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We’ve talked about the benefits of trees and how they add so much value and so many benefits to a commercial property. Trees are a definite boon to any Atlanta commercial landscape.

But trees can also be excellent screens when it comes to beautifying the less-than-beautiful areas of a typical commercial property. We’re talking about dumpster locations, utility or loading areas, roadways or highways, and neighboring properties that aren’t too attractive.

In addition to bringing aesthetics to a less-than-pleasing view, a privacy screen can help block wind and save on energy costs, as well as block unwanted noise. Evergreens make some of the best privacy screen trees because they are green all year long.

Here are our selections for the best evergreen trees for an outdoor privacy screen on your commercial property.

Cryptomeria or Japanese Cedar

Japanese Cedar Is One Of The Best Evergreen Trees For An Outdoor Privacy Screen

Cryptomeria is a stylish tree that has an increased variety of landscape uses. Not only do these trees add ornamental value to the landscape, but they also make an excellent privacy screen. The foliage of cryptomeria is dark green and feathery, which offers good contrast to blue-leafed evergreens.

Cryptomeria thrives on full sun to partial shade and any well-drained soil. Since these trees can reach 50 to 60 feet tall and spread 20 to 30 feet, we like to space them 5 to 6 feet apart for a dense privacy screen or perimeter planting. As far as maintenance goes, these beauties are relatively maintenance-free.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress Is One Of The Best Evergreen Trees For An Outdoor Privacy Screen

Leyland Cypresses are fast-growing, dense evergreens that provide an effective privacy screen. Growing best in moist conditions with full sun, these trees have gray-green, flattened foliage on narrow, upright branches.

They grow 10 to 15 feet wide. As a result, we like to space these 5 to 7 feet apart to provide a close-knit hedge. These trees can grow 60 to 70 feet tall when left to grow unrestricted, so some light pruning for desired height and shape is usually necessary.

Eastern Red Cedar

Eastern Red Cedar Is One Of The Best Evergreen Trees For An Outdoor Privacy Screen

Eastern Red Cedars can grow 40 feet high. The needles of the tree are soft and have a pleasant scent. For visual interest, the female trees produce tiny, spiked blooms and blue berries that the birds enjoy, while the males carry small pine cones. The tree has a pyramid shape with blue to blue-green colored leaves that overlap and make a nice dense cover. We like to space these trees considering a 10 to 20 foot spread for a screen.

Nellie R. Stevens Holly

Nellie R. Stevens Holly Is One Of The Best Evergreen Trees For An Outdoor Privacy Screen

Choose this tree for its naturally dense, broad pyramidal shape and glossy, dark green color that is among the darkest of the plants. As a bonus, this tree produces small white flowers in the spring, which allow it to pollinate and produce an abundance of vivid, red berries in summer. Great drought tolerance makes this a good addition to any Atlanta commercial property.

These hollies typically grow to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide and grow pretty quickly—3 feet per year. We often use it as a screen because the foliage grows thickly from the ground to the top of the plant. We prune these trees to make a tall hedge. The holly’s mature width is 10 to 15 feet wide so we plant them 4 to 7 feet apart.

Shade Lovers: Camellia Japonica & Magnolia

Camellia Japonica Is One Of The Best Evergreen Trees For An Outdoor Privacy Screen

While the four trees we just covered are great for areas of full sun, we can’t forget about those trees that make great privacy screens in shadier areas. In shade, we like to use Camellia Japonica, an evergreen shrub with brilliant yellow-green or deep-green foliage and small red or yellow flowers in spring. It grows 7 to 12 feet high and 5 to 10 feet wide, so we like to plant them 5 feet apart.

Another option for shady areas with some space for growth is the magnolia. Little Gem magnolias grow to 20 feet and have small, lustrous, dark green leaves with a fuzzy bronze or brown color on the bottom and 4-inch to 6-inch white flowers throughout the growing season. They make a smaller privacy screen, while Southern magnolias create a taller screen—reaching about 60 to 90 feet in height and 30 to 40 feet in width.

Need Help Choosing The Best Evergreen Trees An Outdoor Privacy Screen?

Trees up that are 6 feet to 7 feet tall will cost a few hundred dollars, while the larger 15-foot to 16-foot trees can cost up to $1,000. Installation costs can increase as well if accessibility to the planting site is more challenging or requires extra equipment.

Choosing the right trees that will have consistent growth and full foliage throughout the year is essential in creating the best privacy screens. HighGrove Partners’ team of commercial tree care professionals can help you create the most aesthetically pleasing and practical privacy screen on your commercial property. Give us a call at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our 2015 Commercial Property Trends Report below for more tips and trends to help your commercial property become more attractive, more comfortable and more sustainable this year and for years to follow.

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Images: Japanese cedar, Leyland cypress, Eastern red cedar, Holly, Camellia japonica

Last modified: May 18, 2015