The Q&A Archives: Privacy Tree

Question: We are looking for a fast growing tree that will block the neighbor's second floor view down into the back yard of our new home. The local Home Depot (Roseville, CA) had an Evergreen Elm that we liked, but I have been able to find very little info online. Are you familiar with this tree?

Thanks, Kathy

Answer: Ulmus parvifolia, also known as evergreen elm, lacebark elm or Chinese evergreen elm, is best characterized by its long, arching branches and rounded crown which provide dense summer shade. This tree makes a beautiful and functional addition to parks, school grounds and other open areas. Their large size and extensive root systems make them less suitable for small residential landscapes.

The evergreen elm is a fast grower, and needs plenty of room to reach its full potential. It can reach a height of 30 feet in as little as eight years. Mature growth is approximately 35 feet high and 35 feet wide, depending on watering and soil conditions.

Evergreen Pear (Pyrus kawakamii) and Fruitless Olive (Olea europaea - Wilsonii) might be alternatives. Fast growing deciduous trees include fruitless mulberry (Morus alba) and chitalpa (Chitalpa tashkentensis).

Best wishes with your new tree.

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