Natural fence plants are an attractive way to create a partition between properties. Trees or other plants also help to create borders around properties. A number of fast growing deciduous and evergreen trees are well suited for this purpose. While many homeowners choose large shrubs for creating a natural fence, fast growing, uniformly shaped evergreens are a good alternative.
List of The Best Natural Fence Plants
Leyland Cypress – Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is among the rapid growing trees commonly chosen to create natural fences. The tree grows to a mature height of up to 120 feet with a 15-foot spread, at a rate of around 3 feet per year. Leyland cypress has a symmetrical, compact cone shape with flat, scale like, evergreen foliage. The tree does well in areas of sun to partial shade and responds well to transplanting and pruning. Leyland cypress come in different varieties, including Naylor’s blue with distinct blue-green foliage.
Dawn Redwood – Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) is a deciduous conifer with a rapid growth rate. The tree is well adapted to growing in poor sites and thrives even in waterlogged ground. Dawn redwood grows to a mature height of 70 to 100 feet with a 25-foot spread. Dawn redwood is conical in shape with needle-like foliage that changes to shades of orange and brown before falling in autumn. Plant is in areas of full sun to light shade in moist soil. Dawn redwood retains its shape without pruning and blooms with insignificant flowers.
Lombardy Poplar – Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra Italica) is a rapid growing tree that can reach a mature height of up to 100 feet with a 15-foot spread. The tree blooms with red or green catkins from early- to mid-spring and grows best in areas of full sun to partial shade. Plant the trees at least 8 feet apart to create a thick fence. The tree foliage takes on shades of gold in the fall. Though the Lombardy poplar is popular as a natural fence tree, it is often overlooked given its relatively short-lived nature.
Chinese Abelia – Chinese abelia trees are semi-evergreen trees that have a moderate to fast growth rate. They grow upright and have a rounded form. The Chinese abelia grows between 5- feet and 7-feet tall and spread between 4- and 6-feet wide. The tree’s foliage is deep green with serrated edges and can be up to 1 1/2 inches long. It produces clusters of small white, fragrant flowers in July that last until September. These trees grow best in full sun to partial shade and in moist, well-drained soil. Plant Chinese abelia trees in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9.
Bottlebrush Buckeye – The bottlebrush buckeye is a shrub that grows 8- to 12-feet tall and spreads up to 15-feet wide, so this plant is ideal when you want to create a large fence. This large shrub produces white flowers shaped like tubes with red to pink anthers that extend out of the petals. As the name implies, the bush produces buckeyes in the fall after the flowers go away. Plant your bottlebrush buckeye plants where they will receive full sun to partial shade and in moist, fertile soil. These shrubs are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
Japanese Yew – This small evergreen tree looks like a shrub and can reach up to 30-feet tall and 20-feet wide. Japanese yews are a good choice when you want to plant a screen in an area that is shielded by a larger tree or a building because they thrive in full shade. It is also a good option when you want to create a fence to completely block a view because its thick foliage begins about a foot off the ground and extends to the top of the tree. Plant your Japanese yew in moist, fertile soil. This tree is hardy in USDA zone 4.
Forsythia – Choose forsythia when you want a natural fence that will provide a splash of color to your landscape. In the spring, bright yellow forsythia flowers appear all over the tree’s long, weeping branches so that the tree looks bright yellow. The green leaves appear after the flowers. This tree can grow from 8- to 10-feet tall and 4- to 5-feet wide. Forsythia trees can handle either full sun or partial shade and grow best in well-drained soil. These trees are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8.
Building natural fence plants may reduce the impact on the environment, especially if you use native plants that need little supplemental water or fertilizer. Some plants enrich the soil and provide a food and shelter for wildlife, such as birds.