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Screening Trees

Hi, looking for good looking, fast growing tall 5m+ screening trees. Thinking ligustrum japonicum, Quercus ilex, standard cherry laurel, himalayan birch tree or Magnolia grandiflora. Any thoughts or pics 2 years in? Thanks 


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,292
    Beware.  Anything that grows fast has a tendency not to stop and then becomes a thug and a problem, casting to much shade, sucking up too much moisture, stopping other plants growing below, casting too much shadow, blocking light.

    What are you trying to hide and what soil do you have? 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw

  • Pretty poor soil! Only about one foot of semi ok soil then stones! 
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 9,783
    Those trees will be too big for that garden.
    Southern trees bear a strange fruit
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
  • What do you recommend?? 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,292
    Trees need soil depth and fertility and space.  What you need is some perspective so, assuming you want the trees for privacy, you need to stand up and sit down on an imaginary terrace at the back of the house and work out the angles you have from those heights to the upper windows of the houses you wish to screen.  This should give you a much lower height which can be more realistically be achieved by putting up trellis panels or a pergola to give you privacy.

    If you want to grow attractive plants up the trellis or pergola you realy need to improve the soil with plenty of well-rotted garden compost or manure, both of which are available, already bagged, in DIY stores and garden centres or a local riding stable.  Then you can grow climbing and rambling roses, clematis, honeysuckles and such to provide colour and perfume to enhance you garden and the view.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks for your thoughts. 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 26,292
    edited October 2018
    Bear in mind that tall trees have wide girths and your garden is not long enough to allow them the space they need.   Perhaps one silver birch would be OK but not a whole row but they are short lived trees, suck up huge amounts of water which would not be safe so near your house - foundations etc - and cause allergies in spring.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • It would be nice to have some trees. There was a garden full of them when I moved in. Maybe a silver birch and a few standard Laurel trees could work. 👍
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,553
    Think about the style and feel you want. Standard 'Laurels' adds formality and structure. A Birch tree is loose and wild looking. Normally, I would say, go for it, but your space is quite compact, and the two shrub/trees might clash. If you want structure in evergreens, I would avoid Cherry Laurel and opt for either Portuguese Laurel or Laurus Nobilis.

    If you want to try Magnolia Grandiflora, you must position them in a southerly aspect. When young, the tree is less hardy than a mature tree, so think about your location. An exposed, cold and windy site will not suit.

  • Good to know about the magnolia - the garden is NW facing. Hadn’t thought about Portuguese Laurel. I’ll look into them. Thanks for the advice! 👍
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