Gardens are supposed to be private, so you can relax and temporarily escape the stresses of your fast-paced lives. The best way to achieve privacy in your garden is by planting privacy trees around the boundary of your property.
If you’ve already considered your USDA planting zone, you’ll want to know what kind of privacy trees you can grow around your property.
From screen trees or hedges, there’s a perfect kind for everyone residing in USDA Zone 6. So, welcome to hot summers and cold winters.
Here are some of the best USDA Zone 6 privacy trees.
6 Excellent Privacy Trees for USDA Zone 6
1. Leyland Cypress Tree (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)
Adorning private properties of GA, MA, and OH, the Leyland Cypress stands tall (or short!) in an attempt to keep peering eyes away. Although the Leyland Cypress is planted and trained as a hedge, it can be used as a screening tree for duplex properties with above-ground pergolas.
If you’re looking for fast-growing trees, the Leyland Cypress impresses with its 3 to 5 feet growth rate per year.
Its feathery dark bluish-green leaves are a testament to its beauty, but the Leyland Cypress is best suited for large lots due to its rapid growth and wide spread. In addition, it prefers moist, nutrient-rich soils and full sun (for at least six hours daily) to thrive.
As far as pruning is concerned, the tree naturally takes on a rounded or pyramid shape, but if you want to train it as a hedge, you’ll need to prune it accordingly.
Since Leyland Cypress doesn’t produce viable seeds, you’ll need to propagate it through root cuttings to grow them around your property. However, if you’re looking for evergreen trees for Zone 6, you can’t go wrong with the Leyland Cypress, which maintains its lush, dense foliage year-round.
Plant this tree in mid-fall when it’s dormant and pair it with daffodils, tulips, hostas, or chrysanthemums for a pop of color.
Other Common Names: Leylandii
Growing Zones: 6-10
Average Size at Maturity: 60-70 ft tall, 15-25 ft wide
2. Thuja Green Giant (Thuja standishii x plicata ‘Green Giant’)
Decorating WI and GA landscapes, the Thuja Green Giant is a popular choice among people for many reasons. It is drought-tolerant, evergreen, and a fast-growing tree with a growth rate of 3-5 feet a year!
In addition, the Thuja Green Giant, also known as the Western Red Cedar, is a perfect choice for privacy hedges as they’re low-maintenance and relatively pest-free.
In spring, these gentle giant’s needle-like leaves paint your landscape with a rich green hue, and in winter, they turn a darker, bronzer shade while still staying true to their green hue.
This evergreen conifer’s dense foliage infuses a touch of mystery while emitting a wonderful earthy scent in the air. This Zone 6 tree thrives in well-draining, moist soils, full sun (at least four hours daily), and light afternoon shade.
There are two ways to plant the Thuja Green Giant. You can grow them in a straight or a staggered row based on the space you have around your landscape.
As long as you maintain proper distance between each tree, you can achieve privacy at half the cost of fencing your property! Moreover, the Thuja Green Giant lives up to its name in that it can withstand heavy rains and snowfall, making it the perfect windbreak tree for the gustier climes.
Other Common Names: Western Red Cedar, Pacific Red Cedar, Giant Arborvitae, Western Arborvitae, Shinglewood, Giant Cedar, Green Giant Arborvitae
Growing Zones: 5-9
Average Size at Maturity: 50-60 ft tall, 12-20 ft wide
3. Nellie Stevens Holly Tree ( Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’)
Looking for an evergreen tree that works as privacy screens and hedges? The Nellie Stevens Holly is the perfect choice for rural and urban dwellers.
Decorating posh landscapes of OH, MA, and GA properties, this tree would have never existed if it wasn’t for Mrs. Nellie Robinson Stevens happy mistake! Mrs. Stevens planted a few Chinese berries she obtained from the U.S. Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C.
These berries helped pollinate her English holly, resulting in the Nellie Stevens Holly tree, a hybrid between the Chinese holly and the English holly.
This fast-growing tree grows up to 3 feet a year, thrives in moist, well-draining, and slightly acidic soils, and can even tolerate neglect. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s okay to neglect your plant! It means that Nellie Stevens Holly is forgiving if you miss an occasional watering or fertilizer schedule.
You can aggressively prune this tree to form any shape or height. If you don’t prune it, it’ll assume its natural pyramidal shape, which is a sight to behold! For a living wall, ensure there’s at least 5-6 feet of spacing between each Nellie Stevens Holly tree.
In springtime, the tree turns heads with delicate white flowers decorating its glossy deep green leaves. In fall, you’ll most definitely notice the ruby red berries that strike a beautiful contrast against the deep green leaves.
Other Common Names: Holly ‘Nellie R. Stevens’, Ilex ‘Nellie Stevens’, Ilex myrtifolia ‘Nellie R. Stevens’, Ilex aquifolium ‘Nellie Stevens’
Growing Zones: 6-9
Average Size at Maturity: 25 ft tall (when planted as part of a hedge), 8-15 ft wide
4. American Holly Tree (Ilex opaca)
Standing tall and proud, the American Holly is a favorite thanks to its dense foliage and bright red winter berries. From south MA to FL and west TX to MO, you’ll see these beauties bordering posh landscapes and private gardens.
When they’re not serving a breezy dish of privacy and nature, they’re busy becoming stunning Christmas decorations! American holly leaves and its festive berries are a staple in homes during Christmas and are often used to decorate and bring the Christmas spirit alive.
Taller than its English counterpart, this drought-tolerant tree makes for great privacy screens or hedges if you prune them right. If you leave them unpruned, they’ll assume their natural pyramidal shape and continue to tower.
The American Holly tree can thrive in conditions that other hollies cannot. While it prefers moist, well-draining, acidic soil, it can tolerate poor soil quality as long as it drains well.
Full sun (at least six hours daily) or partial shade is required for this tree to thrive. Pair American holly with a flowering tree or plants like hydrangeas, boxwood, clematis, or rhododendrons for a pop of color.
Although American holly leaves don’t litter, the tree’s berries attract birds as they’re a significant food source for our winged friends.
Other Common Names: Hummock holly, Dune holly, and Scrub holly
Growing Zones: 5-9
Average Size at Maturity: 40-50 ft tall, 20-35 ft wide
5. Whitespire Birch Tree (Betula populifolia ‘Whitespire’)
If you’re looking for Zone 6 shade trees, you can’t go wrong with the Whitespire Birch. Adorning backyard gardens and front yard patios of WI, some parts of AZ, and most of GA, the Whitespire Birch is a sight to behold.
Its chalky white bark stands out against its bright green leaves that turn sunset yellow in autumn. Introduced in 1983 by Edward R. Hasselkus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this drought-tolerant tree is easy to transplant.
These shade trees can transform into impressive privacy screens if you plant them in a natural grouping setting, each 7-15 feet apart. If you’d rather have a row of shade trees, ensure at least 15 feet of spacing between each tree. This tree prefers moist, well-draining soil and thrives in full sun (at least six hours daily) and partial shade.
As far as pruning is concerned, don’t prune this tree in winter or early spring, as it will bleed sap, making pruning a messy endeavor. It’s best to wait until all the leaves have fallen before you prune your tree.
Once established, the Whitespire Birch is low maintenance and can tolerate some neglect. Pair your tree with shrubs, perennials, ferns, or grasses for a pop of color.
Other Common Names: Asian White Birch, Japanese Gray Birch, Whitespire Japanese Birch
Growing Zones: 3-7
Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall, 20-25 ft wide
Available at: Nature Hills
6. Hollywood Juniper Tree (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Torulosa’)
Looking for an privacy tree that has a flair and style of its own? The Hollywood Juniper, with a flame-like structure, definitely fits the bill. Imported into the USA from Japan in the 1920s, today, this twisted beauty adorns GA, CA, MA, and WA landscapes.
This drought-tolerant tree’s gnarled and twisted growth habit isn’t suitable for creating a traditional hedge, but with creativity, it can be the perfect privacy screen your back and front yard needs.
The Hollywood Juniper is unlike any other trees we’ve listed above, but there’s a reason it deserves recognition. It’s incredibly hardy, can tolerate poor soil structures, is relatively pest-resistant, and is salt-tolerant.
It’s literally a powerhouse in a small, twisted package. Unfortunately, while these trees provide excellent privacy, planting them in a row won’t guarantee uniform shape as the crown shape and height varies greatly.
Regardless of the climate, the Hollywood Juniper’s scale-like leaves remain deep green, creating a stunning contrast against the tree’s tiny brown, green, and yellow flowers and round blue fruits.
To make the most of your tree, and to encourage its flame-like structure, don’t prune the tree and let it assume its natural fiery shape.
Hollywood Juniper requires moist, well-draining soil and full sun to thrive, as poor soil structures can cause root rot and bacterial blight. In addition, while it doesn’t attract birds, it can fall prey to mites and bagworms.
Other Common Names: Chinese juniper ‘Kaizuka,’ Hollywood juniper, Twisted juniper, Juniperus Chinensis var. kaizuka, Juniperus Chinensis var. torulosa, Chinese juniper ‘Torulosa’
Growing Zones: 5-9
Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall, 6-10 ft wide
Available at: Fast-Growing-Trees
Beautiful, Private, and Unique
The USDA Zone 6 climate is ideal for growing a number of fruit trees, a variety of flowering trees, and a myriad of privacy and shade trees! In our list, you learned about a variety of trees that provide excellent privacy screens, hedges, or both.
As excited as you are to propagate your cutting, remember some trees require more space and full sun to thrive. While many tolerate neglect, long-term neglect can cause irreversible damage to your plant.
Also, ensure the soil is moist and well-draining before growing your privacy trees to prevent the long-term adverse effects of poor soil structure.
- 15 Trees That Thrive in USDA Hardiness Zone 6
- 10 Evergreen Trees for USDA Zone 6 Yards & Landscapes
- 3 Cold Hardy Palm Trees for USDA Zone 6
- 8 Fast Growing Trees for USDA Zone 6
- 7 Nut Trees That Crop Reliably in USDA Zone 6
Lakeisha grew up in East Africa, literally surrounded by nature which sparked her interest in learning more about trees and plants from a very young age.
She belongs to a family of gardeners, so for her, gardening is a way of life, a tradition she’s proud to uphold. As a self-taught gardener, Lakeisha has successfully grafted trees to produce hybrids for gardens and landscapes.
When she’s not gardening, she’s writing about her experience with nature or watching baking fails!