The Q&A Archives: Privacy Trees

Question: I'm looking for a fast growing tree/bush with year long coverage for privacy. I'm in Jacksonville, FL and I'm looking for something that will grow 20 -30 ft, and be easy to maintain. I thought of bamboo but I understand that it grows out of control.

Answer: The following shrubs/trees make great hedges:

1. Viburnum spp. Viburnums are a good choice for hedges, specimens or for screening objects from view. Sweet viburnum (V. odoratissimum) is a 25-foot tall by 10-15 foot wide evergreen shrub with large glossy leaves. Walter's Viburnum (V. obovatum) is a Florida native that will grow to about 25 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

2. Holly spp. Hollies make dense hedges so they are a great replacement for a fence. American holly will get up to 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide. 'Nellie Stevens' holly is a little smaller, maxing out at 20-30 feet tall and 10 feet wide. If you are looking for a large shrub, 'Burfordii' holly only gets to about 15 feet tall and wide. Hollies have glossy green foliage and red berries in the winter. Hollies range in size from a few feet to 60 feet tall, so be sure to choose the cultivar that will work best for your situation.

3. Simpson's Stopper Simpson's Stopper (Myrcianthes fragrans) is a large evergreen shrub that will grow to be 20-30 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide. It makes a great privacy hedge and has showy berries and flowers that attract wildlife. Simpson's Stopper is a Florida native.

For even more information on what plants to use to create privacy in your yard, go to

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