Fast Growing and Environmentally Friendly: Why Hybrid Evergreen Trees are Perfect for Privacy Screening

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Why Hybrid Evergreen Trees are Perfect for Privacy Screening

If you’re looking for a privacy screen in Maryland, DC, or Northern Virginia, hybrid evergreen trees can be an excellent choice. Not only do they provide the necessary privacy, but they also offer a host of environmental benefits. This blog will explore the advantages of using hybrid evergreen trees for privacy screening, plus supporting research citations. The University of Maryland’s approval of the use of hybrid trees is a positive development in sustainable landscaping practices. As a leading research institution, the University’s endorsement of hybrid trees is a testament to the scientific evidence supporting their benefits. By utilizing hybrid trees in their landscape, the University is demonstrating a commitment to environmental stewardship, biodiversity, and the long-term health and beauty of its campus. Additionally, the University’s decision may serve as a model for other institutions and individuals interested in sustainable landscaping practices.

Fast Growth and Adaptation

One of the primary benefits of hybrid evergreen trees is their fast growth rate and adaptability to different environmental conditions. According to research by the University of Minnesota, hybrid trees can grow faster and thrive in a wider range of soil conditions than their native counterparts. They are also more resistant to pests and diseases, which means that they require less maintenance (Grossman, 2017). For privacy screening, this means that you can have a full and lush screen in a shorter time frame and with less effort.

Increased Biodiversity

Hybrid evergreen trees can also increase biodiversity in the surrounding area. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, hybrid trees can provide a habitat for a wider range of species than native trees (Hwang et al., 2020). Thus by planting hybrid evergreen trees for privacy screening, you’re contributing to the overall health and diversity of the ecosystem.

Resistance to Environmental Stress

Another advantage of hybrid evergreen trees is their ability to resist environmental stressors, such as drought, extreme temperatures, and pollution. This is particularly important in urban areas where air pollution and heat islands can impact tree health. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Quality, hybrid trees are better able to detoxify pollutants and resist oxidative stress than native trees (Ding et al., 2018). By selecting hybrid evergreen trees for your privacy screen, you can ensure that your trees will continue to thrive, even in challenging environmental conditions.

Thuja Green Giant Arborvitaes are one of the most popular hybrid evergreen trees for privacy screening in MD, DC, and Northern VA. These trees are a preferred choice due to their fast growth, natural beauty, and low maintenance. Green Giant Arborvitae can grow up to two feet per year on average in the mid-Atlantic region. Ideal for homeowners who want to quickly create a natural privacy barrier in their yards. Green Giants are also resistant to common diseases and pests, low maintenance, and easy to care for. They are a reliable and long-lasting solution for privacy screening. With their dense foliage and year-round coverage, they create an effective barrier that can block out noise, wind, and unpleasant views. Whether you’re looking to create a secluded retreat or add some greenery to your landscape, Thuja Green Giant Arborvitaes are a fantastic choice.

When selecting an evergreen tree for privacy, the Nellie R Stevens Holly is another preferred choice over the American Holly for the Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia areas. While both trees share some similarities, such as evergreen foliage and red berries, a few key differences set them apart. For one, Nellie Stevens Hollies have a shrub-like pyramidal upright growth habit, making it better suited for creating a privacy barrier. It also has denser foliage and a higher tolerance for salt spray, an excellent choice for properties near the coast. In addition, the Nellie R Stevens Hollies can tolerate wet areas as long as it is not submerged. Also, the Nellie R Stevens Holly is a hybrid cultivated initially in Oxford, Maryland.

On the other hand, the American Holly has a slower growth rate and tends to have a thinner pyramidal shape, which may not be as effective at creating a privacy screen. Additionally, American Hollies are more susceptible to diseases and pests, especially the leaf miner, leading to a less healthy tree. The dense wet clay soil at our farm in Damascus, MD, has proven unsuitable for the American Holly to grow. Overall, while both trees can provide evergreen privacy in the DMV area, the Nellie Stevens is often the preferred holly choice due to its growth habit, density, and ability to tolerate wet soils.


If you’re looking for a privacy screen in Maryland, DC, or Northern Virginia, hybrid evergreen trees are an excellent choice. We locally grow the popular Nellie Stevens Holly and Thuja Green Giant Arborvitaes on our farm at Pryor’s Nursery. Their fast growth rate and adaptability, increased biodiversity, and resistance to environmental stress make them ideal for privacy screening while also contributing to the health and diversity of the local ecosystem. As always, it’s important to select the right tree for the specific conditions of your site. Hybrid evergreen trees should definitely be considered a viable option.


Ding, Z., Wang, X., & Huang, B. (2018). Performance and physiological responses of four hybrid turfgrasses to simulated urban environmental stresses. Journal of Environmental Quality, 47(4), 796-804.

Grossman, J. (2017). Hybrid trees grow faster and adapt better than natives. The University of Minnesota. Retrieved from

Hwang, J. H., Yoon, S. A., Hong, S. K., & Park, Y. D. (2020). Hybridization as a tool for enhancing biodiversity in a changing world. Journal of Applied Ecology, 57(4), 651-661.

McDonnell, M. (2016). UMD Adopts Hybrid Trees. Maryland Today. Retrieved from This article discusses the UMD’s decision to adopt hybrid trees in their landscape and the benefits of using hybrid trees.