There are a number of popular plants, shrubs and trees which you can use for a means of privacy in your garden – many avid gardeners enjoy the project of maintaining and sculpting literal walls from hedges; where others can turn a simple wicker framework or wooden fence into a stunning focal point, or unorthodox flowerbed.
This isn’t for everybody, though, granted. Luckily, for those who want a simple solution to the matter of privacy in the garden and have neither the time, nor energy to maintain these more taxing methods, there is a simple solution: the Thuja tree.
Why the Thuja tree?
The Thuja tree (often colloquially referred to as the ‘green giant’ and formally titled a ‘hybrid arborvitae’ species) is a popular choice for privacy for an assortment of reasons. Predominantly, the tree adheres well to just about any soil condition; which can be a true make or break situation with most plants, and is resilient to most diseases.
The tree quickly spans out and rapidly reaches impressive heights; in fact, they’ve been known to escalate as quickly as five feet per year. Additionally, you can safely plant them in close proximity to other trees of the same or similar species – this is partly due to their conical, tapered shape and also to do with the root system of the tree. Advice is to plant at least five feet apart when constructing a barrier of sorts.
Further still, the Thuja tree is an evergreen tree, meaning once it reaches maturity and spreads its branches a little, you’ll have this guaranteed privacy wall all year round, and not simply during the habitable summer months (DoItYourself.com). It is unlikely that you will have to prune the tree or clip its branches, as it tends to take up limited space in its full branch spread, although this is susceptible to change, depending on the environment and other circumstances.
What things must I look out for when using the Thuja tree for privacy?
It can often be quite easy to simply plant and then forget the maintenance side of your garden, especially with such a fast growing evergreen. This being said, though, there are some issues to be wary of with the Thuja tree.
Although the Thuja, and other Arborvitae, trees are fairly adaptable to most climates, it’s important that you first research the garden or hardiness zone you live in, and whether or not this may hinder its growth.
Giving it enough space
Planting too close will not give the roots of your trees enough room to spread out and make firm foundations. This will hinder the overall strength and healthiness of your tree in general, and leave it susceptible to strong winds or poor weather conditions .
Make sure to plant and prune in the spring
Although the Thuja traditionally needs very little pruning, as stated above, if your tree does require a little trim here or there, make sure to do it in the spring months – when the climate will be in a balance between the cold of winter and the warmth of summer. This is similarly so for the initial planting of your tree, too.
Be wary of the eventual height
Privacy may be what you seek, but be wary of how tall these trees can become, in a short while. If planted in abundance, you may run the risk of ruining the atmosphere of your garden with an imposing, daunting one with high walled trees.
When all is said and done, there are few methods which better meet the requirements of garden privacy than the Thuja tree. Quick growing, fairly low maintenance and longstanding – if planted correctly – this tree could be the answer to your desire for a little secrecy.