Privacy trees are almost always at the top of the list for homeowners moving into a new home or when new construction buildings go up around you. We all want to feel our home and garden are our own, and nothing does that better than evergreen privacy screens. Got nosey neighbors? Privacy trees are the solution!
Pick the Right Privacy Tree
So what’s the answer? Picking the privacy tree that is the right size for the area, it will be planted in and the right size and shape for your project. Whether you are looking for screening around your pool, patio, or perimeter of your property, we have a privacy tree that will work for you.
What are the Advantages of Arborvitae as a Privacy Tree?
- Cold Hardy – Can easily take high winds, heavy snow, and ice and doesn’t mind the deep freeze of the soil that kills less-hardy trees. Per research from the 1960s, the Arborvitae root mass is winter tolerant down to +4 degrees F. Great for zones 5-7 in full sun.
- Tolerates Some Wet Ground – Adapts to various soil conditions but prefers moist, well-drained soil. Arborvitae can grow well in areas that flood occasionally but not super saturated soil. Our clay-to-sandy soil in the Mid-Atlantic area is the perfect growing environment for them.
- Perfect When You Want a Larger Screen – Will reach ~35+ feet tall and 12 feet wide. Excellent for screening tall buildings or as a windbreak.
- Fast Growth Rate – Will grow ~ 2 ft a year. Arborvitae can easily be kept at any height you desire. This makes them quite versatile as hedges and privacy screens.
- Deer Resistant – Green Giant’s are one of the few deer-resistant evergreens, hence their popularity.
Arborvitae for Privacy
The #1 choice for the Mid-Atlantic region has got to be Green Giant, whether you call it Thuja or Arborvitae. Introduced to the US in 1967 from Denmark, it is a hybrid cultivar of the T. plicata and T. standishii (a cross between the western red cedar and Japanese arborvitae.) The Green Giant is the fast-growing privacy tree around, reaching ~35+ feet in height. They are the best choice in wind-swept areas because their root mass is so well stabilized, has a strong central leader, and better than any other evergreen for this type of screening. Their deer-resistant quality is one of the main reasons customers choose the Green Giant over other evergreens.
What are the Advantages of Hollies as a Privacy Tree?
- Cold Hardy – Can take winds, heavy snow, and ice with ease. Great for zones 5-7.
- Tolerates Some Wet Ground–Can tolerate wetter soil conditions than other evergreens. They grow well in the clay-to-sandy soil in the Mid-Atlantic area.
- Fast Growth Rate – Grows 6-12” a year. Hollies can easily be kept at any height you desire. When grown in full/partial sun, they reach up to ~30 feet tall and 10 feet wide.
Hollies for Privacy
Another popular choice of evergreens for the Mid-Atlantic region is the Nellie R. Steven’s hollies. Developed in Oxford, Maryland, back in 1954 and named after its owner, Nellie Stevens. This holly is a Maryland hybrid cultivar between llex aquifolium and llex cornuta. Nellie Stevens hollies are relatively simple to care for and make for gorgeous privacy screens due to their glossy deep green leaves and complementing bright red berries. Even a single specimen can make quite a statement piece in your garden. In the late fall, their trimmings and berries can also be used in holiday decorations.
What are the Advantages of Cypress as a Privacy Tree?
- Cold Hardy – Doesn’t mind the colder winters of the Mid-Atlantic region. Great for zones 5-7.
- Well Drained Soil – Adapts to various soil conditions but prefers moist, well-drained soil. They grow well in our clay to sandy soil in the Mid-Atlantic area.
- Perfect When You Want a Larger Screen – Will reach 100+ feet tall if left untrimmed. Great for screening tall buildings or the perimeter of your estate. They measured the tallest on record as of May 2018 to be ~130 ft. tall, and is still growing in the UK.
- Fast Growth Rate – Will grow ~ 2-3 ft a year when planted in full sun. Leyland Cypress can easily be kept at a manageable height.
Cypress for Privacy
If you are looking for the tallest privacy trees at maturity, the Leyland Cypress is another choice for the Mid-Atlantic region. In 1888, this hybrid cross naturally occurred in the UK between the Nootka/Alaskan Cypress cones/flowers and the pollen from the Monterey Cypress. Keep in mind Leylands are not deer resistant like the Green Giants, but they are one of the tallest of the evergreens in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Why Locally Grown Privacy Trees Matter
Picking the right privacy trees also includes considering the source for the healthiest trees. At Pryor’s Nursery, we locally grow all our evergreen privacy trees from cuttings. Research has proven that locally grown plants are hardier than those shipped outside their initial growing zones to big box stores and retail nurseries. Locally grown trees can survive the colder temperatures of the Mid-Atlantic states and have less exposure to detrimental insects and diseases. Our privacy trees are organically grown, which means less chemical exposure to your trees, and our employees, plus better for the environment.