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Best tree for creating a screen


Hi, I've recently had a tree taken out, much to my sorrow! It was dead and I now have an awful view of the factory behind my garden, as you can see in the photo. My neighbours on either side are shielded from it by shrubbery growing naturally on the railway embankment behind. I am thinking that the best solution is to remove a fence panel and dig a hole behind the garden to plant a couple of trees to fill the space in a few years. The question is, which trees will be best? It's a south facing site. My last tree was a rowan and was about 10m tall. I need something at least 3-4m tall to provide the screen I need.




  • Not particularly imaginative, but a holly could form part/all of that screen. It's dense, pretty (IMHO), evergreen, and easy to maintain at 3-4 metres tall.

  • Would one tree be needed or a couple? How wide does it grow?

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    If you grow another tree, it will take a bit of time to fill the void. Sorbus Aria makes a nice dense cover. Not too fussy with soils and normally trouble free. Flowers in late spring and fruits in autumn. Cotinus Coggygria Royal Purple, the smoke bush is a fast grower and will add height and cover. The dark purple foliage and plumes of flowers that hover over the foliage provides interest to a shrub/tree that remains in leave for almost much of the year. A really valuable shrub/tree and responds well to pruning too.

  • standbyme40 says:

    Would one tree be needed or a couple? How wide does it grow?

    See original post

    I think you'd need a few if you wanted the screen to be exclusively holly. It depends on what exactly you want, but if you want an actual holly hedge I think you would plant them about 2' apart. Otherwise you could have more of an informal screen that lets through some of the view, in which case 2-3 holly trees would suffice or you could have a holly alongside something else. We maintain our holly at about 3 metres high by 1.5 metres wide, although I think it would happily get wider, and definitely taller, given half a chance.

    I would suggest chatting to a local nursery for ideas. If you go with holly, they'll be able to talk through the different varieties because there are loads, but I guess the normal English holly would do the job well.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,965

    I'm not sure you are allowed to trespass and plant anything on a railway embankment, especially not trees, so you might need to check this out first, or do you own some land behind the back fence? Holly is good and nicely evergreen but it is rather slow growing I've found. The cotinus grows much faster and can be a bit sprawl but loses its leaves late in the year and then is late to leaf up in the spring. Buddelia is much faster but is now classified as a "undesirable" because it is spreading so fast in the countryside. I would try another rowan, a cherry tree or an amelanchier - but only on your side of the fence!

    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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