9 Evergreen Privacy Trees for USDA Zone 10

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Written By Shannon Campbell

Off-Grid Gardener & Food Forager

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Few trees are as useful as privacy trees.

They provide security and structure for your property, separating your home from surrounding houses and blocking any unappealing views from the outside. They can even be used to cover and tidy any unsightly areas on your own property!

Evergreen trees are some of the most effective types of privacy trees, as they maintain their leaves in every season, so you always have blocks of foliage to shield your home. It is a powerful combo to choose when establishing a new property in USDA hardiness zone 10.

When you’re choosing plants for your landscape, don’t look past these evergreen zone 10 privacy trees.

9 Evergreen Zone 10 Privacy Trees

1. Murray Cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Murray’)

Murray Cypress
Image via Nature Hills

A fast-growing multi-purpose evergreen, the Murray Cypress is a natural choice for zone 10 gardeners who want to establish a dense, reliable privacy screen or hedge around their property.

With its bright green foliage, narrow columnar habit, and solid branch structure it is an ideal variety of evergreen privacy tree.

Beyond its looks and shape the Murray Cypress also has plenty of other beneficial features. It is fast-growing with an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 feet, so you’ll have a decently-sized screen in no time.

Though it is often compared to the more popular Leyland Cypress, it is more pest and disease-resistant and more adaptable to different growing conditions.

Once established, the Murray Cypress can grow in a range of growing conditions, however, it does have preferences. For best results choose a wind-sheltered location for this tree with full sun and rich, moist, well-draining soil.

USDA Growing Zones: 6-10

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 feet tall, with a 6-10 foot spread

Flowering Season: N/A

Available at: Nature Hills

2. Curry Leaf Tree (Murraya koenigii)

Curry Leaf Tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Curry Leaf tree would not be the first choice of evergreen privacy tree for many gardeners, but you might be surprised by this tropical tree’s versatility. Grown as a small tree or shrub, the curry leaf tree is native to South Asia and is best known for its use as a culinary ingredient.

The leaves of this tree are highly aromatic, hence their use as an edible spice, but they are also compound and graceful.

Overall, the nodding frond-like foliage of this tree is highly attractive. Since the curry leaf is evergreen and can be grown as a spreading shrub, it can be used as a privacy screen or hedge. It also makes an appealing houseplant.

The Curry Leaf tree will grow best in a climate that mimics its native tropical environment. Grow it in full sun and fertile, well-draining soil with an acidic pH.

Other Common Names: Sweet Neem, Black Neem, Curry Leaf, Curry Plant

USDA Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 6-15 feet tall, with a 12-14 foot spread

Flowering Season: Flowers should bloom sporadically throughout the year

Available at: Nature Hills

3. Shrubby Yew Podocarpus (Podocarpus macrophyllus ‘Maki’)

Shrubby Yew Podocarpus
Image by Wendy Cutler via Flickr

Purpose-fit for privacy, the Shrubby Yew podocarpus is a perfect cultivar for zone 10 gardeners who want to block any unsightly views outside of their property. It has a narrow, conical form, and with just a 4-5 foot width it is perfect for smaller properties.

It can be grown as a spruce-like shrub, or the lower limbs can be removed to create a small, attractive tree. It has soft, feathery evergreen foliage that makes it easier to prune and provides year-round color and fine texture. As it matures its shape will become more rounded and oval.

Though it is mostly planted as a hedge, screen, or windbreak, the Shrubby Yew is also very well-suited as a houseplant according to the NC State Extension, due to its tolerance to low light. However, indoor Shrubby Yew may develop scale.

Plant this evergreen in full sun to partial shade with rich, moist, well-draining soil that has an acidic pH.

Other Common Names: Maki Yew Pine, Shrubby Yew Podocarpus, Chinese Podocarpus

USDA Growing Zones: 7-11

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 feet tall, with a 4-5 foot spread

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees & Nature Hills

4. Compact Carolina Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana ‘Compacta’)

Compact Carolina Cherry Laurel
Image via Nature Hills

A very desirable evergreen cultivar for warmer regions is the Compact Carolina cherry laurel. With its lustrous evergreen leaves, upright habit, dense foliage, and highly fragrant spring flowers it is an attractive and versatile landscaping tree.

To get the most out of the Compact Carolina use it as a privacy hedge, dense barrier, or windbreak. It is only half the height and width of the Carolina cherry laurel, so gardeners with small properties will also find it a fitting privacy tree.

This Cherry Laurel cultivar has plenty of other useful traits. It is tolerant to heat, wind, and drought, and it can handle fairly heavy pruning and shearing so you can shape it into a more ornamental look, or to fit a specific space.

Plant the Compact Carolina in full sun and moist, well-draining soil with a neutral to acidic pH.

USDA Growing Zones: 7-10

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

Flowering Season: Spring to Early Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

5. Ray Hartman California Lilac (Ceanothus x ‘Ray Hartman’)

Ray Hartman California Lilac
Image via Nature Hills

A chance cultivated hybrid discovered in the 1940s, the Ray Hartman California lilac was named after the man who found it. And what a discovery!

This broad-leaved evergreen shrub is an absolute gem with dark rounded leaves, vigorous growth, and clusters of stunning violet-blue flowers that appear toward the end of winter, or the beginning of spring.

According to the UC Davis Arboretum, this cultivar is the very best ceanothus tree for landscape gardening. It will attract pollinators to your garden with their sweet blooms and can be planted as a hedge, screen, or specimen plant, or as part of a backdrop or shrub border.

The Ray Hartman California lilac is decently resistant to drought and salt spray, making it a good option for coastal gardens. It is low maintenance and will tolerate a range of difficult growing conditions, including poor soil, as long as it has plenty of sun and good drainage.

USDA Growing Zones: 9-10

Average Size at Maturity: 12-20 feet tall, with a 10-20 foot spread

Flowering Season: Late Winter and Early Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

6. Burkwood Osmanthus (Osmanthus x burkwoodii)

Burkwood Osmanthus
Image by Andy / Andrew Fogg via Flickr

Get the best of both worlds with the Burkwood Osmanthus, which can be put to work as a highly effective privacy screen while also being an attractive flowering tree that adds ornamental appeal to your landscape.

Its clusters of white spring flowers are particularly lovely, with their color, heavenly sweet fragrance, and appeal to local pollinators.

The Burkwood Osmanthus is an Asian hybrid in the olive family. It is a large, rounded shrub with small evergreen leaves and tightly growing branches that lend it well to use as a screen and hedge. It is an excellent tool for separating different parts of your property and for use as a backdrop.

This slow-growing shrub will do best in full sun conditions with well-draining soil. It will tolerate a range of adverse conditions, such as pollution, drought, clay, and alkaline soil.

Other Common Names: Chinese Osmanthus

USDA Growing Zones: 7-10

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

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

7. Romeo Cleyera (Cleyera japonica ‘Variegata’)

Romeo Cleyera
Image via Nature Hills

With a compact and upright growth habit, and bold, showy foliage, the Romeo Cleyera is a cultivar worth considering when you’re planning to establish privacy on your zone 10 property.

Most notable are its green leaves, with yellow variegation on the margins that turn to pink in fall. Thankfully its foliage is evergreen, so you can enjoy its eye-catching color all year through. With its tight branching and naturally neat, uniform figure, it remains a versatile tool for landscape gardeners.

Plant it as a decorative hedge, or specimen, or use it to fill space between other plants in your backyard.

The Romeo Cleyera is also extraordinarily easygoing and low-maintenance, so if you’re a somewhat inexperienced tree grower this could be the option for you. Well-draining soil is the most important element to provide when choosing a location for these shrubs. Plant in full sun or partial shade.

USDA Growing Zones: 7-10

Average Size at Maturity: 6-8 feet tall, with a 5-6 foot spread

Flowering Season: N/A

Available at: Nature Hills

8. Laurustinus Viburnum (Viburnum tinus)

Laurustinus Viburnum
Image by pete beard via Flickr

Next, we have the Laurustinus Viburnum, a bushy evergreen shrub with dark oval leaves and a compact but vigorous, rounded growth habit.

In spring it is decorated with clouds of tiny pinkish-white flowers that appear early and last the entire season. These are then followed by ornamental blue berries that will feed your local birds in the fall.

While a natural choice for privacy screens and hedging, these Mediterranean natives also work well as foundation plants, windbreaks, single ornamental specimen trees, and more.

The Laurustinus Viburnum is a heat-lover, doing best in zones 8 to 10, and is moderately drought tolerant and resistant to most serious pest and disease issues.

They grow best in full sun to partial shade, with rich, fertile, well-draining soil with an acidic to neutral pH. If you can’t meet these exact conditions don’t stress, this tree is very easygoing and can adapt to a range of soil types.

USDA Growing Zones: 8-10

Average Size at Maturity: 6-12 feet tall, with a 5-10 foot spread

Flowering Season: Through Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

9. Fern Podocarpus (Podocarpus gracilior)

Fern Podocarpus
Image via Nature Hills

One of the most excellent landscaping trees for zone 10 is the Fern Podocarpus, a native of East Africa. This tall evergreen tree is named for the soft, fern-like texture of its foliage, which adds year-round color, texture, and softness to your backyard.

It has an open canopy, and strong branching, and its foliage grows in densely packed clusters that contribute to its use as a privacy tree.

The Fern Podocarpus has a number of uses, with privacy being the number one amongst gardeners and homeowners. It can be grown in rows as a tall hedge or screen, or as a singular dense privacy tree to block a specific view. Otherwise, consider using it as a shade tree, specimen, topiary, or in a border.

Plant the Fern Podocarpus in full sun or partial shade and rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH.

Other Common Names: African Fern Pine, Common Yellowwood, Bastard Yellowwood, Outeniqua Yellowwood

USDA Growing Zones: 9-11

Average Size at Maturity: 40-50 feet tall, with a 20-25 foot spread

Flowering Season: N/A

Available at: Nature Hills

Vibrant Trees And Shrubs for Year-Round Privacy

Plant dense hedges and soundproof barriers, create formidable property lines, or use single large trees to cover specific areas. Whatever you choose to do with your privacy trees, you’ll be glad you planted these robust evergreens on your property.

And with their year-long color and texture, they’ll keep your garden looking lively in every season.

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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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