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Need advice. Tree for privacy

On one side of my garden I am really overlooked by neighbours upstairs window,
I would like something I can either plant or grow in a large pot which will give me some privacy, ideal height around 12 to 14 feet, not looking for conifer type but something which is light and airy but still able to give some privacy
I did try to grow a Red Robin, but did not flourish at all
Thanks in advance


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,974
    The problem with growing trees, or large shrubs, in pots is - you need a very large pot.
    You also need to give them a lot more care than in the ground, especially during hotter, drier months, even when established.
    If you can't grow in the ground, it would be better to make a purpose built container - at least a couple of feet in each direction. Then fill with a soil based mix, or decent soil with appropriate drainage.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • I am not sure that in a pot a tree would grow to that height. Can it be grown in the ground?
    While not a tree as such but a shrub Azara serrata is everygreen and has scented flowers late winter early spring. We have one that is now over 9 feet. It is as a shrub quite wide as well so offers height as well as width. It will continue to grow maybe up to 13 feet.
  • many thanks to you, much appreciated 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,974
    It would depend whereabouts you are too - I don't think that shrub is very hardy. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,772
    edited September 2022
    If you have an option to plant in the ground, I suggest you consider a fastigiate tree, specifically bred to be tall and columnar which should give you enough screening to protect you from one window. There's a lot to choose from, as shown here: Columnar or Fastigiate All Ornamental Trees (  You'll need to take into account your soil type, depth and aspect of your planting position before choosing something suitable.  One of the Sorbus species mentioned in that link might suit you.  They have feathery leaves, are not too dense and bear flowers and berries which blackbirds in particular enjoy. None of these trees would be happy long term in a large pot though.

    Edited to add - unless you purchase a mature tree which will be expensive and difficult to settle in, a young affordable tree will typically take 7-9 years to become a reasonable height.  I'm sorry if that disappoints you!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • Another idea is to use a tall upright bamboo in a large container. do not plant it in the garden as it will take over the whole plot. There is a lovely yellow stemmed variety, think in terms of replacing it every few years. Take the old plant to recycling or the tip.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,409
    Pergolas can be pretty effective in providing privacy, obviously only while you are within the pergola - but that gives you a comfortable spot screened by climbers that you can sit and read, drink your wine, doom-scroll Twitter etc.
  • many them any thanks to you all for your great help, it’s very much appreciated 
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