My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


Looking for a tree to create privacy, any ideas

19 replies

Molly333 · 09/10/2020 12:41

Hello my home backs onto a school where an external building has been built which we now look out on which is really ugly. It is some distance away from the rear of our house but is now the main focus of our view. The school have been very kind offering to plant trees to offer us a better view/privacy, they are asking us to suggest them

Unfortunatly i know nothing about trees but would like it to be quite quick growing and not too imposing ( like a leylandi). My neighbour has a silver birch tree which looks nice but again i dont know anythung about them . Does anyone have any ideas?

OP posts:
AnnieHoo · 09/10/2020 12:51

Silver birch would be my choice or a black cherry plum for blossom.

grey12 · 09/10/2020 12:53

We have a very thick laurel bush. This one has just been trimmed. It grows very tall and very fast. MIL doesn't love the look of it but you might

Looking for a tree to create privacy, any ideas
Molly333 · 09/10/2020 13:03

I like the prettyness of the black cherry but apparently they are poisonous and i would not want any harm to the kids. Any other pretty tree ideas x?

OP posts:
Eachpeachtree · 09/10/2020 13:04

Silver birch are lovely, and native to the U.K. so always guaranteed to grow well. They drop their leaves in winter though and the branches aren’t that dense so might not block the view all year round. Eucalyptus trees are relatively fast growing and have beautiful silver-green leaves, and are evergreen so no bare branches.

BlackInk · 09/10/2020 13:35

How about willow? It grows really fast and can be pruned into a tall (or short) hedge or allowed to grow tall and willowy :)

Elieza · 09/10/2020 13:43

Have you seen butterfly bush? Not sure of the spelling of the name, I’ve seen it spelled with a J before. Buddleia I think. Have a google!

Grows quickly. Attracts butterflies by the gazillions. Evergreen I think. Mine was chopped back in June and is nine foot high again but because it’s a bush as opposed to a tree it’s easy to chop back with no saw required! Won’t take long to grow. Cheap. Spreads quickly. You can take cuttings and propagate them easily to speed things up.

Elieza · 09/10/2020 13:44

Oh and I don’t think it’s roots spread as far as a trees roots, which can destroy your pipes and do lots of damage.

MrsMoastyToasty · 09/10/2020 13:56

My property backs onto school buildings too. The school has a mature horse chestnut tree just over on their side of the boundary. It starts throwing our garden into shade soon after 2pm in the height of summer. If it were to fall it would hit the house. Kids also congregate under its branches during break time. The other thing is that we have asked them to take the top out of it but the school *an academy) doesn't have the funds for anything other than emergency tree surgery.
I would prefer a spiked fence - we have had a child climb over the wooden fence to collect a football who broke it trying to climb back into the school grounds.

JemimaTiggywinkle · 09/10/2020 14:08

Birch trees are nice as they give a very light dappled shade, so they won’t block out all your light but will break up the view a bit.

I’d be cautious about conifers/ evergreens as they will block out all the light, nothing will grow in their shade, and they look really ugly when they’re cut back as they go brown in the middle.

If you wanted an evergreen, holly might be a good choice... nice and prickly too to stop any school kids exploring :)

grey12 · 09/10/2020 14:55

@Molly333 regarding poisonous plants, it's always better to research the exact plant. Some ARE very dangerous but I had a ZZ plant which everyone says it's dangerous/cancerous/wtv, is a very vilified plant! Apparently when you put it in your mouth it's like "glass sand". That's it!! My toddlers bit on many leaves of the poor thing Hmm

VenusClapTrap · 09/10/2020 15:03

If you are in the south of England and the location is not too windswept, I’d recommend an Acacia Pravissima. They are evergreen but wafty, so they don’t block out the light, and don’t get too big. And they are covered in bright yellow flowers in early spring - really gorgeous.

But it depends on how big the building is that you are trying to screen. If it’s a huge multi-storey thing then you’ll need something larger.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast · 09/10/2020 17:08

Are they planting on your land ( trees as a gift) or theirs. If theirs how far inside their boundary?

pickingdaisies · 09/10/2020 17:27

I was also going to suggest holly but a pp has beaten me to it. There are some lovely variegated ones so they won't look too dark, they don't grow too high, and they are evergreen, so all year round interest and screening. And some aren't very prickly either.
You say trees plural, so I'd have a birch too. Jacquemontii is a lovely one with white bark. Willow is another good shout. Paul's scarlet is a very pretty hawthorn. Amelanchier is a lovely tree with spring blossom and beautiful autumn colour. Rowan - another native with pretty leaves, and berries in autumn/winter. Stays quite small, but seeds itself around. Have a look on rhs website and some of the plant nurseries also have good information. You lucky thing!Smile

Evilwasps · 09/10/2020 17:30

Bamboo is a great screening plant. It's low maintenance and grows really tall without taking over like leylandi does

Molly333 · 09/10/2020 21:27

Thanks so much this is a great help . I will put a picture up tomortow which may help further

OP posts:
HardAsSnails · 09/10/2020 21:36

My last house was behind a school and we had a hornbeam hedge on the boundary. Hornbeam is native, easy to upkeep, sustains much wildlife and whilst it's deciduous it doesn't drop its leaves until spring so you don't lose privacy over winter.

cariaaad · 09/10/2020 22:06

We have silver birch trees in the garden of the house at the bottom of our garden. They are pretty but grow quite tall blocking out the light and we are plagued by them dropping seeds for at least 2 months per year, then the leaves for another few months. The seeds get everywhere, blow in through the windows, walked in if we go outside and the cat comes in covered in them! If I could get rid of the trees I would in an instant. Fine if your garden is quiet long but I would avoid if it's short. We do have a Rowen tree (Mountain Ash) which is pretty, has nice leaves which turn a lovely colour in the autumn and berries, doesn't get too tall.

goingtotown · 09/10/2020 22:54

Holly is slow growing. I would go for Rowan or Cherry trees.

Saz12 · 09/10/2020 23:32

Ideas for not-too-big trees that give you something to look at for a lot of they year (they’re all deciduous though).

Crab apple
Ornamental hawthorn - something like “Paul’s Scarlet” (pink flowers, berries, autumn colour)
Prunus serrula (lovely peeling shiny copper bark)
Cornus Kousa

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.