We’ve talked a lot about fall planting, planning your garden and preparing for the season by elevating your outdoors (and the indoors for pets!). One of the best ways to update your home’s surroundings and heighten property value? Plant your own privacy fence. Whether you struggle with neighborhood noise, long for mature trees or want to put a bit of space between your home and the next, an all-natural border is the perfect solution.
You can find privacy fencing at your local home improvement store, but we think a lush and green screen is the way to go. Your own home-grown fence is generally cheaper and is definitely more attractive, especially since it fits right in with your existing landscaping. But which trees should you choose, and how do you plant them? We’re here to help.
Planting and Planning a Privacy Fence
Backyard DIY can seem daunting, but luckily, most privacy trees are super low-maintenance and easy to plant.
Precise planting directions will vary based on which tree you choose for your privacy fence but are straight-forward. For example, our Thuja Green Giant is hardy, isn’t picky about soil and pretty much thrives on neglect. Seriously – no green thumb necessary! Here are our top three picks for privacy below and the how-to breakdown for each cultivar.
1. Thuja Green Giant
We can’t really talk about making your own privacy fence without mentioning the Thuja. And it’s easy to see why people love this amazing, not-so-little plant.
With the Thuja Green Giant, you get your much-needed privacy without needing to dedicate a lot of space to planting. It’s high-quality and effortless, growing 3 to 5 feet each year once it’s established. Plus, it’s drought tolerant, insect resistant and disease resistant.
Even better? Planting is simple.
Start by measuring and planning the area where you want to plant your hedge or row. You’ll need to plan out placement to know how many trees you’ll need.
When they’re planted in a row, Thuja Green Giants form a dense hedge quickly. To achieve this dense, full effect, plant the your trees 5 to 6 feet apart in one row. If you want to maintain their more festive conical form, plant the trees 14 feet apart in a single row.
After following precise planting directions, simply water properly, mulch adequately and watch. Depending on your desired look, your Thujas may need pruning, but they shouldn’t need fertilizer or meticulous care.
2. Nellie Stevens Holly
So, you’re looking for a nearly instant privacy fence but want a look that’s more unique. Enter the Nellie Stevens. Perfect for those who love festive flair, deep greens and pops of color, this Holly is second to none when it comes to luxe looks.
Plus, no green thumb is no problem with Nellie since it grows in sun or partial shade. And since they retain their vibrant green foliage year-round, you won’t see browning during the summer heat or mild droughts.
Red berries emerge during the winter months to lend even richer hues, like built-in holiday decor.
Best of all? One of the better times to plant is during fall, so the timing is ideal. If you’re planting your Nellies as a hedge, place each plant 8 to 10 feet apart. They grow quickly and will fill in densely for a ready-made privacy fence. Like the Thujas, once you’ve planted, mulched and watered properly (with a bit of fertilizer), you’re good to go.
3. Willow Hybrid
Last but not least, the well-known and well-loved Willow Hybrid. This crisp cultivar is deciduous but grows faster than almost any tree on the market, claiming 6 feet of growth in just one year.
Imagine natural privacy for a fraction of the cost of traditional fencing. Plant your Willow Hybrids 5 feet apart, stand back and marvel at the gorgeous growth. And though it may look small when it arrives to your door, the Willow Hybrid transforms and fills out super quickly.
In fact, Willow Hybrids typically form a thick green wall by the end of the first full growing season, so there’s virtually no wait. It is less drought tolerant than other varieties, but as long as it’s watered properly, it should thrive and adapt well to almost any environment.
To give the trees a bit more room (which requires less work in terms of pruning and maintenance), plant them 20 to 30 feet apart in a straight line or in two staggered rows. They’ll grow best in full sun to partial shade and can be planted at any time of the year when the ground isn’t frozen.
Instant Privacy is Effortless and Elegant
From the Thuja to the Willow Hybrid and beyond, an instant privacy fence is just a click away. Luxuriant greenery, sleek silhouettes and stunning curb appeal, all one-of-a-kind: these privacy trees stand out in the best way. Pick your favorites and get started on a home-grown green screen!