5 best trees for border & privacy

privacy trees for backyard I have & I give thumbs up to!


Cypress Trees in Atlanta that are great for year round privacy.

We have the yard of my dreams. It’s what made me instantly want to buy our home. Every year I make small changes as budget allows to make it dreamier but as a tree lover (and hugger) it’s beyond my wildest dreams to have a yard like this! Today I’m sharing with you some trees we have planted and how/why I would recommend using them in your own landscape design, focusing primarily on privacy trees for backyard design. Whether you need small trees for privacy or are in need of good trees for privacy that give great height I got you covered. Every tree shown here is from my yard and I can attest to them being great landscape design ideas if you’re working on building privacy in your yard.

Let’s start at the front of our yard, and my favorite trees – arborvitae.

arborvitae trees

The reason I love arborvitae trees is because they add a dynamic look of multiple trees in various shapes and sizes. They are visually gorgeous. Beyond that they allow virtually no space through them so make excellent trees to plant in an area you want total privacy. While I think it would be overkill to do an entire yard in these, they are gorgeous.

In these photos you’ll see arborvitae to the left, dwarf gardenia in front (not quiet in bloom in this photo) which make great ground cover to the right a Japanese Maple with hydrangea tucked under it. The Japanese Maple provides excellent shade for the hydrangea to flourish below it. It gives great size and coverage for privacy as well with a colorful and contrasting look to the arborvitae.

arborvitae trees are good for small areas where condensed coverage is needed. People who want a more architectural, off the beaten path vibe.


Group of arborvitae trees and various size.

arborvitae trees used as border trees.

cypress trees

The classic border tree. They are most people’s go-to’s. Why? They are inexpensive, get huuuugggeee, are fluffy little guys and are easy. Now. My problem with them (le struggle) is that mine are now 50′ feet tall and the bottom part is starting to fall off the branch making the privacy not so much at eye level.

I asked my sweet photographer I love to take landscape pictures while I furiously changed clothes to prep for another blog photoshoot (they aren’t nearly as glamorous as they look) and she choose to take the beautiful parts of the tree. I sort of wanted to show the crappy part. Ha. Time hasn’t allowed me to get my camera out to re-shoot.

But current situation is after 13 years these trees no longer give great border protection in areas I need it. But you know – these are giant trees at this point so you may have no have that issue! Here are a few images of mine – and I must have eight or so.

Cypress trees are good for yards that need height and fullness for privacy and lots of it. Grow at a decent rate.

Cypress Trees in GeorgiaUsing Cypress Trees for privacy in landscape design.

Atlanta lifestyle blogger a polished goofball.


Loropetalum. Just say that out loud a few times – laur-a-pet-lum. It makes your mouth move like a contortionist. It’s rather funny and I kind of dig the person who came up with that name.

The loropetalums are what you’re seeing intros first image below the stone columns of our home. They are purple-ish in color year round bloom these tiny little pink flowers twice a year. The pro’s? Affordable. Add a little color pizazz to your yard and create good border. I asked for these to be planted to hide the pool floats behind them. I’m forever trying to make that look neat and tidy but you know, kids. I surrender. So the loropetalum makes the unsightly mess out of sight, out of mind!

These puppies need to be pocket pruned (I’ll let you look that up) in the fall and spring to allow them to keep growing and staying full.

Loropetalum bushes are good for gate fencing privacy. They stay fairly low and don’t get that tall. Add color and are soft.

Purple loropetalum and Japanese Maple tree.

gardenia bushes – perfect small trees for privacy

If you don’t need the height, plant these beautiful babies everywhere. They are evergreens so stay green and leafy and oh so pretty year round, and then grace you with fragrance just as you’re ready to enjoy your summer. Gorgeous, beauties, can’t go wrong. I’m planting more. And I’m starting to use the dwarf gardenias in my container planters. This way I have container greenery year round, less annual maintenance and beautiful fragrance!

Again, pocket prune.

Gardenia plants are good for borders where height isn’t needed. Small fence borders, fill in areas, etc.

Gardenia Bushes size and how large mine are in our Atlanta, Georgia yard.

Atlanta backyards and Pebble Tech swimming pool. Outdoor fireplace and landscaping ideas. Gardenias also make good trees for privacy.

holly trees

Ouch! But oh so private! This pricky beauties aren’t great if you’re putting them in a yard where, say, your ten year old will go running for a baseball and crash into the trees. But if you want straight up year round easy border and great privacy trees for your backyard these holly’s are the jam.

Every few years I add some fertilizer to keep them popping, but other than that they are low maintenance. We have some that act as border trees, and one that’s ornamental and shaped. It’s next to the loose Vitex to the right in one photo (that hasn’t yet sprouted it’s pretty purple blooms!)

Another note, my photographer didn’t quite catch the row of holly trees that line my pool, but here’s my show of my using my WaterRower near them. So you can kind of see them!

Holly trees are good for areas you need a lot of height and width. Not good for areas where you’ll be up against them a lot given their prickly leaves.


Using holly trees for yard privacy and backyard screening.

Water Rower for knee recovery.

Holly tree shaped in round form with Vitex trees.

quick note about these privacy trees for backyard

Every border tree I shared here is evergreen so won’t drop it’s leaves. As a girl originally from Florida I didn’t know know trees dropped their leaves (or that grass went dormant – I thought mine was dead at first!) Here’s a glimpse of our backyard in both the spring and winter (old picture of me from a previous post but it’s all I had!) so you can get a sense of what most trees in Georgia do. This is why I honed in on these particular ones to share with you!



What are your favorite trees to plant for privacy? Fall is the perfect time to plant, so start brainstorming so you can plant around October/November and get those babies ready for spring! Happy planting!

Be sure to check out how I use silk flowers in the spring! You’ll be shocked at what you see!

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