The Q&A Archives: Sound Barrier

Question: My backyard is next to a busy street. What can I do to deaden the sound from passing vehicles. I have a small yard and a concrete fence about 6 ft tall.

Answer: One solution would be to grow trees with dense canopies. The trunks won't take up much room and the tops will absorb and soften the sounds of traffic. Another approach is to plant columnar shaped shrubs, such as Arborvitae (Thuja) which will reach a 2-3' diameter and grow straight upward. They have a dense growth habit and will deflect or absorb much of the street noise. Trees to consider include Acacia, Callistemon viminalis (weeping bottlebrush), Ceratonia (Carob), Lagunaria patersonii (Primrose tree), Pinus contorta (Shore Pine) and Umbellularia (California Laurel). Best wishes with your landscaping project!

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