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12 Fastest-Growing Evergreen Trees in the UK

Have you ever caught your neighbour peering into your garden? It can be challenging finding a space just for you nowadays. But notice I say challenging, not impossible.

Fast-growing evergreen trees provide solace. With their speedy growth, luscious year-long foliage and natural screening ability, you can soon find the privacy you seek! 

Fastest Growing Evergreen Trees for Privacy

1. Norway Spruce

norway-spruce

Scientific name: Picea abies

This fast-growing evergreen is known by most for its use as a Christmas tree. But its usefulness doesn’t stop there – it provides a fantastic natural garden privacy screen, growing up to 180 feet tall. 

What’s more, the Norway Spruce can live to the ripe old age of 1000 years; it stands the test of time! This conifer is favoured among many animal species – the leaves provide food for moth larvae, the cones serve as a snack for red squirrels, and the tree itself gives beetles, hoverflies and weevils a place to live.

2. Leyland Cypress

leyland-cypress

Scientific name: x Cupressocyparis leylandii

Sporting its vibrant green leaves every month of the year, the Leyland Cypress is the perfect choice for a windbreak or natural privacy screen. It needs minimal care as it’s not fussy about soil type or climate. 

It’ll reach the grande height of 70 feet (3-4 feet per year) with a base of 20 feet when mature. Plant 8 feet apart and prune to your heart’s content!

3. Eastern White Pine

eastern-white-pine-pinus-strobus

Scientific name: Pinus strobus

Also called the Weymouth Pine in the UK, this evergreen tree produces white pine leaves and pollen, making it unique. It grows up to 3 feet a year, reaching a tremendous 200 feet tall during its lifetime. 

The Eastern White Pine is an ornamental plant frequently seen in parks; however, it’s also ideal for a large back garden. 

4. Japanese Cedar

Japanese-cedar

Scientific name: Cryptomeria japonica

The Japanese Cedar is fast-growing, extending 2-3 feet higher each year. It reaches a maximum of 80 feet tall, but typically you’ll only need it to grow 10 – 12 feet to keep watchful eyes out of your garden. 

It’s a popular ornamental in Japan and is actually its national tree. The tree supports a pyramidal or Christmas tree-like shape, growing wide at the bottom and thinner towards the top. 

5. Arizona Cypress

arizona-cypress

Scientific name: Cupressus arizonica

This resilient and adaptable plant can be grown as a tree or hedge; it depends on whether you want to prune it or not! For some peace and quiet from your neighbours, prune the Arizona Cypress back; this will encourage fast growth. 

Giving this plant the right conditions will ensure 3 feet worth of growth per year. Avoid the soil staying dry for extended periods; it will slow down growth. But the Arizona Cypress isn’t temperamental – it will survive through drought and excessive heat. 

6. Mediterranean Cypress

mediterranean-cypress

Scientific name: Cupressus sempervirens

This slim, sophisticated plant grows in tall, upright columns. It’s often chosen as an ornamental for doorways, gates, and even porches. 

But the perfect use of the Mediterranean Cypress is as a hedge. And the best part is: it doesn’t need pruning! It holds its shape regardless. 

It adds an additional 3 feet of growth every year until it reaches 25 feet tall. 

7. Blue Point Juniper

blue-point-juniper

Scientific name: Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’

If you’re forgetful and can’t seem to keep the high-maintenance plants alive, opt for the Blue Point Juniper. It can handle both the frosty winter and the searing summer heat. 

You don’t have to worry about insect infestation or disease either; it’s highly resistant! Unfortunately, it won’t grow quite as quickly or as tall as other evergreens on this list, only expanding 1 foot a year and maxing out at 12 feet. 

However, its beautiful blue berries and blue-green foliage secure its spot on the list!

8. Green Giant Arborvitae

green-giant-arborvitae

Scientific name: T. plicata x T. standishii

Green Giant Arborvitae is called “giant” for a reason. It grows up to 60 feet tall, with an impressive 3 feet of growth every year. Established plants aren’t bothered by drought and are resistant to many insect species. 

The plant’s heavy branches ensure it continues to stand proud even in heavy winds, so it’s a solid choice for a rural garden. 

Plant 6 feet apart and watch the dense hedge form. No need to worry about pruning this one – its compact columnar shape keeps the plant looking tidy!

9. Nellie Stevens Holly

nellie-stevens-holly

Scientific name: Ilex x Nellie R. Stevens

The Nellie Stevens Holly is a nature-lover’s delight. This shrub boasts a pyramidal shape and vibrant clusters of red berries, which attract birds and wildlife in their many. 

It grows between 2 and 3 feet every year and is easy to maintain, giving you a large, well-shaped box hedge in no time. Ensure you plant them 5-6 feet apart, as this plant quickly spreads horizontally. 

The best thing about Holly is it’s spiky, so you can be sure no one’s getting into your garden. Not without serious injury, anyway!

10. Taylor Juniper

taylor-juniper

Scientific name: Juniperus virginiana

If tall and columnar is your thing, the Taylor Juniper is calling out to you! This hybrid juniper reaches a lofty height of 30 feet but only spreads 3-5 feet at the base. Its blue-green leaves are a sight to behold. 

Plant these tidy plants 3 feet apart, and you’ll quickly benefit from a privacy screen. Treat them right, and they’ll grow up to 3 feet per year! All you need to do is place them in full sun.

11. Murray Cypress

Scientific name: Cupressocyparis x leylandi ‘Murray’

Murray Cypress is a quicker-growing and hardier relative of the Leyland Cypress. This species is less susceptible to fungus and shows greater disease resistance. It can grow in far poorer soils; it doesn’t mind nutrient-lacking ground!

Plant your Murray Cypress plants 5 feet apart and watch them extend 4 feet towards the sky every single year! Enjoy privacy from your nosey neighbours all year round and protection from the wind for years to come!

Murray Cypress can be left to grow wild, sporting a tousled look, or neatly trimmed for a more kempt appearance. 

12. Fishpole Bamboo

fishpole-bamboo

Scientific name: Phyllostachys aurea

For a fast-growing evergreen tree with an oriental twist, Fishpole Bamboo is the one for you. This plant isn’t technically classed as a tree; it actually belongs to the grass family.

Originating from China, you’ll find this grass an ideal choice for a privacy hedge. It has ornamental prowess and is loved for the knotty canes that give it a tortoiseshell-like look. 

Just keep Fishpole Bamboo plants 2 feet apart, and watch your privacy screen grow before your very eyes! But be wary; the roots are hard to contain once they get going!

Conclusion

When you started reading, you were desperately trying to get your neighbours’ sneaky gaze out of your garden. Now, you have the choice of 12 species of the fastest growing trees for natural privacy screening. 

Whichever you choose, it will provide a new level of privacy you’ve never experienced before. So, which evergreen will it be?

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