What Are the Best Trees for Privacy in Your Garden?

If you want to relax and enjoy your back garden, you’ll want to do so without worrying about nosy neighbours and prying eyes. So, you may be thinking about planting some trees to cultivate that sense of seclusion and beautify the area at the same time. But what are the best trees when it comes to privacy? What do you need to take into account as you choose the species and your overall approach? We tell you all about it in this article. Read on!

Trees Better than walls

There’s no doubt that high walls are impenetrable and a practical choice when it comes to both security and privacy. Yet building walls might require planning permission and all the hassles that go with it, and they may not be particularly nice to look at. If you already have fences or walls, trees will help with “softening” the look.

Trees Good for shade

And as you choose the best trees for privacy, don’t forget that some species can offer shade depending on their canopy. For example, you may be able to place some trees that can make a perfect shelter above an alfresco dining area. In this case, you can relax and enjoy an evening meal with your loved ones while sheltering from the sun and enjoying that all-important privacy.

Trees Attract wildlife

You may also be able to attract some wildlife into your garden as trees make the perfect natural habitat for birds and small animals of all kinds. This can add an element to your outdoor enjoyment.

Choose evergreen

In most cases, you’ll want to choose evergreen trees so that they maintain that ever-present bushy canopy all year round. Still, you can “mix and match” to an extent so that you choose some varieties that boast fabulous color in the Fall and others that may bear seasonal fruits or blossoms. This will all add color to the environment and generate interest throughout the year.

Before considering different tree species, let's look at some of the basics:

compatibility and soil type

Check your soil type to ensure that individual species will be compatible with your location as some species will perform differently depending on whether you have clay or chalky soil underfoot.

tree behaviour

You also need to check the characteristics of an individual tree to see how high it will get and pay particular attention to the spread. Some species have a very aggressive tendency to seek out moisture, and their roots may grow quickly. Consequently, they may interfere with drainage pipes or even the foundation of a building, should one be close by. Also, you should be particularly careful if you have a septic tank or drain field in place.

growth rate

You may be looking to transform your outdoor space as quickly as possible to give you that added privacy, and in this case, you will need to check the growth rate of each variety. Clearly, you don’t want to choose a slow-growing specimen if you’re impatient. You can also solve this problem by getting mature trees. You could have a fully grown 20 year old tree planted in your garden and save yourself the waiting time! The plant collector nursery stocks a curated collection of mature trees. Visit us to view our full range of mature and specimen trees.


Lastly, find out how hardy each tree is and whether it will need some extra protection from the prevailing wind. Each tree will have its own maintenance requirements, so be aware before purchasing.

Six choices

Here are our six recommendations for best performing evergreen trees for your backyard privacy. currently in stock at our nursery in different size ranges to best suit your privacy and garden screening needs.

Scots pine

Pinus sylvestris is a fantastic evergreen tree. Well suited to Irish weather, this slow growing evergreen tree will grow small pine cones and offer privacy year round. Ideal for large gardens.

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Irish yew

Taxus baccata, commonly known as Irish yew, is a slow growing evergreen tree and a popular choice for privacy screening. Beautiful copper bark, a dense canopy and evergreen foliage offer interest and screening year round.

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Photinia Red Robin

Photinias are evergreen, fast growing multistem trees or shrubs, ideal for adding colour and interest year round. Their foliage is usually dark green and shiny, with new growth a beautiful ruby red colour and pink flower clusters appearing all throughout spring. Ideal for small and medium gardens.

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Golden bamboo is known for its graceful, evergreen foliage with brilliant green, yellowy canes. Perfect to use as privacy screening in medium sized gardens where there mightn't be a lot of space to plant mature trees.

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Camelias have lovely Paeony like flowers blooming at the end of winter and into the start of Spring. They are slow growing, evergreen shrubs or small trees with shiny, dark green, leathery, generally oval-shaped leaves. Camellias are perfect for an early boost of colour in the garden. Their showy flowers add beauty while their evergreen foliage offers privacy year round. Ideal for small and medium gardens.

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Portuguese laurel

Prunus lusitanica 'Angustifolia', commonly known as Portuguese laurel, is a shrub or small tree commonly found in gardens across Ireland due to its reliability and overall fantastic performance in Irish weather conditions. Portuguese laurels are fast growing plants and have dense, evergreen foliage that offers interest and colour year round. Small, white flower racemes will appear on the plant in summer. Commonly used as a hedging plant.

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How to make your choice

As you can see, you have plenty of choices when it comes to choosing trees to help with privacy. Whether you decide to go evergreen for year round screening, or deciduous for more partial screening, research definitely pays off. At The Plant Collector we have a dedicated team of horticulturists and garden designers ready to help you achieve the desired screening effect. Visit us at the nursery for guidance and advice or contact us to tell us a bit more about your project!

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