Planting, Uncategorized

The Best Trees & Shrubs For A Privacy Screen

The Best Trees & Shrubs For A Privacy Screen image

If your garden or yard has neighbors or just lacks privacy in general, you may want to put up a privacy screen. But there’s no need to lose any of the beauty of your garden to ugly looking screens, you can use natural screens instead.

Trees and Shrubs make great natural privacy screens, not only providing you with the privacy you need but also adding to the overall garden. But which trees and shrubs do this best? We at The Trail Creek Nursery have put together this short guide for you on The Best Trees & Shrubs To Use As A Privacy Screen.


First up, let’s start with Trees. There are ten trees in total that make for great privacy screens.

  1. Eastern Redcedar – These trees are large enabling full privacy coverage. It also has an appealing rugged look which makes it a great addition to any garden and gives off an earthy fragrance which attracts local birds and wildlife. Furthermore, it’s year-long durability makes it ideal for providing privacy whatever the season or weather.
  2. Hybrid Willow – These trees are fast-growing, growing at an annual rate of 6-12 feet. They are disease-resistant, making them very durable and they even grow well in cold environments and seasons. Their appearance can enhance any garden.
  3. Leyland Cypress – These are perhaps the most popular tree choice for providing privacy. They grow fast and if planted in a row create an impenetrable line of branches, not only screening noise and stopping nosey neighbors, but also keeping wind and snow out. Not forgetting, they’re also incredibly beautiful!
  4. Spartan Juniper – Whilst the three trees before are large and provide full coverage for even the largest of yards/gardens, the Spartan Juniper is best for medium-sized environments. When planted in a row they not only look great and almost uniformed like (imagine soldiers in a line) but they act as great wind-breakers too.
  5. Sky Pencil Holly – Like the Spartan Juniper, the Sky Pencil Holly is best for smaller gardens and yards. Growing to a width of only 2 feet, the Sky Pencil Holly is great for filling even the smallest of gaps in any environments – keeping the wind, noise and wandering eyes out!
  6. Green Giant Thuja – Another very popular tree, the Green Giant Thuja (as the name suggests) grows very tall – up to 3-40 feet when fully grown. As such the can be commonly found in larger gardens and yards, and do a great job all year round of protecting everything inside. They are often trimmed at the tops to give off a french renaissance feel, but they look just as good when left to mature naturally.
  7. Emerald Green Thuja – Whilst sharing the same family as the Green Giant, Emerald Green is better suited to smaller landscapes and environments. That said, the Emerald Green still provides all of the classic beauty of it’s bigger cousin.
  8. Flowering Dogwood – The Flowering Dogwood brings all the benefits of many of the other trees in this list, including year-long protection and coverage. But it also brings radiant and varying colors including white, pink and red which makes a nice change from the greens of all of the other trees listed. The Dogwood also grows berries which attracts local robins, cardinals and blue jays to the garden they protect.
  9. Weeping Podocrapus – Another popular privacy choice, the Weping Podocrapus grows fast and tall, making them ideal for larger landscapes and gardens. Their plush, billowing foliage keeps the environment they look over safe from wind, weather and of course unwanted eyes.
  10. Goldspire Ginkgo – As the name suggests, the Goldspire Ginkgo leaves are gold & yellow – but only in the fall. They do however provide all year round protection and are the right size for small to medium sized gardens & yards. They have a unique and natural narrow and pyramidal shape during the summer-time, which makes them a thing of beauty too!


Shrubs also make for great privacy screens, especially for the smaller gardens or yards. Privacy shrubs come in three categories:

  1. Dedicuous Shrubs – Shrubs that loses its leaves at the end of the season. Despite this, many still make for good year long protection, if not losing much of it’s beauty.
  2. Evergreen Shrubs – Shrubs that do not lose their leaves at the end of the season – so they maintain their beauty AND protection all year round.
  3. Invasive Shrubs – These are shrubs that provide good protection, but grow and fast. Whilst this growth may seem good at first, invasive shrubs are so named because they grow everywhere and easily get out of control if not properly maintained. As long as they are properly and regularly maintained however, they are still a viable option.

Dedicuous Shrubs that are great for privacy & protection include; Redtwig Dogwood, Mock Orange, Lilac, Forsythia, Cotoneaster, Beautyberry, Diablo Nineback, Pussy Willow and Loropetalum.

Evergreen Shrubs that are perfect at providing privacy include; Arbovitae, Yew and Hemlock.

Invasive Shrubs that safeguard your garden or yard (providing they’re properly maintained! Include; Burning Bush, Barberry, Butterfly Bush, Lantana and Privet.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful – as you can see you’re spoilt for choice for when it comes to finding suitable trees & shrubs to form privacy screens. And best yet, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for security as all of the trees & shrubs listed would enhance and add to even the most Eden-like garden!

hardy shrub roses

Hardy Shrub Roses For High Elevations

Hardy shrub roses can and should be planted in our area whenever possible.

Roses are often overlooked as being fussy and complicated to care for. In fact, they can be as easy to care for as any other flowering shrub. Most modern shrub roses repeat bloom all season, and many are fragrant and disease resistant. There is a shrub rose for every landscape.

Hardy shrub roses are also sometimes referred to as shrub, landscape, or old-fashioned.

Hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, and tree roses are all non-hardy roses. In order be classified as a hardy shrub rose, the plant must be able to reliably survive the winter without any special protection. Winter damage can be as minimal as a few dead tips on branches or as severe as the canes dying back to the ground. This is dependent on the severity of the winter, and the specific variety of shrub rose.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns…or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

All roses should be grown where they will receive full to part sun and good air circulation.

We recommend mulching with compost every fall. This will provide nutrients for the roses, help with moisture retention, prevent weeds and provide some winter protection.

Spring pruning will be necessary.

After the snow melts, look at the canes to determine how much winter damage they have sustained. It is best if the damage is pruned out before the new growth begins to emerge. Even if the rose dies back to the ground, it should grow back bigger and better than the previous year.

The roses at the nursery are just starting to bud and bloom. Most of them will continue until frost. Some of our favorites include ‘Therese Bugnet,’ ‘William Baffin’, ‘Cuthbert Grant,’ ‘Winnepeg Parks,’ ‘Henry Kelsey’ and the ‘Morden Series’ roses.

when is the best time to plant

When is the Best Time to Plant?

“When is the best time to plant?” is one of the most frequently asked questions at the nursery. There are two primary schools of thought on the subject. Some people prefer to plant in the spring while others feel that fall is the best time. Both preferences are supported by reasonable theories.

Spring planters typically have lots of spring blooms in their yards.

You can often tell which method is preferred by looking at one’s garden. They prefer spring planting because they think that plants will have the entire growing season to establish themselves and prepare for winter.

Fall planting is favored by some others.

They feel that the plant undergoes less shock in colder temperatures when plants are causing their energy on root storage. Another benefit is that the plant is set and ready to go in the spring before the ground is soft enough to dig in. As a bonus, gardeners can often find many plants on sale at nurseries in the fall.

“A garden is never so good as it will be next year.” Thomas Cooper

We firmly believe that our high altitude climate is conducive to plant throughout the growing season as long as the ground is soft enough to dig and sufficient water is available. When planning a landscape, it is best to be aware of what the plants will look like throughout the season. One of the best ways to do this is to scope out other yards and visit the nursery frequently throughout the season. It is best not to let timing discourage you from planting when you feel like it.