The Q&A Archives: Privacy trees

Question: What types of fast growing trees or shrubs should I plant in my backyard for privacy in Orange County, New York?

Answer: There are a number of plants you could use, however your selection should be based on the growing conditions where you want to plant them, such as how sunny or shady and at what time of day, what type of soil (Clay, sand, silt; wet or dry or average moisture) and how much space you have available. Then you might also think about whether you need an evergreen or a deciduous plant, and how much maintenance you are willing to provide.

In most cases, a deciduous shrub will be the faster growing plant, for instance you could consider forsythia or privet or the red twigged dogwood shrub. Most evergreens grow quite slowly in comparison. One fast growing evergreen is the Leyland Cypress, however it grows very large if left untrimmed so would require constant maintenance. All of these need at least a half a day and preferably a full day of sun to stay healthy and grow well.

Your local county extension and/or local professionally trained nursery staff might have different suggestions based on a more detailed understanding of the growing conditions where you are planting your screen and your overall design goals, but I hope this helps you get started in considering your options.

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