Evergreen Privacy Plantings
Evergreen selection at the nursery
Evergreen trees and shrubs are top choices for privacy plantings thanks to their dense, year-round foliage that blocks roads, neighbors, high winds, and undesirable views.
Thuja occidentalis 'Nigra' - a top request for privacy plantings
Top Evergreen Tree Choices
The most commonly requested evergreen for privacy plantings goes by a few names, commonly Arborvitae or Cedar. Thuja occidentalis 'Nigra' is the variety we cultivate in our fields. It grows to be 25' tall but can be sheared as a hedge or shorter if desired. There are helpful examples of pruned and naturally growing arborvitae at the nursery. If you have heavy deer pressure at your planting site, we recommend trying more deer resistant Thuja x 'Green Giant'.
Blue berries of red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is another popular request, especially from gardeners planting for wildlife. Red cedar's blue berries are a favorite of birds.
Black Hills Spruce grows 20-30' tall and 10' wide
Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca densata) is an excellent choice for a dense evergreen that won't tower too tall. Its 20-30' height and 10' spread is very ideal and versatile.
White Fir's soft needles
White Fir (Abies concolor) is one of the best firs for the landscape. It has bluish-green new growth and soft needles. It is drought-tolerant once established and very cold hardy.
Canaan Fir, a naturally occuring variety of balsam fir
Canaan Fir (Abies balsamea var. phanerolepsis) is a naturally occuring variety of balsam fir that grows well in heavier soils. It is nice to mix into privacy plantings and makes a classic Christmas tree.
As you're planning your planting, remember to space trees properly. For an arborvitae hedge, you can plant trees 3-4' apart or 5-6' apart for larger plantings. For larger trees like pines and spruces, planting 10-12' apart in staggered rows is recommended. Staggering plantings can help provide more immediate privacy by layering while maintaining proper plant spacing.
Winterberry's colorfrul fruits pair great with evergreens
Our favorite additions to evergreen plantings are winterberry shrubs and birch trees. Birch don't mind the acidic conditions near evergreens and they grow together naturally in the wild. They can also help screen gaps while evergreen trees are growing in. Their contrasting textures and color are welcome year round. Winterberry's colorful fruits are a classic pairing with evergreens.
We recommend a mix of species for interest and diversity
Our Favorite Choice
We always recommend a mix of species when possible and we love staggering plantings for a natural-looking screen. Plant diversity is key in a sustainable landscape, plus a collection of evergreens has texture, color, and tremendous wildlife benefit.