Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Privacy Tree Seattle Homeowners Love

Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Privacy Tree Seattle Homeowners Love

By Nancy Penrose

Looking for the ideal Seattle privacy tree? Whether you’re shielding your backyard from prying eyes, reduce noise or looking to create a serene green space, this article covers the most suitable trees for privacy in the Seattle area. Learn about low-maintenance evergreens, natives like the Western Red Cedar, and fast-growing options for quick coverage, all while taking the local climate into consideration. Discover planting tips, care advice, and how to choose the best species for your specific needs – a comprehensive guide for your tranquil, secluded garden.

Key Takeaways

  • The Emerald Green Arborvitae is a top choice in Seattle for creating a low-maintenance, elegant privacy screen that’s aesthetically pleasing and functional.
  • Native Western Red Cedar and its variant, Excelsa Cedar, are magnificent natural privacy screens that require regular maintenance for robust growth and need to be monitored for pests and diseases.

Emerald Green Arborvitae: Top Choice for Seattle Privacy Trees

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is the go-to choice in Seattle for developing a living barrier that endures. This evergreen tree is renowned not only as a steadfast partition but also embodies effortless grace with its perennial vibrant green color and majestic upright shape.

This species of arborvitae offers versatility whether you aim to establish a secluded outdoor space or yearn for some private tranquility. It fulfills various requirements, blending beauty with functionality seamlessly.

Growth Habit and Maintenance

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is ideally suited as a Seattle privacy tree for smaller gardens, possessing several attractive traits.

  • At maturity, these plants can reach heights between 10 and 15 feet.
  • They have a narrow enough width to comfortably fit into areas where space is at a premium.
  • Once they become established, their growth rate accelerates.
  • These arborvitaes naturally form a dense and lush privacy screen.

To make sure your new plant flourishes, you should adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Position it in an area that receives ample sunlight and has soil that allows for good drainage.
  2. It’s important to maintain consistent watering, particularly during periods without rain.
  3. For those desiring thicker foliage or needing to close any gaps within the screen, judicious pruning early on will help shape your privacy barrier just how you want it.

Planting Tips for Instant Privacy

Desiring instant privacy? Place your Emerald Green Arborvitae trees approximately 3 to 4 feet apart for a natural barrier that provides seclusion comparable to conventional fencing. To prevent any potential conflicts, begin by situating the initial tree at a minimum of 2 feet from your property boundary, and you will quickly establish an enviable privacy screen that rivals traditional fences.

Combining with Other Plants

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a privacy screen with added texture. It can effortlessly integrate into a variety of plant compositions, serving as a sturdy backdrop to the vibrant display of seasonal flowers or the consistent form of other garden shrubs and plants.

With its evergreen foliage, this plant ensures that your private space remains uninterrupted all year long. Your seclusion is guaranteed even through the coldest winters in Seattle since it doesn’t shed its leaves seasonally.

Native Western Red Cedar: A Natural Choice for Privacy Screening

Constructed from the robust Standard Western Red Cedar, this privacy screen epitomizes the natural splendor of the Northwest. Its dense evergreen foliage provides a vibrant green backdrop throughout every season, not merely serving as a privacy barrier but also symbolizing the verdant grandeur typical of Pacific Northwest scenery.

Excelsa vs. Standard Varieties

The Excelsa Cedar, a type of Western Red Cedar, is characterized by:

  • A towering and cone-shaped outline
  • Perfectly suited for creating privacy screens
  • Prefers damp, nutrient-rich soil conditions
  • Grows to establish a dense and secluded overhead coverage

Even though the Excelsa Cedar can attain heights close to 30 feet, it maintains a full-bodied appearance. This makes it an ideal selection for garden privacy screens that require bushiness and manageability while offering an alternative look compared to the traditional varieties with their less dense formations.

Ideal Conditions for Growth

Thriving in the rich, adequately drained soils of Seattle, the Western Red Cedar prospers with steady moisture and a generous layer of organic matter. This resilient cedar revels equally in the brilliance of full sun as well as speckled shade, yet shuns deep shade areas that hinder its robust growth.

Long-Term Care and Control

To foster a dense and healthy growth of your Western Red Cedar for use as a living screen, consider the following guidance:

  1. During spring, enhance its vitality with slow-release fertilizer to feed it essential nutrients.
  2. Keep the cedar shapely by cutting away any branches that are dead or damaged. This encourages fresh sprouting and helps keep its appearance orderly.
  3. In fall, apply a protective mulch layer around the base to safeguard root systems and preserve soil moisture.

Adhering to these practices will aid in prolonging the life span of your natural barrier.

Although this particular variety of natural cedar is relatively resilient, proactive measures against threats such as bagworms and diseases affecting roots can solidify its role as an effective natural partition.

Fast-Growing Seattle Privacy Trees for Quick Cover

When you need privacy quickly, trees like the Leyland Cypress and Excelsa Cedar are invaluable due to their swift growth rates. These fast-growing cedars will soon provide you with a tall and dense screen that not only secures your privacy but also acts as a reliable barrier against wind and noise.

Assessing Your Space

Before introducing fast-growing privacy trees into your landscape, pause to evaluate the unique layout of your property. Consider every aspect of your yard including any existing overhead utility lines and how close elements like your house and driveway are situated, confirming that there is ample space for these privacy-providing trees to thrive without leading to issues down the line.

Bear in mind that when selecting trees to plant, their mature size and foliage characteristics should enhance rather than overpower the overall aesthetic of your garden’s design.

Planning Your Privacy Screen

Crafting a privacy screen with trees is akin to orchestrating a musical masterpiece, where each tree contributes its unique qualities to the collective. It requires strategic planning for utility and aesthetic appeal by taking into account the full-grown size of your selected trees, ensuring minimal trimming in future years. The magic lies in proper spacing. Usually 15-20 feet apart will yield a sturdy screen while planting them 6-8 feet apart invites a denser hedge formation.

For aficionados of Leyland Cypress, ensure these particular trees soak up at least six hours of sunlight daily. In return for this solar indulgence, they’ll flourish with rapid growth rates ideal for establishing your natural privacy barrier.

Achieving Balance Between Speed and Aesthetics

Rapid growth can be impressive, but without regular upkeep, it may lead to untamed chaos. Prune your Leyland Cypress diligently, crafting its form according to your visual preferences and promoting its robustness and well-being.

Incorporate a variety of deciduous trees among the mix for a visually appealing screen that swiftly provides privacy. This addition enhances the garden’s ambiance with speckled sunlight and vibrant hues that shift with the seasons.

Tailoring Your Privacy Trees to Match Your Landscape

Establishing a secluded haven involves more than just the act of planting trees and shrubs. It’s about sculpting an environment that mirrors your personal taste and necessities. Carefully choosing plants and embracing current design trends guarantees that your Seattle privacy trees will fulfill their intended function while also augmenting and elevating the aesthetic appeal of your space.

Considering Form and Foliage

By blending various shapes and textures of plants, you can compose a living mosaic in your garden that delights the senses throughout all seasons. Opt for trees and shrubs whose forms align with the design and dimension of your space, thus crafting an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. This approach allows you to create a vibrant tableau filled with diverse foliage, making your garden an attractive haven.

Working with Landscape Professionals

Occasionally, the expertise of a landscape designer can elevate an average garden to one that is truly exceptional. They provide tailored recommendations on selecting and positioning plants while tackling your garden’s unique hurdles.

Enlisting the help of professionals allows you to gain insight into what your completed project could look like, as well as offering advice on financial planning to guarantee that your gardening project flourishes successfully.

Customizing for Seasonal Interest

As the seasons shift, your landscape’s appearance transforms as well. Incorporate a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees in your landscaping plan to create an evolving tapestry of seasonal splendor. Imagine the bold autumnal hues of dawn redwoods or the verdant summer cloak provided by Eastern white pines—your garden will serve as a perpetual showcase of seclusion and allure.

Remember, texture and hue are essential elements that maintain a vibrant and captivating look for your garden throughout every season.


As our journey through Seattle privacy trees concludes, remember that the perfect garden sanctuary is within reach. Whether you opt for the steadfast elegance of the Emerald Green Arborvitae, the towering grace of the Western Red Cedar, or the rapid growth of Leyland Cypress, your choices are as diverse as they are beautiful. Combine these with the art of hedge planting, and you have a palette to paint your very own secluded paradise. Embrace these green guardians, and let them transform your space into a private haven, tailored to your landscape and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly can I expect privacy from my newly planted Emerald Green Arborvitae?

If you position your Emerald Green Arborvitae with a spacing of 3 to 4 feet between each plant, within several years they will form into a thick and secluded hedge.

Year by year, as these plants mature, the level of privacy they afford will progressively increase.

Can Western Red Cedar be shaped to fit my garden’s aesthetic?

Yes, you can shape Western Red Cedar to fit your garden’s aesthetic by pruning it in early spring or late winter for a lush, bushy growth.

What are some fast-growing tree options for a Seattle privacy tree?

For rapid privacy, Leyland Cypress and Excelsa Cedar are top choices. Particularly the Leyland Cypress can shoot up to a remarkable four feet annually if conditions favor it.

Both varieties offer impressive speedy growth, making them superb for quick coverage in the Seattle area.

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