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9 Tall Skinny Privacy Trees to Transform Your Yard into a Peaceful Retreat

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Written By Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

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Home » Privacy Trees » 9 Tall Skinny Privacy Trees to Transform Your Yard into a Peaceful Retreat

If you are short on open space but want a privacy tree, choose one of the many columnar trees.

These trees don’t spread very wide, so despite sometimes growing very tall, they have a narrow footprint, allowing them to fit into tight spaces.

They will block out those unsightly views or nosy neighbors without taking up a lot of room.

Let’s take a look at nine tall, skinny, privacy trees you can grow in your yard!

9 Beautiful Tall Skinny Privacy Trees for Your Yard

1. Italian Cypress – Cupressus sempervirens

Italian Cypress is a fantastic choice for an incredibly tall, skinny privacy tree. These gorgeous cypress trees are evergreen, providing year-round privacy.

While they will grow to 40 feet tall, they can be pruned to any height you wish, and at only 5 feet wide, you can plant them in rows or singly to fit in the smallest of spaces.

These fast-growing trees grow up to 3 feet yearly, so you can quickly increase your property value and privacy.

Italian Cypress are sun- and heat-loving trees that tolerate nearly any soil type and urban conditions but are not very cold-tolerant.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 – 10
  • Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 40 ft tall, 4 – 5 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

2. Taylor Juniper Tree – Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’

The Taylor Juniper Tree is popular for its dense, rich green columnar canopy of evergreen leaves.

Although not growing as tall, these trees appear similar to the popular Italian Cypress. However, this gorgeous beauty thrives in frigid winters down to USDA Zone 3, giving it its other common name, Italian Cypress of the North.

These make great skinny privacy trees grown next to your home or as a border tree around your property or driveway.

Taylor Juniper Trees grow best in full sun in any moist or well-drained soil and are drought-tolerant once established.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 20 ft tall, 2 – 4 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

3. Sky Tower Ginkgo Tree – Ginkgo biloba ‘JN9’

The lovely Sky Tower Ginkgo Tree is a unique compact columnar form of the popular ancient Ginkgo tree.

It has an incredibly dense and rich canopy of lush green fan-shaped leaves that flutter attractively in the slightest breeze and provide excellent summer shade and privacy before turning a brilliant glowing shade of yellow in the fall.

Best grown in full sun, these hardy trees will tolerate any well-drained soil and urban pollution. They’re also incredibly long-lived and disease and pest-resistant. And since all Sky Tower Ginkgo Trees are male trees, they won’t produce any messy fruits.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 – 8
  • Average Size at Maturity: 15 – 20 ft tall, 6 – 10 ft spread
  • Flowering / Fruiting Season: Inconspicuous small flowers bloom in spring; male trees produce no fruits

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Blue Arrow Juniper – Juniperus scopulorum ‘Blue Arrow’

Blue Arrow Juniper - Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' Trees
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees

The Blue Arrow Juniper is another tall, skinny evergreen privacy tree, but this one has scale-like leaves that are a stunning shade of blue-green, sure to pop out in any landscape.

Thanks to their narrow form, you can plant several of them to create a stunning blue-green privacy screen or windbreak that won’t take up much space.

Like most juniper trees, they produce small berry-like seed cones in the fall that invite birds to your yard, using the tree for winter shelter while they feast on the seeds.

Blue Arrow Junipers are highly adaptable trees but perform best in full sun.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 8
  • Average Size at Maturity: 16 – 20 ft tall, 2 – 4 ft spread
  • Fruiting Season: Attractive berry-like seed cones mature in fall and persist through winter

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

5. Blue Weeping Alaskan Cedar – Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Glauca Pendula’

The Blue Weeping Alaskan Cedar is a gorgeous cedar tree with weeping branches and glaucous blue-green scale-like leaves.

It grows tall but maintains a fairly narrow form, allowing it to fit in smaller spaces where it will provide year-round privacy thanks to its evergreen leaves.

As its Alaskan Cedar name implies, it is incredibly cold tolerant, thriving down to USDA Zone 3, handling snow and ice equally well.

While often grown in full sun, these trees will also handle a significant amount of shade. They prefer moist, well-drained soil and will benefit from some mulch to keep their roots moist.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 7
  • Average Size at Maturity: 30 – 35 ft tall, 10 – 15 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees

6. Lombardy Poplar – Populus nigra ‘Italica’

The Lombardy Poplar wins hands down for an incredibly fast-growing, tall, skinny, deciduous privacy tree.

Like other poplar trees, this tree will grow as much as 6 feet in a single year, but its narrow columnar habit makes it the perfect privacy screen or border tree to give you fast privacy while taking up little space.

It’s not only functional; the Lombardy Poplar is also beautiful with its big, heart-shaped leaves that rustle in the wind, muffling traffic sounds while flashing their attractive silvery undersides. In fall, they turn a bright, classic shade of attractive yellow.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 40 – 60 ft tall, 10 – 15 ft spread
  • Flowering Season: Inconspicuous flowers emerge in spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

7. Willow Hybrid Tree – Salix x matsudana x alba

Willow Hybrid Tree - Salix x matsudana x alba Hedge
Image via Fast-Growing-Trees

The gorgeous Willow Hybrid Tree is a deciduous privacy tree that will grow quite tall but maintains a very narrow form, spreading only 10 feet wide and making it highly suitable for planting in rows as a privacy screen or border.

Willow Hybrid Trees grow exceptionally fast, up to 6 feet per year. So it will block out unsightly views or nosy neighbors in record time.

Being a willow tree, it thrives in almost any climate, weather, or soil type, even wet soil, allowing you to plant it and forget about it.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 – 9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 35 – 45 ft (to 75 ft) tall, 5 – 10 ft spread
  • Flowering: Inconspicuous flowers emerge in spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

8. Emerald Green Arborvitae – Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald Green’

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is an excellent choice for a medium-sized privacy screen. They are lush and dense but don’t get too tall or wide.

This means you can plant them in privacy screens, hedges, or borders to create gorgeous green privacy with a neat and tidy tree that will never need pruning to maintain its shape.

Its compact form means you can also plant Emerald Green Arborvitae next to foundations or in any tight area in your landscape.

These highly adaptable trees grow in various soils, climates, and moisture conditions.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 – 8
  • Average Size at Maturity: 10 – 15 ft tall, 3 – 4 ft spread

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

9. Loblolly Pine Tree – Pinus taeda

If you have a larger yard and want a fast-growing tall evergreen that spreads a bit wider than the others discussed, the Loblolly Pine is an excellent choice.

While they will grow to impressive heights, they are single-trunked trees with a tall canopy, so they don’t take up much width in your yard compared to their impressive height.

They would make a great privacy tree, shade tree, or windbreak.

Loblolly Pines are native to the Eastern USA, where they thrive in various conditions, including riparian areas and other wet, poorly drained, acidic clay soils that are difficult for most trees.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 6 – 9
  • Average Size at Maturity: 60 – 80 ft tall, 30 – 35 ft spread
  • Flowering / Fruiting Season: Pollen cones mature in spring; seed cones mature in the following year’s fall.

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

Comparison Table of Tall & Skinny Privacy Trees

No.Tree NameUSDA Growing ZonesAverage Size at MaturityKey Features
1Italian Cypress8 – 1030-40 ft tall, 4-5 ft spreadEvergreen, fast-growing, sun-loving
2Taylor Juniper3 – 915-20 ft tall, 2-4 ft spreadDense green canopy, cold-hardy, drought-tolerant
3Sky Tower Ginkgo5 – 815-20 ft tall, 6-10 ft spreadUnique fan-shaped leaves, long-lived, pest-resistant
4Blue Arrow Juniper4 – 816-20 ft tall, 2-4 ft spreadBlue-green leaves, adaptable, produces seed cones
5Blue Weeping Alaskan Cedar3 – 730-35 ft tall, 10-15 ft spreadWeeping branches, cold tolerant, prefers moist soil
6Lombardy Poplar3 – 940-60 ft tall, 10-15 ft spreadFast-growing, heart-shaped leaves, autumn yellow foliage
7Willow Hybrid4 – 935-45 ft (to 75 ft) tall, 5-10 ft spreadExceptionally fast growth, adaptable to various soils
8Emerald Green Arborvitae3 – 810-15 ft tall, 3-4 ft spreadCompact, dense, adaptable to various conditions
9Loblolly Pine6 – 960-80 ft tall, 30-35 ft spreadImpressive height, native to Eastern USA, tolerates wet soils

Tall Skinny Privacy Trees That Will Fit in Tight Spots

I hope you enjoyed learning about some of the tall, skinny privacy trees that you can grow in tight spots in your yard but still give you the privacy you want.

When choosing a tree, ensure you know what USDA Planting Zone you are in, and check out how to pick a tree for your yard for more information on choosing the right tree for the right spot.

Now for the fun part: choosing your next tree(s)!

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Lyrae Willis

Environmental Scientist & Plant Ecologist

Lyrae grew up in the forests of BC, Canada, where she got a BSc. in Environmental Sciences. Her whole life, she has loved studying plants, from the tiniest flowers to the most massive trees. She is currently researching native plants of North America and spends her time traveling, hiking, documenting, and writing. When not researching, she is homeschooling her brilliant autistic son, who travels with her and benefits from a unique hands-on education about the environment around him.