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5 Popular Trees for Privacy in Virgina

Many people prefer the natural look of trees and shrubs to provide privacy in their yards rather than a solid fence. Although trees don’t give you the closed-in feeling that a fence does, they attract birds that will give your yard a friendly, lively feel. There are several tree species that provide privacy while maintaining a natural ambiance in your yard, adding both curb appeal and an increase in the property’s value. Choosing evergreens will provide year-round privacy.

Here are the 5 popular trees that will provide privacy for your home. 

privacy trees around house

1. Leyland Cypress 

These have become very popular for providing privacy, mostly because of its fast growth rate. Originating in Wales in 1888, it’s a hybrid tree that can grow three feet per year or more. At maturity, it is usually 25-35 feet tall with a spread of ten feet but does tolerate repeated pruning and shaping. It prefers full sun for at least six hours per day but doesn’t take to cold winter winds. It prefers moist soil with good drainage, although it can adapt to clay soils. It takes to the Virginia climate like a champ, providing a thick barrier between yards.

2. Eastern Red Cedar

Native of the mid-Atlantic part of the country and is an ancient tree species. It also can grow to 25-35 feet tall. It forms into a pyramidal shape and creates a solid privacy hedge as well as a great windbreak. It likes at least six hours of full sun per day. It is tolerant of many types of soils and has good drought tolerance, although it can withstand occasional flooding. It also has the advantage of attracting birds with the blue cones that female trees produce. The male trees produce gold cones, and the two together make for a beautiful decorative look.

3. American Arborvitae 

An evergreen with soft, pliable foliage. It has no sharp spines or pins. While many varieties feature a slow to medium growth rate, the variety known as Green Giant is a tree with a fast growth rate, making it popular as a privacy fence. They top out at 30-40 feet tall with a spread of 10-12 feet. This variety often is touted as an alternative to Leyland cypress, especially in places that have a lot of deer. This tree has more resistance to deer than Leyland cypress or other arborvitae varieties. It does fine in the Virginia climate. It can tolerate several kinds of soil conditions but does like at least six hours of direct sun per day. It adapts well to shaping. It features small, reddish-brown cones. It can be planted as closely as three feet apart.

4. AmericanHolly

Not only a good choice to provide privacy, but the thorny spines on the leaves deter people and animals alike from breaching your privacy hedge. The American holly can grow from 25-60 feet tall, depending on the climate, and can withstand winter cold snaps to -10 F. It’s known to be the hardiest broadleaf evergreen in the country. They tolerate a rather broad range of conditions. While it is not a fast grower, the tree branches will grow together with those next to it to form a great barrier. They can easily be trimmed and shaped if needed. Many people plant a smaller variety of hollies underneath their windows to deter burglars who may otherwise try to climb into a house through a window. The small bloom clusters attract bees in the spring, and the bright red berries attract several species of birds.

5. Weeping Willows 

The Weeping Willow has long been seen as a tree that provides privacy. The graceful, waving branches reach the ground, providing both privacy and shade. They have also been a favorite of children who want a ready-made clubhouse or hiding place. These trees prefer full sun, if possible, with a minimum of four hours of direct sun per day. While they prefer moist places, they will tolerate drought to a certain extent. They will do well in various types of soils, whether acidic or alkaline, rich, sandy or clay.

A natural privacy fence will add to the looks of your property and provide a softness that a wooden or poly fence just can’t provide. These trees will do well with little maintenance and are in general not susceptible to a lot of pest or disease problems. If you need a little more privacy in your yard, investigating these trees would be a good option.

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