Privacy is important for most homeowners, helping to preserve a sense of peace and security on their property. While you can always build a fence or wall around your home, the most attractive way to maintain privacy is by planting a privacy tree.
Despite the state’s limited temperature range, falling between USDA hardiness zones 5 and 6, there are many different types of privacy trees that can be planted in Indiana.
Let’s take a look at some of the best privacy trees for Indiana gardeners.
7 Effective Privacy Trees For IN Properties
1. False Cypress (Chamaecyparis)
Privacy trees aren’t a ‘one size fits all’ deal – the kind of tree that works best can depend on the space you have and the soil type on your property. That’s where the false cypress comes in!
The false cypress is a genus of hardy, evergreen conifers native to East Asia and the United States. There are countless species of false cypress that vary in size, color, growth habits, and more. From the graceful, layered slender hinoki to the soft, textured lemon thread, there are a number of false cypress species that are excellent for use as a privacy tree in Indiana.
Established false cypresses are generally tolerant of heat, cold, drought, and salt spray. Most varieties will thrive in moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH, in a location with full to partial sunlight. But of course, their needs will be slightly different, so be sure to do your research to figure out which variety works best for your property.
Other Common Names: Cypress
Growing Zones: 4-8
Varieties Suitable for Indiana: Japanese Lemon Thread, Sun Gold, Cream Ball, Koster’s, Golden Mop, Soft Serve, Dwarf Hinoki, Verdoni, Slender Hinoki
Average Size at Maturity: 6-70 feet tall, with a 4-20 foot spread
Fruiting Season: Fall
2. Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
The fastest growing of all spruce species, the Norway spruce is an extremely cold hardy conifer known for its graceful, drooping branches. While it is most famous for its use as an ornamental Christmas tree, it is also an excellent choice of privacy tree for gardeners around the US.
These trees are tall and strong, and when grown together can form a solid wind-resistant privacy screen, barrier, or windbreak. Not only will they look impressive in a wide, open landscape, but they also provide shelter and food for local wildlife.
Norway spruces require very little in the way of maintenance – watering, fertilizing, and pruning can all be kept to a minimum once these trees are established. Plant your row of spruces in moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH and access to full or partial sun exposure. Full sun with rich, sandy soil will yield the best results.
Other Common Names: Common Spruce, European Spruce, German Spruce, Yugoslavian Sprucetulip, Baltic Whitewood
Growing Zones: 2-8
Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 feet tall, with a 25-35 foot spread
Fruiting Season: Fall
3. American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
With its versatility and minimal growing requirements, it’s no surprise that the American arborvitae is a popular and reliable choice of privacy screen. This evergreen possesses a singular thick trunk, very dense foliage, and a narrow, columnar form in the first few years that becomes more pyramidal as it matures, according to the North Dakota State University Handbook.
These elegant trees make ideal privacy screens and windbreaks while providing year-round color and beauty to your landscape. They can also be planted as specimens and used to flank entranceways to your property. However you use them, you’ll be pleased by the easy, low-maintenance nature of the arborvitae. If it is grown as a privacy screen it will need virtually no extra care or attention.
When choosing a location for arborvitae, consider a sheltered site with full to partial sun exposure. While these trees can tolerate a variety of soil types, they prefer moist, loamy, well-draining soil with neutral to alkaline pH levels.
Other Common Names: White Cedar, Eastern White Cedar, Northern White Cedar, Arborvitae, Eastern Arborvitae
Growing Zones: 3-8
Varieties Suitable for Indiana: Degroot’s Spire, Emerald Green, North Pole, Holmstrup, Nigra, Little Giant, Sunkist
Average Size at Maturity: 25-40 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread
Fruiting Season: Spring
4. Flowering Crabapple (Malus spp.)
If you’re an IN gardener who wants a more unique privacy screen, a flowering crabapple variety may be the right choice for you.
These flowering trees are conveniently compact and dazzlingly beautiful in spring, with their profuse clusters of fragrant blossoms. There are over 30 species of flowering crabapple that come in different sizes and with different colored blooms, so you can easily customize your crabapple privacy screen.
The lush green foliage of the flowering crabapple is what makes it so useful as a highly ornamental privacy screen. While they become less effective later in the year as they drop their leaves, their remaining fruits and dense branching structure will help to preserve your privacy.
Naturally, different varieties of flowering crabapple will have different growing requirements. But typically most species will need to be planted in a location with as much sunlight as possible to ensure flower and fruit production. They will also grow best in rich, slightly acidic, well-draining soil.
Other Common Names: Flowering Crab
Growing Zones: 4-8
Varieties Suitable for Indiana: Sugar Tyme, Red Jewel, Adirondack, Purple Prince, Prairiefire, Spring Snow, Sargent, Royalty, Profusion, Snow Drift, Red Barron
Average Size at Maturity: 15-25 feet tall, with 12-20 foot spread
Flowering Season: Late Spring
5. American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)
Grown as a shrub or small tree, the American hornbeam is a singular, beautiful species native to the eastern United States. It is often referred to as ‘musclewood,’ due to the fluted ridges of its gray bark. Its unique bark, fine foliage, and appealing yellow, orange, and red fall colors will all add ornamental interest to your property.
Most often the American hornbeam is planted as a windbreak or to accent water features such as ponds or streams. However, they are also useful when planted close together as a privacy tree, as their close-growing branches still provide a screen even during winter.
The American hornbeam is a widely adaptable tree, but it prefers moist and even wet soil as its natural habitat tends to be streams and riverbanks. As an understory tree, they will also grow well in full to partial shade.
Other Common Names: Musclewood, Ironwood, Blue Beech, Water Beech
Growing Zones: 3-9
Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 feet tall, with a similar spread
Flowering Season: Mid Spring to early Summer
Available at: Nature Hills
6. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
One of the toughest native trees in the US, the eastern red cedar can grow in varying climates and soil types, able to thrive practically anywhere. This is a knockout option for IN gardeners who want to establish a privacy screen on their property, but are struggling with dry, poor-quality soil.
If that isn’t enough this evergreen conifer (which is technically a juniper species, not a cedar!) is also quite attractive – its textured reddish bark, color-changing foliage, and bright blue fall and winter berries offer four seasons of visual interest. They grow fast and compact when planted in optimal conditions, which lends them to use as a privacy screen, windbreak, or shelterbelt.
Eastern red cedars do not need to be pruned or trimmed – they look their best in their natural pyramidal form. You do not need to be picky about growing conditions, but for best results plant these trees in rich, loamy, moist, well-draining soil.
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
7. Concolor Fir (Abies concolor)
The concolor fir is a native of the western United States and naturally occurs in rocky, mountainous areas, far above sea level. Despite that, you’ll be pleased to know that this attractive coniferous evergreen is highly adaptable and can grow in varying soil types.
This fir tree is notable for its naturally neat, pyramidal form and crisp blue-green needles with silver undertones. Its densely growing foliage and notable height make it an excellent candidate as a privacy tree or windbreak. It also makes a highly sophisticated specimen tree or focal point in the winter landscape.
Due to its naturally symmetrical growth habit, the concolor fir rarely needs pruning, and in fact, pruning may decrease its ornamental value. Though it is very adaptable, it grows best in acidic, well-draining soil with plenty of sunlight. Avoid planting in clay-based soil. Apply mulch in winter to protect this fir from extreme drops in temperature.
Other Common Names: White Fir, Rocky Mountain White Fir, Western White Fir, White Balsam, Colorado Fir, Colorado White Fir, Pino Real Blanco, Abeto Del Colorado
Growing Zones: 4-7
Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 feet tall, with a 15-20 foot spread
Fruiting Season: Early Fall
Maintain Your Privacy With These Trees
Privacy in your own home is priceless, and these privacy trees for Indiana are effective in providing seclusion and beauty to your overall property. From the neat evergreen false cypress to the unique native American hornbeam, these privacy trees will make a mark on your IN landscape.
For more useful species that will thrive in your climate, consider these hardy evergreen trees that you can grow in Indiana.
- 27 Best Trees to Plant in Indiana: Common & Native Varieties
- 8 Lush Shade Trees That Will Thrive in Indiana
- 7 Privacy Trees to Grow in Indiana (for Hedges, Rows & More)
- 8 Nut Trees to Grow in Indiana for Reliable Harvests
- 7 Evergreen Pine Trees You Can Grow or Find in Indiana
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.