The 10 Best Evergreen Trees for Privacy and Year-Round Greenery

northern white-cedar shrubs along fence line
Photo: Jason Wilde

What's friendlier than a fence, cheaper than a wall, and prettier than lattice when you'd like to screen your yard from view? One of these evergreen trees is the answer. It may take longer to reach a size to fully do the job, but it will likely outlast any of these other options for creating privacy and look better, too.

01 of 10

Douglas Fir

douglas fir evergreen tree in landscape garden
Kindra Clineff

For the noble, spirelike shape that evergreen lovers admire so much, plant douglas fir. Though it's often featured as a lone tree, it also looks great massed as a screen in evergreen landscaping. Douglas fir doesn't like hot, dry winds but will do excellent where there's moisture in the soil and in the atmosphere. The soft-textured tree has variable color, depending on seed source, with the blue-green types being the most attractive and hardy.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in consistently moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 80 feet tall

Zones: 5-7

02 of 10

Eastern Red Cedar

Thuja tree growing in garden
Kindra Clineff

So adaptable you'll find it growing on dry, rocky slopes and at the edges of swamps, eastern red cedars also thrive as urban screens and rural windbreaks. This densely branched juniper has rich green summer foliage turning ruddy brown-green in winter.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 50 feet tall

Zones: 2-9

03 of 10

White Pine

white pine evergreen tree with blue sky
Denny Schrock

Some varieties of white pine can grow 50 to 80 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide, so this evergreen needs plenty of room. But for smaller yards, you can also find columnar varieties that max out at 20 feet in height and 14 feet in width, a perfect size for screens. White pine is a fast-growing tree with soft, billowy texture that's a welcome departure from the rigid look of many other evergreens. The blue-green needles are attractive year-round, and a portion of them drop to the ground periodically, so the trees are self-mulching.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 80 feet tall

Zones: 3-8

04 of 10

Concolor Fir

blue spruce evergreen
Adam Albright

Like white pine, concolor fir can adapt to a variety of growing conditions. Also known as white fir, it's a good choice for hot, dry conditions and winter cold, but it grows best with an evenly moist soil that has good drainage. The blue-gray needles have a white luster, which explains the common name. In addition to its unique needles, concolor fir has an attractive conical shape with tiered branches, so it works as a specimen to block a view or partnered with other trees in evergreen landscaping.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 70 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

05 of 10

Norway Spruce

norway spruce tree growing in yard
Denny Schrock

Easy to spot among other evergreens, Norway spruce has the pyramidal shape typical of many conifers, but the horizontal branches reach upward, allowing the stems to hang down gracefully. The effect is both beautiful and distinctive. Norway spruce grows 50 to 60 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide, but popular varieties tend to be on the smaller side.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 60 feet tall

Zones: 2-7

06 of 10

Deodar Cedar

deodar cedar evergreen tree behind metal decorative fence
Edward Gohlich

One of the only true cedars, deodar cedar is very adaptable, grows fast, and has dense branching in youth. It's perfect for a screen or as part of evergreen landscaping, but it also makes a striking solo tree with blue-green needles and graceful, gently weeping branches that become more artistic with age.

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 50 feet tall

Zones: 7-8

07 of 10

False Cypress

false cypress evergreen tree landscaping in front of multi-level wooden deck
Laurie Black

A valuable addition to your winter garden, false cypress has plenty of varieties with different shapes and colors. Not surprisingly, it's also wonderful for adding privacy. Some false cypress cultivars can be trimmed like a hedge; others can be allowed to reach their fluffy, twisted, or contorted potential. Colors range from blue-gray to golden-green.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 75 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

08 of 10

Leyland Cypress

white flower shrub next to rocks and antique farm equipment
Erica George

Another warm-climate evergreen tree for privacy, leyland cypress is a natural for screens thanks to its columnar shape and year-round color. If the feathery, blue-green foliage doesn't grab you, there are cultivars with yellow, gray, or bright green foliage.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in consistently moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 70 feet tall

Zones: 6-9

09 of 10

American Arborvitae

northern white-cedar shrubs along fence line
Jason Wilde

The go-to evergreen for lining a fence, American arborvitae, also known as eastern arborvitae, can live for several hundred years. Most popular varieties mature at 10 to 15 feet, much smaller than in the wild, making them perfect for year-round privacy in evergreen landscaping. American arborvitae is durable and adaptable, but its biggest problem is deer browsing (wrap arborvitae in burlap in the winter or spray with a deer repellent to ward off deer).

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in consistently moist soil

Size: Up to 70 feet tall

Zones: 2-7

10 of 10

Yew

tall evergreen shrubs growing in flower bed
John Granen

The tree of immortality, some ancient specimens of yew have lived for thousands of years. In evergreen landscaping, yews are often used as hedges and foundation plantings. The dark green foliage and colorful red berries are a welcome sight in winter, and birds love the shelter of yews, too.

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in well-drained or dry soil (yews can't tolerate soggy soil)

Size: Up to 50 feet tall

Zones: 4-7

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