Privacy Trees That Grow in Shade - Plants at Home (2024)

If you’re unsure about the best privacy trees for your shaded backyard, read this article. In it, we’ll look at the Concolor fir, Nellie Stevens Holly, and Spartan Juniper. These trees are ideal choices because they’re both fast-growing and dense. They’ll also block the view of your neighbors without being overbearing. However, you need to carefully choose your trees!

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Leyland cypress

A privacy tree, the Leyland cypress is a common garden center bestseller. Its rich, bluish green color and feathery texture make it a popular choice. Leyland cypresses are typically 40 to 60 feet tall, and grow a base spread of 20 feet. They are often planted in clumps, five feet apart. A Leyland cypress will shade out a neighbor’s house, but does not block the view from any direction.

When choosing a Leyland cypress for your landscape, consider its water requirements. This evergreen conifer can grow up to 12 feet tall and significantly wider in just a few growing seasons. Plants should be spaced at least 15 feet apart to prevent root competition. Leyland cypress trees need between four and ten gallons of water per week. Soil moisture is important to determine how much water is necessary for your Leyland cypress tree.

If you want to plant a Leyland cypress in your yard, keep in mind that it has a fast growth rate and can grow up to three to five feet in a single year. That’s an ideal amount for a quick privacy cover. Its dense foliage, which can look dusty blue, can add an attractive accent to your landscape. And, as the name suggests, the upright pyramidal shape makes it a great choice for shaded areas of your yard.

Concolor fir

The concolor fir, also known as white fir, is a beautiful, evergreen tree that can be used as a privacy screen or windbreak. This species is native to temperate areas and is capable of growing in many different climates. It is best suited for full to partial shade and is very adaptable, although it may develop winter burn in very cold climates. Because of its slow growth rate, it should be planted in groups of at least three trees.

When planting a Concolor fir, make sure you select a cultivar that is right for the area you plan to plant it in. Compacta fir, for example, is a compact species that grows to about seven feet tall and wide. Dwarf globe fir, on the other hand, grows to about three feet tall and wide. Its needles are dense and blue-gray and the trees can be trimmed to shape to fit your needs.

The concolor fir can grow in hardiness zones 3 to 6, although it should be planted in well-drained soil and not clay. This tree will require 15 inches of rain a year to thrive. It can grow in soils that have a pH level of 7.0 or higher. It also grows well in a variety of soil conditions. Despite its small size, concolor fir is not a very demanding tree and can thrive in a variety of situations.

Nellie Stevens Holly

The Nellie Stevens holly is a low-maintenance evergreen that thrives in part or full shade. It’s known for its deep, green leaves, which remain sharply pointed throughout the year. It tolerates drought and partial shade, and is a great choice for the shade garden, shrub border, or container. Its spiky, pointed leaves are perfect for attracting bees.

The Nellie R. Stevens Holly grows quickly in a pyramid shape and is easy to maintain. Pruning is not necessary, but it can be done to achieve a bushier appearance. Prune branches twice a year. If you prune a branch, do so only three to four inches at a time. Nellie Stevens Holly can tolerate full sun or partial shade, and it can be planted under tall shade trees, but they will be slower-growing than a bare tree in the same location.

The Nellie R. Stevens holly grows best in acidic soil, but it can survive in a wide variety of soil types. It also tolerates some shade, and does not require regular watering once established. It grows about fifteen to thirty feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide. When planting, ensure that the hole is twice the size of the pot. Don’t dig the hole too deep as this can cause the stem to rot.

Spartan Juniper

If you want to grow a shade privacy tree, the Spartan Juniper is the best choice. This fast-growing shade tree can add height and privacy to your yard. It also provides topiary, stately refinement, and privacy. These trees are also low-maintenance and resistant to pests and diseases. The following care instructions should be followed to help ensure the survival of your Spartan Juniper.

The Spartan juniper grows in sun to partial shade, and thrives in soil with a moderate amount of water and drainage. It requires about six hours of direct sunlight a day. It should be planted at least three feet apart. After planting, make sure that the soil is free of weeds and debris. Once established, the Spartan juniper will produce a dense screen that keeps wind and snow off your property.

The Spartan juniper is a very tough, drought-tolerant tree. It grows fast and fills in quickly, making a great screen. It requires little attention from you and won’t die off in a few years. If you’re planting a Spartan Juniper, remember to choose one that’s suitable for your yard. They’ll grow tall and strong and look great for a privacy fence.

Skip laurel

The foliage of skip laurel is glossy green and leathery. The leaves are slightly serrated and are approximately 2″ (5 cm) across at their widest point. The skip laurel’s flowers are highly fragrant, forming clusters of tiny white flowers and grow in racemes. The flowers, which begin in spring, bloom on the tree’s slender, upright stems.

When planting skip laurel in your yard, you’ll need to space them about two feet apart and dig a hole two to three times the depth of the shrub’s root ball. Then, fill the hole with soil to a depth about 1 to 2 inches below the surface. After the skip laurel is planted, water the tree frequently throughout its growing season to help the roots take hold.

A popular choice for hedging or planting as a privacy tree is the Skip Laurel. This deciduous tree is native to the Black Sea region, and it can grow up to 50 feet tall. Its glossy green leaves are oblong and 6 inches long. The Skip laurel is one of the hardiest varieties, and grows well in a variety of soils.

A skip laurel is a drought-tolerant shrub with a compact growth habit. Its fragrant white blossoms contrast beautifully with the shiny green foliage. When in bloom, skip laurel grows up to seven feet tall and two feet wide. The skip laurel is a good choice for shady areas. The skip laurel shrub can grow up to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) tall and up to seven feet wide.

Goldspire Ginkgo

The Goldspire Ginkgo is a medium to dark green tree with strikingly yellow foliage that persists throughout the fall. This fastigiate tree grows to be about 16 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and 5 feet wide at maturity. Its foliage is pest and disease-free and requires regular watering. Goldspire Ginkgo has deep green foliage that stays vibrant during the summer and turns golden yellow in the fall.

When planting a Goldspire ginkgo tree, the process is very similar to that of planting a woody shrub. Dig a hole just a few inches deeper than the root ball and backfill it with native soil. Remember that your tree will grow much faster if the soil is nutrient-rich. Goldspire Ginkgo grows in shade. However, it may be a little more challenging to grow in the shade.

Because it’s a dioecious tree, a goldspire tree may not grow in full sun. In fact, it may need a shady spot, and in order to be properly protected, it must be protected from direct sunlight. However, once it reaches maturity, it will drop its leaves all at once in the fall. Contrary to deciduous trees, Goldspire Ginkgos drop their leaves gradually over a period of weeks or months.

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Privacy Trees That Grow in Shade - Plants at Home (2024)


What is the best privacy plant for shade? ›

1. Hicks Yew (Taxus x media 'Hicksii') Hicks Yew is without a doubt is one of the top hedging plants choice for deep shade conditions. It is extremely versatile and can be grown in full sun, partial shade, or full shade.

What tree is the most shade tolerant? ›

Shade tolerant
  • Sequoia sempervirens, Coast Redwood.
  • Sequoiadendron giganteum, Giant Sequoia.
  • Taxus brevifolia, Pacific Yew.
  • Thuja plicata Western Red Cedar.
  • Torreya californica, California Torreya.
  • Tsuga heterophylla, Western Hemlock.
  • Tsuga mertensiana, Mountain Hemlock.
  • Umbellularia californica, California Laurel.

What is the quickest growing tree for privacy? ›

What are the fastest-growing trees for privacy? Hybrid poplar tops the list. It can grow upwards of five feet per year. The Leyland cypress, green giant arborvitae, and silver maple are all close seconds because they add about two feet to their height each year.

What tree does not need a lot of sun? ›

American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) and eastern hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) are common North American understory trees that are well suited to the backyard landscape. Both are small deciduous trees that stay under 30 feet tall.

Where should I plant shade trees around my house? ›

Shade the Southeast, West, and Southwest of Your House

Having big, leafy trees in the southeast corner shades your house all morning. As the sun passes overhead, the trees on the southwest side take over the job of cooling your house. The hot afternoon sun is blocked by trees on the west side.

Can trees be planted in shade? ›

Some examples include the American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), and the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus). These trees have adapted to thrive in low-light environments and can provide greenery and shade in areas with limited sun exposure. There are many that prefer dappled shade.

Will arborvitae grow in shade? ›

Arborvitae (Thuja) perform best when planted in a minimum of six hours or more of direct sun per day. However, they can tolerate light shade in areas that only receive four hours of midday sun per day.

What is the most shade tolerant evergreen? ›

Hemlocks perform especially well in shade, but only certain varieties are immune to the woolly adelgid, a tree-killing bug. I love 'Gentsch White' hemlock (Tsuga canadensis 'Gentsch White', Zones 4–8) because the new growth is white in the shade, giving it a frosted look, and because it stays pest-free.

What shrubs are best for full shade? ›

Luckily, we have alternatives, especially when it comes to growing shrubs in the shade. There are some spectacular standouts we can enjoy, including azaleas (pictured above), climbing hydrangeas, Euonymus, red and yellow twig dogwoods, elderberries, ninebark, spirea and others.

Are privacy trees worth it? ›

Growth asset: Most mature trees are valuable assets in their own right. If you plant privacy trees early, the value of your home will increase as they grow to maturity. Shade and privacy: A tree canopy is a convenient source of natural shade and, when combined with other trees, can create a dense privacy barrier.

What is the best evergreen tree to block neighbors? ›

Evergreens like Arborvitae and Leyland Cypress are excellent for privacy, creating dense barriers that shelter birds.

How tall should privacy trees be? ›

Top Fast Growing Trees for Privacy Screens
Tree SpeciesHeight RangeGrowth Rate
Spartan Juniper15 to 20 feet tall1 to 2 feet per year
Thuja Green Giant Arborvitae50 to 60 feet tall3 to 5 feet per year
American Holly Tree15 to 20 feet tall1 to 2 feet per year
Eastern White Pine50 to 60 feet tall2 to 3 feet per year
3 more rows

What is the fastest growing hedge in shade? ›


This hybrid Thuja typically grows 3 feet per year, with some reports circulating of it growing 5 feet in one year! If you need a fast-growing, large, evergreen Arborvitae hedge, Green Giant is a perfect choice.

Which arborvitae is most shade tolerant? ›

According to Michael Dirr, Giant Arborvitae (Thuja plicata) may be more shade tolerant than Eastern or American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis). Arborvitae lose their dense habit if grown in full shade.

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