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Old 05-03-2019, 07:25 AM   #1
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Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


Thanks in advance for the expert input. I am planning on planting approximately 40-50 trees around my backyard fence to serve as a privacy screen. I am considering Easter White Pine and Norway Spruce. The Eastern White Pine is less expensive and that is certainly a consideration. Are aesthetics the major difference in choosing between the two? Also, I am probably going to purchase 3-4' size trees. I am willing to wait a reasonable period of time for them to fill in vs purchasing larger trees. Any advice on planting distance? Lastly, I am located in Northern NJ.

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Old 05-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


I would consult with the nursery where you buy the trees from
for the proper spacing as well as the proper fertilizer and other
maintenance tips they may provide.

.

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Old 05-03-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


@JackRF , nice to meet you!

I'm in California now, but I was originally in Ohio.

I can offer general advice: Pines are faster growing, which why they tend to be less expensive for larger size plants. Spruces are much slower, especially the Colorado Blue Spruce, but they're also, as a group, much denser, with shorter needles. Both should serve your purposes pretty well, I think.

How big is the area you want to plant? It looks like you have a huge area, or you're willing to have a really really dense planting, which can be great, then become a headache later.

Maybe a picture?
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


Agree with taking the advice of your nursery, especially in regards to soil. Norway Spruce is introduced but pretty widely established and I assume they both work in your zone. If you have the space you could plat them zig-zag or staggered to make them appear visually closer.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


Ayuh,..... White pine is more of a tree, than a bush, 'n reasonably fast growin',....
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:14 PM   #6
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


White pine is big, bodacious; spruce is tighter, neater, slower, longer lived, though in the human context that might differences of multiple-multiple human lifetimes.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


You must have a lot of room for 50 trees, each one when mature ranging from 20' to 40' in diameter. If you want a full screen, 2 rows staggered works better. All plantings need spacing based on fully mature sizes.

You didn't state specifics, like how much room, if the fence is solid, if you're trying to block visual uphill from you or neighbor's upper floors with 50'-70' high trees, etc.

The Norway, I think, loses the lower level and creates a canopy. You might also lose a lot of lower cover anyway due to competition with each other or shade depending on your site and spacing. Usually most situations want the privacy at human height. Also makes a big difference whether rural or in-town.

A real landscape supply or your Ag Extension can give you direction, but just to give some insight on my go-to plants for screening, I try to keep the diameter as close to 10' and the height max 20'-30' to adhere to that diameter, because I like to maximize my yardspace. We are in similar hardiness zones, I'm a 5b and you might be 6a or 6b. In-town, I find the arborvitaes provide thicker "screen" as evergreens thin out a lot. I use Mission "Techny" Arborvitaes for the bulk of it. I will mix in some blue spruces, but I keep them small with "Fat Alberts." Hadn't had good luck with columnar blues, so am trying some columnar "Cupressina" Norways out now.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


As the others have said, check for spacing. People here plant cedar trees sometimes 8' apart. Quick but full border. However, the trees grow 15 to 20 feet in diameter, making the initial 8' spacing too crowded at full term. Trees either have to be removed to make space for growth or the trees will die out due to lack of space.

A well spaced hedge row of trees is nice.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:37 PM   #9
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


@JackRF , how much space are you talking about?

I mean, like that's pivotal.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:28 PM   #10
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Re: Advise on Planting Trees for Privacy


Cedar are prone to blight and would not be my choice. With evergreen trees like fir species there will be far fewer needles coming down onto the ground to have to rake up and less damage to the lawn and other plants. On the other hand pine needles are good for weed control and having the grown largely bare of other vegetation.

Growth rates vary greatly and with many pine trees they barrier provided goes up toward the sky and at ground level all you have is a trunk. I have used large shrubs like hopseed and toyon and ceanothus that will quickly grow to a height of 10-12 feet and spread out 8 feet or more. Check your area's hardiness zone for what will thrive as the difference in growth rates can be 50% or more with the right plant.

There is also the pollen to consider. Many people are allergic to pine and acacia and other tree pollen.
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