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Wednesday - September 10, 2008

From: Wynnewood, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Evergreen for privacy in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I would like to plant a tall, thin evergreen in my yard (the taller and thinner the better). Privacy is a goal, so we're looking for dense branches. The area gets full sun, and the soil in this area is rich in clay. A Norway Spruce previously grew in this spot. Thank you.


Here are four possibilities.  Although they are all tall naturally, you might prefer a tree that is a bit smaller than these.  In that case there are various shorter cultivars of each and with various modified shapes.

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) is a columnar tree, and although it can reach 75 feet, there are various cultivars that are shorter.  Prefers part shade.

Picea pungens (blue spruce) can grow to 100 feet, but again there are various smaller cultivars.  Prefers part shade.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) grows 30 to 50 feet tall with various cultivars of shorter, slenderer forms.  Grows in sun, part shade, and shade.

Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) can reach 100 feet, but shorter cultivars exist.  Prefers part shade or shade.

Chamaecyparis thyoides

Picea pungens

Thuja occidentalis

Tsuga canadensis



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