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10 Evergreen Privacy Trees You Can Grow in USDA Zone 9

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Written By Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

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Home » USDA Zone 9 » 10 Evergreen Privacy Trees You Can Grow in USDA Zone 9

Privacy trees are one of the most useful landscaping tools money can buy.

They help to bring solitude to your home and keep a polite distance from neighbors and passersby, and also allow you to shield unsightly views from both inside and outside of your property.

The absolute best trees for year-round privacy are evergreens that retain their lush foliage in every season.

While conifers are the most common evergreen in cooler climates, USDA hardiness zone 9 is compatible with a range of both conifers and broad-leaved trees, so there are many options of evergreens for zone 9 gardeners to choose from.

10 Evergreen Privacy Trees for Zone 9

1. Japanese Plum Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia)

Japanese Plum Yew
Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking via Flickr

With its fine dense foliage, slow-growing form, and adaptability to pruning and shaping, the Japanese Plum Yew is an ideal option for establishing privacy screens and hedges in zone 9.

Its foliage changes from bright green to a darker, bluish-green in fall, and is guaranteed to look beautiful year-round, and its small white blossoms and red summer fruits add extra interest. Not to be confused with the toxic Japanese Yew, the fruits of the plum yew are edible and even cultivated in its home country.

This native Japanese evergreen grows very well in more southern parts of the US, particularly in the southeast where it can withstand heat and humidity even during the hottest parts of the year.

For privacy, use it as a single dense shrub to shield unsightly views or as a long hedge or screen. It can also be used as a backdrop or an anchor in a foundation planting.

Other Common Names: Spreading Plum Yew

Growing Zones: 6-9

Average Size at Maturity: 5-10 feet tall, with a similar spread

Fruiting Season: Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

2. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

Eastern Red Cedar
Images by Lyrae Willis, Own Work, for Tree Vitalize

An ancient conifer native to the wilds of North America, the Eastern Red Cedar is known for its incredible hardiness and durability in the landscape. Able to grow in the vast majority of soil conditions, this rugged tree can thrive where few other species can.

Even with its sturdy nature, the Eastern Red Cedar still makes an attractive landscaping specimen, with its dense pyramidal form, evergreen foliage, textured reddish bark, and bright blue fall-to-winter berries. It also provides valuable shelter and sustenance for local birds and mammals.

The Eastern Red Cedar is a good option for privacy and general landscaping. As per the former, you can plant it as a screen or shelterbelt, and its steady growth rate of 1-2 feet per year means you’ll have decent evergreen coverage in just a few years. Otherwise, use it as a hardy street tree or as a specimen.

Other Common Names: Eastern Redcedar, Red Cedar, Eastern Juniper, Red Juniper, Virginian Juniper, Pencil Cedar, Aromatic Cedar, Virginia Red Cedar, Savin Evergreen, Cedar Apple

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 feet tall, with a 10-20 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Early Fall through to Late Winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

3. Chinese Juniper (Juniperus chinensis)

Chinese Juniper
Image by F. D. Richards via Flickr

An adaptable East Asian native, the Chinese Juniper is a large evergreen conifer that is highly popular in both landscaping and Japanese bonsai.

In fact, it is one of the top bonsai species due to its tight, fine foliage and growing habit. This Juniper species has 100s of cultivars. Its deep green needles retain their color in every season.

In landscape gardening, the Chinese Juniper is best known for its hardiness and versatility: depending on the cultivar you choose it can be planted as a hedge or privacy screen, and as a specimen, shade tree, ground cover, accent, and more.

The Chinese Juniper will thrive in a wide variety of pH levels and soil types, including clay and rocky soil. However, for best results, it should be planted in moist, well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. It is susceptible to diseases like tip blight, needle blight, and apple-cedar rust.

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 50-60 feet tall, with a 10-20 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

4. Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Italian Cypress
Image via Nature Hills

Bring the Tuscan sun to your property with the Italian Cypress, one of the most sophisticated evergreen landscaping species on the market.

This cypress is known for its tall, slender form, dense branching and needled foliage, and overall impressive Mediterranean style.

According to the University of Redlands Extension, the Italian cypress originated in Persia and is now growing wild throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

With its neat, vertical growth habit and deep green color, the Italian Cypress is a tall skinny privacy tree and is often used to line driveways and entrances on large estates or to highlight an architectural feature.

For privacy, they make excellent screens when planted 5 feet apart. You can also use it as a specimen, focal point, accent, and evergreen backdrop.

Plant the Italian Cypress in full sun with moist, well-draining soil. In ideal conditions, it will be a very easy and fast-growing specimen.

Other Common Names: Common Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress

Growing Zones: 7-10

Average Size at Maturity: 50-60 feet tall, with a 4-5 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

5. Waxleaf Privet (Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’)

Waxleaf Privet tree
Image via Nature Hills

As per its name, the first thing you’ll notice about the Waxleaf Privet is its incredibly glossy foliage. An eye-catching natural beauty, this evergreen bush will stand out among other privacy trees with its waxy leaves catching the sun and its profuse white spring blossoms.

The Waxleaf Privet is easy to grow, tolerant to drought and pollution, and overall a perfect compact evergreen for fitting into small spaces and using as a versatile landscaping tool. It is best planted as a dense privacy screen, hedge, or windbreak, and as a plus, it can even be used as a topiary!

Though it is not as aggressive as its counterpart, the common privet, keep in mind that the Waxleaf Privet can be invasive in some parts of the US. Check its status in your area and be prepared for potential extra maintenance to keep it from spreading.

Other Common Names: Wax-Leaf Privet, Glossy Privet, Tall-Glossy Privet, Japanese Privet

Growing Zones: 7-11

Average Size at Maturity: 8-10 feet tall, with a 4-6 foot spread

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

6. Firethorn (Pyracantha coccinea)

Firethorn
Image by John Rusk via Flickr

An unusual member of the rose family, the Firethorn is a broadleaf shrub with a bushy, spreading habit, small white spring flowers, and masses of bright red and orange berries that cluster on its ‘spiny’ branches in fall. These berries feed local wildlife for months, and can even be used to make jellies and preserves.

For centuries the Firethorn was used in the landscape as a way to cover unappealing walls, due to its ability to be trained as cover and espalier. For privacy, it can be grown as a hedge or barrier, and for general use, it can be grown as a specimen plant, in a shrub border or foundation planting, and more.

The Firethorn is described as a ‘semi-evergreen’ – in cooler climates, its leaves will be deciduous, but in zone 9 they will remain on the branches year-round. Plant this hardy drought and heat-resistant plant in sandy, well-draining soil with a neutral to acidic pH.

Other Common Names: Fire Bush, Scarlet Firethorn, Everlasting Thorn, Egyptian Thorn, Scarlet Pyracantha

Growing Zones: 6-9

Average Size at Maturity: 6-18 feet tall, with an 8-18 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

7. Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera)

Wax Myrtle
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Hailing from the southeastern US, the Wax Myrtle is a fast-growing evergreen shrub with dense, twisted branches and olive-green leaves. In spring it produces inconspicuous green and yellow catkins, followed by much showier pale-blue berries with a waxy coat that last from summer to winter.

These small fruits have long been used to make traditional bayberry candles, and the crushed leaves will give off the same spicy bayberry scent. In landscape gardening they are largely used as barriers, hedges, or privacy screens, making them a highly effective privacy tree.

According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, they also make exceptional beach plants due to their tolerance to drought, sandy soil, and salt spray.

The Wax Myrtle is not typically fussy about growing conditions, but it prefers full sun or partial shade with moist, well-draining soil and a slightly acidic pH.

Other Common Names: Bayberry, Dwarf Bayberry, Candleberry, Dwarf Wax-Myrtle, Tallow Shrub, Waxmyrtle, Southern Bayberry, Southern Wax Myrtle

Growing Zones: 7-10

Average Size at Maturity: 10-25 feet tall, with an 8-10 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Late Summer to Mid-Winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

8. Japanese Laurel (Aucuba japonica)

Japanese Laurel
Image by Puddin Tain via Flickr

Add a truly artistic touch to your evergreen plantings with the Japanese Laurel, also known as the gold dust plant due to the flecks of yellow and gold splashed onto its leathery green leaves.

These variegated leaves are eye-catching, but the shrub itself is attractive with its upright, rounded form, dense foliage, and bright red fall berries (as long as male and female pairs are planted near each other).

The Japanese Laurel makes a lovely specimen added to shrub borders and foundation plantings and also makes an effective low-growing hedge to shield your lawn and other areas of your home from view. They can be grown easily in containers and used to great effect as a houseplant.

Overall it is a versatile plant that can be put to great use in adding color, structure, privacy, and dimension to your property year-round. Plant it in partial shade to avoid scorched leaves in summer, and in moist, rich, well-draining soil.

Other Common Names: Variegated Japanese Laurel, Spotted Laurel, Gold-Leaf Plant, Variegated Laurel, Japanese Aucuba, Gold Dust

Growing Zones: 6-10

Average Size at Maturity: 6-10 feet tall, with a 5-9 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall and Winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

9. Oak Leaf Red Holly (Ilex x ‘Conaf’)

Oak Leaf Red Holly
Image via Nature Hills

An improved cultivar of the Red Holly, the Oak Leaf Holly is an easy choice for zone 9 gardeners looking for a versatile and fast-growing privacy tree. It is a large and fast-growing shrub, with dense, glossy, evergreen foliage.

Each leaf has spiny margins that can even act as another level of security when the tree is planted around your home. They look somewhat similar to oak leaves, hence the name.

It is also self-pollinating and will produce those clusters of bright fall and winter berries that the holly tree is so famous for.

The Oak Leaf Holly was developed to be a robust and adaptable plant, resistant to most pests and diseases, highly tolerant to drought and heavy shearing, and able to be planted in most soil types.

This holly cultivar is at its best when used as a large privacy screen, hedge, or shelterbelt.

Other Common Names: Oakleaf Holly, Oak Leaf Holly

Growing Zones: 6-9

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 feet tall, with a 7-9 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall and Winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

10. Schipka Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’)

Schipka Cherry Laurel
Image by Guilhem Vellut via Flickr

A popular cultivar of the Cherry Laurel, the Schipka Cherry Laurel is a refined evergreen shrub with an attractive vase shape, lush foliage, and clusters of white spring flowers. These blossoms grow in bottlebrush panicles and are highly fragrant, with a similar smell to roses.

Though it has a beautiful natural spreading form the Schipka can be trimmed into a more uniform shape, particularly if you want to establish a formal hedge or screen. Due to its fast growth rate and density, and its evergreen foliage, it is an excellent privacy tree. It can also be used as a backdrop and a sound and wind barrier.

The Schipka Cherry Laurel is also famously low maintenance – when planted in the right conditions, it will be almost entirely hands-off. Plant it in full sun or partial shade with deep, moist, fertile, and well-draining soil.

Other Common Names: Schipka Laurel, Cherry Laurel, Schip Laurel, Skip Laurel, Skip Cherry Laurel

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 feet tall, with a 5-7 foot spread

Flower Season: Spring

Bring Perfect Year-Round Privacy to Your Property

Looking for privacy, structure, texture, and year-round color in your garden or yard? These evergreen privacy trees are exactly what you need.

Use them in groupings as dense hedges and screens around your property, or plant them as large individuals to cover specific infrastructure or to shield certain windows from outside view.

However you use them, you’ll appreciate the time you took to plant these strategic landscaping trees. For more useful species, check out these fast-growing trees and shade trees for zone 9 properties.

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Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

Shannon has always loved looking after trees and plants since as long as she can remember. She grew up gardening with her family in their off-grid home and looking after her neighbor's plant nursery. As a child she also participated in native tree replanting, and as an adult has volunteered in reforestation programs in northern Vietnam. Today, she puts her horticultural efforts into tending her vegetable and herb gardens, and learning about homesteading and permaculture. When she’s not reading, writing, and gardening, she’ll be out fishing and foraging for edible flora and fungi in the countryside around her home.

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