I have two acres shaped like a rectangle. Our house is closer to a neighbor’s on one side than the other. I want to plant some trees to help buffer between the two properties. My problem is the distance I will be covering. If you had to buffer the length of a football field (or longer) what trees would be best? I have read about the Thuja Green Giants. I’m looking for width, height, thick cover in summer and winter.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, James in Kentucky: Landscaping with evergreens is a great way to provide screening. Choosing the right plant for your space is important in terms of health and longevity. You are covering quite a large space and it will be an investment so making a good choice the first time is even more important for you. First you will need to determine how much sun/shade this space receives. This will be the most important factor in making your decision. There are certainly more evergreen choices if the area receives more sun than shade. Technically full sun is considered six hours of direct light each day, anything less than three is considered shade, and anything in between is part sun. You will also want to take into consideration the soil you will be planting in. You may want to have it tested by your County Cooperative Extension Service before planting. The results will indicate the pH as well as the nutrient levels. If you are thinking the larger the better in terms of height and width, the Thuja you mentioned is a great choice if you have full sun. They are fast-growing, long-live evergreens that are not prone to many disease or insect problems. ‘Green Giant’ is a large variety reaching up to 60 feet tall and around 15 feet wide at maturity. It will certainly take less quantity to plant these as opposed to a smaller growing evergreen. Other large evergreen options for sun are juniper, holly, and pine. Hemlocks would be a good choice if you are dealing with more shade.