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The best fast growing trees for a natural fence

Updated February 21, 2017

Natural fences made with trees are an attractive way to create a partition between properties. Trees also help to create borders around properties. A number of fast growing deciduous and evergreen trees are well suited for this purpose. While many homeowners choose large shrubs for creating a natural fence, fast growing, uniformly shaped evergreens are a good alternative.

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Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is among the rapid growing trees commonly chosen to create natural fences. The tree grows to a mature height of up to 120 feet with a 15-foot spread, at a rate of around 3 feet per year. Leyland cypress have a symmetrical, compact cone shape with flat, scale like, evergreen foliage. The tree does well in areas of sun to partial shade and responds well to transplanting and pruning. Leyland cypress come in different varieties, including Naylor's blue with distinct blue-green foliage.

Dawn Redwood

Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a deciduous conifer with a rapid growth rate. The tree is well adapted to growing in poor sites and thrives even in waterlogged ground. Dawn redwood grows to a mature height of 70 to 100 feet with a 25-foot spread. Dawn redwood is conical in shape with needle-like foliage that changes to shades of orange and brown before falling in autumn. Plant in areas of full sun to light shade in moist soil. Dawn redwood retains its shape without pruning and blooms with insignificant flowers.

Lombardy Poplar

Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra Italica) is a rapid growing tree that can reach a mature height of up to 100 feet with a 15-foot spread. The tree blooms with red or green catkins from early- to mid-spring and grows best in areas of full sun to partial shade. Plant the trees at least 8 feet apart to create a thick fence. The tree foliage takes on shades of gold in the fall. Though the Lombardy poplar is popular as a natural fence tree, it is often overlooked given its relatively short-lived nature.

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About the Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over 20 years of nonfiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, and diplomas in nonfiction writing.

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