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Advice for type of trees or hedges for privacy

Hello,

We have moved into a new house. The rear upper windows overlook adjacent gardens which is currently separated by a 6 foot high fence. The fence does not provide any privacy when viewing from the upper floor windows. 

I am considering planting trees or a hedge along the fence which is about 5 - 8 m long to provide privacy. 

Can anyone suggest the right trees or hedge type for this purpose given that the intention for planting is privacy. 

Thanks,

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Posts

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,369
    As it's for privacy I think an evergreen hedge of something that grows quite tall could be the best option, but not necessarily the prettiest. What about Laurel, Photinia Red Robin, Privet or conifers? Not Leylandii, it gets too big and not easy to keep pruned as it won't grow back if you cut it too far. Yew, but quite slow growing and has poisonous berries or holly, also slow to take off though. There are beech and hornbeam, which make nice hedges but aren't evergreen, although they keep the old leaves long into winter until the new ones push them off.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    I'm not wishing to be rude, but do your neighbours frequently stand at their bedroom windows staring out into your garden?

    It's not something that I do and I've never seen my immediate neighbours staring into my back garden either.  Do you frequently stand at your bedroom windows staring into your neighbours' gardens?  

    I think that when we first move to a property we're very aware of our new surroundings and can feel vulnerable ... as we get used to living somewhere this usually wears off.

    By planting high hedges around your garden you run the risk of turning it into a dark box-like space ... your lawn will be shaded and mossy and grass will be sparse, and your useable space will be severely reduced ... hedges are quite thick you know.  

    If you feel the need for a little more  seclusion in your garden than you have now, perhaps for an area for sitting out in, I recommend a pergola with climbers covering it  ... something like this 

     http://www.cutnocorners.com/gallery/pergola ...

    which will add to your garden rather than detract  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hi Lizzie,

    I know nothing about hedges, sorry. I presume when you say Laurel, Photonia Red Robin, Privet: these are all hedges and conifer is a tree?

    How wide do I need to allow for the hedges generally? 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,369

    They are large shrubs. Beech and hornbeam and many conifers are trees. A hedge is made up of shrubs or trees kept clipped into a hedge shape. Why don't you have a look at them by Googling them? There are hedge websites that give photos and advice too.

    Dove has a point though, if your garden isn't big a large evergreen hedge can be oppressive. You could try looking up small trees such as crab apples, rowans, amelanchier, which would have their branches above your fence and not be so bulky below. They would shed their leaves in winter but you won't be out sunbathing in winter so maybe you won't mind.

    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Is it a brand spankin' new build @dgandolfo ?
    If it is, I suggest having a bit of a dig before you go shopping for plants. A lot of the gardens are full of builders rubble, covered with a few inches of topsoil.
    Some groundwork may be needed before you plant a hedge for it to thrive.

    The amount of space a hedge will take up depends on the plants you choose. I have a clipped privet I keep at under 18" wide. At a guess I'd say cherry laurel needs at least 3ft, judging by the ones I've seen. The small trees BL suggests would be good for height without the girth 😀.

    There have been a lot of 'privacy screening' queries this year @Dovefromabove 😉, mostly from newbuild properties. It seems they can feel like quite stark, exposed spaces at first with no established plants in theirs or neighbours gardens to soften the edges. The pergola idea is a good one I've seen used effectively in other gardens.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    Kitty 2 said:
    ... The amount of space a hedge will take up depends on the plants you choose. I have a clipped privet I keep at under 18" wide. At a guess I'd say cherry laurel needs at least 3ft, judging by the ones I've seen. ... 
    The width of the hedge is one thing ... another consideration is the ownership of the fence and the possible need for access to maintain it.  


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    I'm with @Dovefromabove on this one. Is your house the one on the corner or the one above it? I would go either for the pergola as suggested, or just the one tree to break up the sightline. I think a hedge would be overkill and it would take many years for it to grow taller than the fence - around 5-10 years. A nice ornamental tree will add to your garden and involve a lot less work than planting a hedge. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Yes, it is a brand new build.

    Thanks for your suggestions. Our house is the one at the bottom with the arrow saying "view". 

    Do you have any suggestions for good screening trees please?
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150
    Kitty 2 said:
    ... The amount of space a hedge will take up depends on the plants you choose. I have a clipped privet I keep at under 18" wide. At a guess I'd say cherry laurel needs at least 3ft, judging by the ones I've seen. ... 
    The width of the hedge is one thing ... another consideration is the ownership of the fence and the possible need for access to maintain it.  



    Personally I wouldn't put a hedge in front of a fence... I'd grow a clematis up it 😁.
    My privets stand alone as my front boundary.
    The OP also needs to consider how much time and effort they're prepared to put into hedge trimming, or the costs of paying a gardener to do it.
  • I totally agree with Dove & Hogweed.  It's true that gardens at so many new houses do seem to be overlooked and I wonder why the producers of TV gardening programmes  seem to miss the opportunity to suggest creative solutions which need not cost an enormous amount of money.
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