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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 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.

Arctic Willow

The Arctic Willow, also known as Salix Arctica, takes its name from its ability to survive and even thrive in cold wintery conditions all year round. This makes it ideal for providing coverage and privacy at any time of the year.

While the Arctic Willow is a tree, it’s definitely one of the more smaller trees usually used as a privacy screen. That said, it’s still more than suitable for gardens that don’t need coverage from a certain height.

Despite its size, it also lives a very long life, making it ideal as part of a long term privacy screen: easily surviving decades. This, combined with the ability to grow and thrive in the coldest of conditions, make it an ideal year-round screen.


Also known as Bitter-Berry or Prunus Virginiana, the Chokecherry is both a small tree AND a shrub. This makes it more suited to protecting and covering smaller gardens, not gardens that need protection at height.

The cherries that grow on Chokecherry trees & shrubs are edible (despite its name!) and also look great. Their ability to grow and spread fast furthermore makes it ideal for protecting and covering gardens – although if left unmaintained it can intrude in other parts of the garden.

Colorado Spruce

Colorado Spruce, also known as Colorado Blue Spruce or Picea Pungens, is a member of the pine family. In the wild, the Colorado Spruce can grow to up to 75 feet tall, and between 30 to 60 feet in parks and gardens.

Its height, combined with its width (15-20 feet) makes it ideal coverage for even the most extensive gardens. They’re also tall enough to windbreak when grown or placed in a row. Their tidy appearance forms a tremendous looking border around any garden.

Besides, they’re well adapted to both surviving & thriving in wintery and cold conditions, providing year-long coverage.


Much like other’s listed, Lilac (or Syringa Vulgaris) is considered both a large shrub and a small tree. That said, they’re best suited to providing coverage for smaller gardens that don’t need protection at height.

Lilac grows and spreads steadily, making it an excellent choice for covering gardens. However, their flowers which bloom a lovely purple (hence Lilac) will only continue to show if well maintained and pruned.

Whether maintained or not, Lilac is still an excellent choice for garden coverage. For those looking for coverage that also looks amazing, Lilac is an option – just one that requires more work.


Also known as Shadbush or Amelanchier, the Serviceberry is a lot like the Chokeberry as it’s also considered both a small tree AND a shrub. This is because they grow and flower differently, depending on both where they’re planted and the environment they are located.
While some trees or shrubs falter as a privacy screen in the winter, the Serviceberry stays in bloom all year round – providing different flowers and fruits depending on the time of year.

Despite being small compared to most trees, the Serviceberry still makes for a suitable privacy screen for smaller gardens that don’t need high protection or privacy.

While Serviceberry makes an ideal privacy screen, it can quickly expand when left unchecked and not maintained.

Siberian Pea Shrub

The Siberian Pea Shrub is a shrub that is well suited to thrive in cold, wintery conditions all year round. That in itself makes it an excellent option for protecting smaller gardens throughout the year.

It’s also fast-growing, which makes it great for covering and protecting gardens quickly – however, if left unchecked it can intrude on the rest of your garden. Of course, being a shrub, it’s not very tall, making it much more suited to protecting smaller gardens that don’t require high coverage.

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.