Forum home Problem solving


Our neighbours have recently cut down a conifer hedge, which gave us privacy from their windows of their house. We already planted laurel hedges a few years ago so it is growing well but we would like to plant some trees for instant privacy. We only have a small garden. Any advise would be gratefully received, as unsure what trees to plant


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,619
    Instant privacy could be very expensive, mature trees cost £££'s. You would also need good access to get something big into your garden. How big a tree do you think you will need? Do you want something evergreen?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    Just how small is small re the garden?
    Once you have laurel growing well, and trees in, it might be private, but it may also be very shady and claustrophobic, and cause further problems if you want to have other planting. 
    I'd agree with @steephill too. Mature trees are very expensive. It's usually easier to have something like a pergola, or screen,  and climbers to add privacy in a small space.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    If your garden is small, trees big enough o give you rpivacy will be extremely expensive and also intrusive.   Try, instead, to be patient as a laurel hedge will grow quickly if well fed and watered.  Think about a layer of trellis or wires tensioned on posts above the hedge to give some privacy while it grows.   It would be instant and cheaper and can be used to train climbers up too and thus gain colour and maybe perfume, depending on what you choose.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi thanks for advise 
    garden is 10 by 12m approx was thinking of an evergreen but appreciate comments & will rethink 
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,552
    Assuming you are trying to block the view from their upstairs windows you will need trees at least 10 to 12 feet high, and several of them.  When I bought a couple of trees a few years ago they were about 8 feet high, and had fairly thin branches.  They were around 50 quid each and still aren't of a height and spread to provide any great level of privacy.
  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    I'd like to know how terrible are the neighbours to be prepared to live in a conifer canyon just to avoid random glances from their windows...maybe install a pergola or a sail at an angle? Personally I don't understand all the fuss about going bonkers about privacy in what is by definition an open space...but hey ho. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    This little old lady is glad my neighbours can see into my garden, because one day I might have an accident out there and be unable to summon help.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    Hi @birch.kate- I think your garden's not dissimilar to mine in size, and it may be a bit too much to have too many trees.
    As @KT53 says, it can still take a while for quite mature specimens to form a decent canopy. Those trees will also become quite solid over time, which might give you another problem! It would take a bit of thought to pick the right ones, and siting them is also important for insurance purposes etc. 
    I think you'd be better going down the route of a screen, whether with trellis or the wires @Obelixx describes, or the sail mentioned, to avoid it being too claustrophobic. Climbers would take less time to give a bit of screening too, and you can also use annuals for that  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,976
    edited October 2019
    I totally get why people feel the need for privacy. I do too.

    I would be strategic about where you most need privacy... go to the areas in the garden where you spend most time and want to feel most privacy, and look across to the neighbour's windows... you'll see where to put your tree(s). Think about when you will be out in the garden most. Are you really going to be sitting out there for long periods in winter? Deciduous trees may be adequate if you use the garden mostly in summer, and will be cheaper/faster growing.

    Do you really need privacy or a 'sense' of privacy? You can think of a light open canopy, or bare branches in winter, as a 'net curtain' which makes you feel a little more private. Whereas dense foliage and evergreens are like a heavy curtain which shuts down the view entirely but feels heavier and closed in.

    Also think about the overall interest a new tree or shrub can add, as well as screening. Do you want blossom in spring, autumn interest, winter bark etc, and do you want an open canopy which lets plenty of dappled light in? Plant something that adds beauty, and just consider your need for screening in terms of where you plant it.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    Very nicely put @WillDB :)
    I think if @birch.katecan post a pic or two, we could come up with some other ideas too.
    If it's to screen one particular area, it's usually better to bring that screening further into the garden, rather than having it all on a boundary. It means it can also be smaller in height, making it less oppressive.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

Sign In or Register to comment.