Whether your garden backs onto a busy street or your neighbour’s house is positioned in a way that gives them a bird’s eye view, trees are a great way to give your garden some extra privacy. However, there are a few things to consider before you start planting…
Choose Strategic Planting Locations
Chances are that if you’re looking for privacy, then your garden would benefit from trees planted right along your property line. While this may provide instant seclusion, don’t forget that your newly-planted trees will grow, and they’ll need the space to do so.
If your garden trees end up encroaching onto your neighbour’s property, then this could spell trouble. Depending on local laws, there may not be much that your neighbour can actually do about this, but having hanging branches, fallen leaves, and other debris in their garden may end up souring the relationship between the two of you.
Ideally, leave a few feet of space between your trees and your property boundaries to give the trees room to spread, without causing any problems.
Speak to Your Neighbours About Your Plans
If you’re concerned about how your neighbours may react to new trees being planted, especially if there’s a chance that their garden may end up shaded, the best thing to do is speak to them about this.
Explain how your new trees would give both of you some extra privacy, and perhaps discuss tree species that appeal to them as well.
Choose the Right Trees
Some trees are fantastic at providing privacy, while others aren’t quite so effective. For year-round seclusion, you’ll need to go for evergreen trees, but these are also notoriously slow-growing. However, picking larger specimens to begin with is one way to get around this problem.
Yuccas make for good privacy trees, especially the Filifera or Rostrata varieties. Another alternative would be to go for something edible, such as a Mango Tree or an Avocado Tree. This could be a good way to convince your neighbours that your trees would be beneficial to the both of you – offer them the chance to harvest any fruits that hang over into their garden. Of course, if you’re not on good terms with your neighbours, then fruit trees are best avoided – they’ll create a huge mess in your neighbour’s garden as the fruit falls.
Don’t forget to also keep growing conditions in mind when choosing your trees. From light levels to soil type to moisture requirements – picking trees that are suited to the conditions in your garden will allow them to thrive.
While some plant trees and others plant hedges, there’s no reason why you can’t have both. If you’re going for slower-growing evergreen trees, then planting a hedge too will help to fill things out and give you that extra privacy while your new trees establish. A hedge will also give your new trees some protection from strong winds.
Willow is a popular hedging plant, mostly due to how fast it grows. However, if you’re wanting something a little different, you could also try an olive tree hedge – this is surprisingly easy to maintain, and has the added advantage of providing you with fruit each autumn.
While trees are an ideal way to give your garden some privacy, make sure that you thoroughly think things through before you get planting. Choose the right trees, pick the best locations, and speak to your neighbours about your planting plans – after all, those trees may be there for several generations to come, so it’s important to get this right!