The Q&A Archives: Choosing Backyard Trees

Question: Please suggest a variety of evergreen trees to help seclude our 30' X 50' backyard. The perimeter trees are needed to block neighboring homes. We are looking for trees that do not have berries and are fast growing. Also prefer trees that do not expand too widely. Would like them to grow mostly upward. Unacceptable trees within our home owners association include: acacia, tree of heaven, birch, incense cedar, cedar, cypress, palms, spruce, black locust, redwood and athel tree. Hope you can help us out!
Kind regards,
Suzanne Rush

Answer: Thuja (American arborvitae) is a pyramidal evergreen, growing upwards of 25' and remaining only 2'-4' wide. Other suggestions include Leptospermum (tea tree), Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii), and Calocedrus (incense cedar). Pyrus (ornamental pear), Ilex (male holly), and Robina (Idaho locust) are worth considering as well! Full descriptions are in Sunset Western Garden Book which is generally available in libraries. Hope you find just the right trees for your backyard!

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