The Q&A Archives: Shrubs Or Plants For Privacy

Question: Hi,

I live in a Condo and have a very long skinny backyard with a 6 foot fence all around it. I am very tired of looking out of my window to the Condo across the way. I am looking for a plant or shrub about 8 to 10 feet tall which will not stick out into my yard more than 2 or 3 feet. I only have a 2 foot plant bed against the fence. Anything that sticks out too far will take up 1/2 of the width of my backyard. I have been looking at tiny tower cypress trees as a possibility. I also do not want something that will require alot of trimming. The length that I am looking to plant is almost 20 feet.

Any suggestions?

Thanks very much

Answer: The only tall privacy screen type plant I can think of that will fit in the site you describe is Thuja (arborvitae). Thuja occidentalis has an upright, open growth pattern, eventually reaching about 30' tall and 2'-3' wide at the base. Thuja plicata, or Western Red Cedar, can reach 30'-50' tall. It has a very dense, narrow, erect growth habit and can be sheared to maintain a width of about 4'. Hope these suggestions help you choose just the right plant.

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