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Best Privacy Hedge – Fast-Growing Trees & Shrubs for Natural Privacy

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Written By Sophia Martinez

Organic & Sustainable Gardening Enthusiast

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Home » Privacy Trees » Best Privacy Hedge – Fast-Growing Trees & Shrubs for Natural Privacy

Creating a privacy hedge is a very personal thing.

There is no one size fits all.

You need to think about things like climate, size, growth rate, whether the plants are evergreen or deciduous, and why you need the privacy in the first place – to cut down noise or keep out prying eyes. With all these factors in mind, it’s important to have plenty of options.

Here is a list of what we consider to be the ultimate hedging trees & shrubs for privacy.

A few options below are not very fast growing but have been included because they make excellent privacy hedges.

Best Choices for Speedy Privacy Hedges

1. Wax Myrtle

Perfect for creating a lush, fast-growing privacy hedge, Wax Myrtle thrives in a variety of soil conditions.

With its aromatic leaves and attractive berries, it also attracts birds and beneficial insects.

This hardy evergreen shrub requires minimal maintenance and can be shaped easily to fit any landscape design.

USDA Growing Zone: 7-11
Average Mature Size: 10-20 feet tall, 8-10 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Myrica cerifera

2. American Pillar Arborvitae

Ideal for creating a dense privacy hedge quickly, the American Pillar Arborvitae grows tall and narrow, making it perfect for small spaces.

Its vibrant green foliage stays lush year-round, providing a beautiful and effective screen.

This low-maintenance tree is also highly resistant to common pests and diseases.

USDA Growing Zone: 3-8
Average Mature Size: 25-30 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis ‘American Pillar’

3. Carolina Sapphire Cypress

Carolina Sapphire Cypress adds a splash of blue-green color to your landscape while growing rapidly to create a dense privacy hedge.

Its feathery foliage is not only visually appealing but also releases a pleasant aroma when brushed.

This hardy tree is drought-tolerant and resistant to pests, making it a low-maintenance option for your garden.

USDA Growing Zone: 7-9
Average Mature Size: 30-40 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Carolina Sapphire’

4. Wavy Leaf Ligustrum

Creating a lush, dense privacy hedge, Wavy Leaf Ligustrum boasts unique, glossy green leaves with wavy edges.

This fast-growing evergreen shrub is easy to maintain and highly adaptable to various soil types.

It also produces fragrant white flowers in spring, adding seasonal interest to your garden.

USDA Growing Zone: 7-10
Average Mature Size: 8-10 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Ligustrum japonicum ‘Recurvifolium’

5. Tri Color Dappled Willow

Creating a stunning privacy hedge, Tri Color Dappled Willow offers vibrant foliage that changes color throughout the seasons.

Its fast growth and adaptability to various conditions make it a popular choice for gardeners.

This deciduous shrub requires regular pruning to maintain its attractive shape and encourage healthy growth.

USDA Growing Zone: 4-9
Average Mature Size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Deciduous
Botanical Name: Salix integra ‘Hakura Nishiki’

6. Oakland Holly

Offering year-round privacy with its dense, dark green foliage, Oakland Holly is an excellent choice for hedges.

Its attractive leaves and low maintenance requirements make it a popular option for gardeners.

This evergreen shrub also produces bright red berries that add a splash of color in winter.

USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 12-15 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Ilex hybrid ‘Magland’

7. Emerald Green Arborvitae

Perfect for a narrow privacy hedge, Emerald Green Arborvitae grows into a dense, columnar shape with vibrant green foliage.

This hardy evergreen tree is low-maintenance and highly resistant to pests and diseases.

It thrives in various soil conditions and retains its color year-round.

USDA Growing Zone: 3-8
Average Mature Size: 10-15 feet tall, 3-4 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’

8. Nellie Stevens Holly

Nellie Stevens Holly (Ilex X 'Nellie R. Stevens')
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees

Perfect for a fast-growing privacy hedge, Nellie Stevens Holly features dense, dark green foliage and bright red berries.

Its pyramidal shape and low-maintenance nature make it an attractive and practical choice.

This evergreen shrub thrives in a variety of soil types and conditions.

USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
Average Mature Size: 15-25 feet tall, 8-12 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

9. Koroneiki Olive

Providing a compact and attractive privacy hedge, Koroneiki Olive boasts silvery-green leaves and small, tasty olives.

Known for its high drought tolerance and low maintenance, this evergreen tree is ideal for Mediterranean-style gardens.

It also adapts well to different soil types.

USDA Growing Zone: 8-10
Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Olea europaea ‘Koroneiki’

10. Wintergreen Boxwood Shrub

Wintergreen Boxwood Shrub (Buxus sinica var. insularis 'Wintergreen')
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees

Ideal for formal hedges, Wintergreen Boxwood Shrub maintains its vibrant green color year-round.

Its dense foliage and slow growth make it easy to shape and maintain.

This evergreen shrub thrives in a variety of conditions, making it a versatile choice for privacy hedges.

USDA Growing Zone: 5-9
Average Mature Size: 2-4 feet tall, 2-4 feet wide
Growth Rate: Slow
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Buxus microphylla ‘Wintergreen’

11. Schip Laurel

Fast-growing and perfect for privacy, Schip Laurel boasts lush, glossy green leaves and fragrant white flowers in spring.

It tolerates shade well and forms a dense hedge that can be easily shaped.

This hardy evergreen shrub is also resistant to deer and pests.

USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
Average Mature Size: 10-15 feet tall, 5-7 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’

12. Leyland Cypress

Growing quickly into a tall, dense hedge, Leyland Cypress is perfect for creating privacy.

Its soft, feathery foliage remains vibrant green year-round.

This hardy evergreen tree is also low-maintenance and adaptable to various soil types.

USDA Growing Zone: 6-10
Average Mature Size: 60-70 feet tall, 15-25 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Cupressocyparis leylandii

13. Arbequina Olive

Producing attractive silvery-green foliage, Arbequina Olive is a great choice for a compact privacy hedge.

Known for its small, flavorful olives and high drought tolerance, this tree thrives in Mediterranean climates.

It requires minimal maintenance and adapts well to different soil types.

USDA Growing Zone: 8-10
Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Olea europaea ‘Arbequina’

14. Green Giant Arborvitae

Thuja Green Giants (Thuja standishii x plicata) privacy hedge
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees

Green Giant Arborvitae rapidly forms a lush, green privacy screen with its dense, feathery foliage.

This robust evergreen tree is highly resistant to pests and diseases.

It thrives in a variety of soil conditions and requires little maintenance, making it a popular choice for hedges.

USDA Growing Zone: 5-8
Average Mature Size: 50-60 feet tall, 12-18 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Thuja standishii x plicata

15. Waxleaf Privet

Boasting glossy, dark green leaves, Waxleaf Privet creates a dense, attractive privacy hedge.

This fast-growing evergreen shrub is easy to shape and maintain.

It also produces fragrant white flowers in the spring, adding seasonal interest to your garden.

USDA Growing Zone: 7-10
Average Mature Size: 8-10 feet tall, 6-8 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Ligustrum japonicum

16. Willow Hybrid tree

Quickly growing into a towering privacy screen, Willow Hybrid tree features long, graceful branches with narrow, green leaves.

This deciduous tree is highly adaptable and can thrive in various soil conditions.

Its rapid growth and solid nature make it ideal for creating an effective windbreak or noise barrier.

USDA Growing Zone: 4-9
Average Mature Size: 35-45 feet tall, 20-30 feet wide
Growth Rate: Very Fast
Type: Deciduous
Botanical Name: Salix x matsudana x alba

17. Amur Maple

Adding vibrant autumn color to your privacy hedge, Amur Maple features beautiful red and orange foliage.

This deciduous shrub or small tree is highly adaptable and can thrive in various soil conditions.

Its moderate growth rate and manageable size make it a great choice for smaller spaces.

USDA Growing Zone: 3-8
Average Mature Size: 15-20 feet tall, 15-20 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Deciduous
Botanical Name: Acer ginnala

18. Portuguese Laurel

Creating a dense and glossy privacy screen, Portuguese Laurel offers dark green leaves and fragrant white flowers in spring.

This hardy evergreen shrub is easy to maintain and highly adaptable to different soil types.

It forms a robust barrier that’s also resistant to pests and diseases.

USDA Growing Zone: 6-9
Average Mature Size: 10-20 feet tall, 10-15 feet wide
Growth Rate: Fast
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Prunus lusitanica

19. Little Ollie Dwarf Olive

Easily fitting into smaller spaces, Little Ollie is perfect for creating a compact privacy hedge.

With its dense, silvery-green foliage, this shrub brings a touch of Mediterranean charm to any garden.

It’s drought-tolerant and requires minimal pruning, making it a low-maintenance choice.

USDA Growing Zone: 8-11
Average Mature Size: 4-6 feet tall, 4-6 feet wide
Growth Rate: Moderate
Type: Evergreen
Botanical Name: Olea europaea ‘Little Ollie’

Before You Plant

Climate Check

First off, make sure the plants you’re eyeing are a good fit for your local climate and USDA growing zone. You want them to thrive and stay healthy in your area.

Space Planning

Consider how big these plants will get when they’re fully grown, both in height and width. Make sure you’ve got enough room for them without them crowding buildings, sidewalks, or neighboring yards.

Soil Situation

Take a look at your soil’s type and pH level. Pick plants that are happy in your soil conditions, whether it’s sandy, clay, loamy, or well-draining.

Sunlight Needs

How much sun does your spot get? Choose plants that match the light conditions—whether that’s full sun, partial shade, or full shade.

Watering Requirements

Know how much water your plants will need. Make sure you can keep up with their watering needs, especially when they’re just getting started.

Maintenance Level

Think about how much work you want to put in. Some hedges need regular pruning and trimming, while others are pretty low-maintenance.

Growth Speed

Decide how fast you want your hedge to grow. Fast-growing plants will give you privacy sooner but might need more upkeep.

Evergreen or Deciduous

Do you want year-round coverage (evergreen) or are you okay with a hedge that changes with the seasons (deciduous)? Evergreen plants keep their leaves all year, while deciduous ones offer lovely seasonal color.

Pest and Disease Resistance

Pick plants that can resist common pests and diseases in your area. This will save you a lot of trouble and reduce the need for treatments.

Purpose and Looks

Think about why you’re planting the hedge (privacy, windbreak, noise reduction) and make sure the plants also fit your style and landscape design.

Root System Type and Distance from Structures

Research the root systems of the plants you’re considering and choose ones with non-invasive roots that are less likely to spread aggressively or damage nearby structures.

Plant your hedge a safe distance away from buildings, sidewalks, driveways, and underground utilities to give roots room to grow without causing damage.

Want More?

I hope you found the perfect hedging trees for your needs and thank you for reading this far!

If you’re interested in enhancing your outdoor space with effective privacy solutions, be sure to explore our other articles.

Learn about the best natural privacy screens to create a serene retreat, discover ideal privacy trees for around your pool, and find fast-growing privacy shrubs and trees to quickly establish a lush, green barrier.

Additionally, check out our articles on tall skinny trees perfect for tight spaces and privacy trees that work beautifully along your fence line.

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Sophia Martinez

Organic & Sustainable Gardening Enthusiast

Sophia has cultivated her gardening skills over the past decade, focusing on the care of both ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. Her deep understanding of sustainable gardening practices stems from a lifelong passion for nature and plant life. Beyond her professional life, Sophia spends her leisure time engaged with the natural world. She enjoys birdwatching and nature photography, capturing the intricate beauty of the ecosystems around her.

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