Looking for advice on screening trees? The following is a general introduction to the options available and what to be aware of when considering screening trees.

Evergreen or Deciduous?

Evergreen trees can provide an all year round screen, either as a hedge or as individual specimens to block particular views.  If a neighbour complains about two or more evergreen trees being planted together, they could have to be reduced under the high hedges regulations (please see our information sheet on high hedges).

There is one deciduous tree  (deciduous meaning trees which shed their foliage at the end of a growing season)   that will provide all year round screening, with its dead leaves being retained through winter. This is the Beech. (See image above of a Beech hedge in winter).  There are also a few deciduous trees that hold onto their leaves for longer than others.

Bamboo can be utilised to provide screening, but this tends to require a contemporary style garden, otherwise it can look out of place.

Within the deciduous and evergreen tree families, screening is available from ground level or with a clear trunk of 1.8-2.2 metres, which typically is the height of a garden fence.   Trees with a clear trunk of 1.8-2.2 metres are called standard trees. Those with a one metre stem are called half standards. Deciduous trees with branches down to ground level are called feathered trees.

A style of tree well suited to screening is an evergreen standard. As an individual planting it can block a specific view and when planted as a row it can be trimmed to create an aerial hedge.

When space is an issue, pleached trees can be utilised. These are trees whose branches are trained and entwined in two dimensions so they extend along a boundary.

Multi-stemmed trees can provide useful screening as the 3-5 trunks support a wide canopy, although this is a three dimensional canopy.

Bushes can be trimmed to form a hedge or as individual specimens to fill a single space.

When selecting screening, the future management of it should be considered; we would not want the management to be too onerous. Trees/shrubs that mature at a small-medium size will require less management than specimens that mature into very large trees. 

If planting close to structures and walls the potential future influence of the specimens has to be considered. We can plant into containers when this is an issue.There are many options available to provide screening. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. We will help you by finding the optimum screening that will also enhance your garden, suit your preferences and match your budget.