Privacy Trees

There are many different evergreens that can be used for privacy reasons – the following are the 3 most popular on Long Island:


The green giant arborvitae is a large, vigorous, fast-growing evergreen—shooting up by as much as 3 to 4 feet per year until maturity. The green giant arborvitae grows to a height of 50–60′ and a spread of 12–20′ at maturity.

 Its natural pyramidal to conical form boasts dense, rich green foliage that darkens or bronzes slightly in the winter.

This is an exceptional landscape tree for use as a screen, hedge, or single specimen. It is also resistant to wind once established and can withstand heavy ice or snow, making it a good choice for a natural windbreak.

  • Requires little or no pruning but can be sheared easily if necessary.
  • Should be planted 5–6′ apart for a screen or hedge.
  • Has no serious disease or pest problems.
  • Features tiny, scale-like, glossy green leaves that are packed closely together in overlapping rows on divided branchlets, displaying in a flattened, fan-like spray.
  • Tolerates wind once established and withstands heavy ice or snow, making it a good choice for a fast-growing windbreak.
  • Shows better resistance to browsing by deer than most arborvitae.
  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.


The Emerald Green arborvitae tree has a narrow pyramid shape. The foliage consists of flat sprays of glossy bright green. These trees grow about 1 to 2 feet per year and are 7 to 15 feet in height at maturity.

This is a very popular plant for hedges and screens, especially in colder climates. It can also make a good foundation plant and is sometimes planted singly as a landscape ornamental tree.

  • Grows in a pyramidal shape.
  • Does not discolor in winter like other arborvitae.
  • Features tiny, scale-like, lustrous foliage that displays as a flattened, fan-like, vertical spray.
  • Can be pruned.
  • Should be planted 2 apart for a screen.
  • Works well as a specimen or accent, for hedges and privacy screens.
  • Prefers full-sun.


Noted for its rapid growth and slender shape, the Leyland cypress is one of the most popular privacy trees. It grows well in a wide variety of soil and climate conditions and makes an excellent wind break, as it provides a dense barrier with good color all 12 months of the year.  It also beautifies the landscape around homes, across campuses, and in parks.

The Leyland cypress can grow to a height of 40’ + and a spread of 15–25′ at maturity. This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of 3-4’ per year.

  • One of the fastest growing evergreens
  • Is a popular choice for hedges and boundaries but requires annual pruning.
  • Can be pruned and shaped repeatedly without harm.
  • “Christmas” tree shaped tree