Q. What can I plant to screen my back yard from neighboring property?

The yard is 45 feet wide. I'd like to create a screen 18-24 feet tall.


To screen out neighboring property, a small to medium-sized tree may be best. A large tree can eventually grow too big for your space. If you have a fence at the property edge that could block light from reaching lower branches, a tree without low branches would be ideal. As evergreens feature low branches, you may want to avoid planting an evergreen.

Here are some suitable candidates: 

A good spreading tree that matures to 20 feet high and wide is a beautiful crabapple tree, Malus x moerlandsii ‘Profusion’.

Another tree with a spreading shape is kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa). (picture)  

Clumping bamboo will only grow 12-16 feet high, depending on the cultivar.  

Paperbark maple (Acer griseum) reaches 20-30 feet in height, with a spread one half that. An interesting feature of this handsome tree is its exfoliating bark.

If you visit NYBG and look at trees, you may get some other ideas. Visitor phone information to check on free entrance times is (718) 817-8088. 

Hope this helps.


For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service

  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 23
  • Answered By Anita Finkle

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