaped. Hardy, blue atlas cedar trees are drought-tolerant to withstand periods of limited moisture. They grow best in full sun to part shade and tolerate a wide range of soil types including, dry, sandy and clay soil but excluding overly wet or poorly drained soils. Plant blue atlas cedar trees in USDA zones 6 to 9.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a needled evergreen tree with a vigorous growth rate and upright, pyramidal shape. It grows 60 to 90 feet tall and has a maximum width of 15 feet wide, creating an ideal screening tree. The blue-to-green, finely textured needles on Leyland cypress remains in colour throughout the year, including winter, to provide a constant source of vibrancy. Leyland cypress grows best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is also easy to transplant and is salt tolerant. Plant Leyland cypress in USDA zones 6 to 10.

Giant Arborvitae

Giant arbor vitae (Thuja plicata) has a vigorous growth rate and fine texture. It has a narrow to broadly-shaped pyramidal form. Giant arbor vitae grows 50 to 80 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide and produces rich, deep green foliage with white markings on the underneath side. Nestled among the foliage is the ½ inch erect cones. When young, giant arbor vitae has bark that is red to cinnamon in colour. Giant arbor vitae casts dense shade to the landscape and is long-lived. It grows best in full sun to part shade and well-drained, moist soil and it tolerates clay. It does not tolerate salt spray. Plant giant arbor vitae in USDA zones 5 to 8.

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