Top Tree Choices for Backyard Privacy

Top Tree Choices for Backyard Privacy

As summer quickly approaches, homeowners are already thinking about outdoor improvements that are both attractive and practical. This year, add some privacy in your backyard by planting trees that will provide a natural canopy over your yard, giving you both shade in the hot weather and a cover from prying eyes. The arborists at Al Miley & Associates offer these top tree choices for backyard privacy.

Privacy Tree Basics

Before we get into the types of trees that offer the most privacy, let’s discuss what makes a tree a good option for this purpose. First, you need a fast-growing species because what good is a privacy tree if it doesn’t offer privacy for 20 or 30 years? Second, tall trees that have large leaves offer both privacy and shade. Third, if you need privacy all year round, choose evergreens because they don’t lose their leaves in the winter.

Also, keep in mind that not all trees grow in all climates, so consider only those trees that are going to flourish in the type of soil and weather in your environment. For example, tropical trees offer a lot of privacy and shade, but they do not grow well (or at all) in dry climates. Additionally, some trees that grow quickly are considered invasive species in some places and are allowed. Check with your local regulations to make sure you plant the right types of trees.

Willow Hybrid Trees

Willow hybrid trees are a popular option for privacy because they grow in nearly any soil and climate. They are simple to maintain (basically, plant them and forget them) and do not lose their leaves in the winter. At a maximum height of 75 feet, these lush, full trees are perfect for providing a privacy barrier between yards. They grow quickly and have disease-resistant characteristics, making them our top choice for low-maintenance backyard privacy.

Leyland Cypress Trees

Although they grow better in climates that receive a lot of precipitation, leyland cypress trees can grow in just about any soil, from clay to sand. You do have to make sure there is an adequate drainage system for these trees, though, as they can be susceptible to root rot if they are exposed to standing water for too long.

To ensure these 60-foot trees can grow to their potential, plant them approximately six feet apart from each other. This allows them to develop a deep root system that will encourage a growth of between three and five feet each year. These trees are highly popular in North America because of their uniform shape and feathery foliage that blocks out sun and prying eyes.

Silver Maple Trees

The incredible silver maple tree is a fast-growing tree that grows well in all soils. In fact, if you can’t get other trees to grow, consider trying silver maples. They seem to grow where no other tree will grow. If you’re looking for a traditional tree that turns colors in the fall but also offers significant privacy in the summer, the silver maple is the ideal option.


The perfect tree for backyard privacy really depends on your needs, including how large your backyard is, what types of trees you prefer, and whether you need them to be deciduous or not. But the three listed here are great options for nearly every yard.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen, a celebrated writer in the home and garden niche, boasts over 12 years of hands-on experience. Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University. Before joining our team in 2016, she worked as a landscape designer, combining her love for nature and design. Sandy's expertise shines through her articles, offering readers practical and aesthetically pleasing gardening tips. Off the clock, she enjoys hiking and nature photography, further nurturing her connection with the outdoors.

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