Why choose privacy screening trees and shrubs?
Because they can:
- help create private space in your garden for you and your family
- screen out an eyesore or an ugly view
- be used as part of a plan to manage the wind and weather on your property.
They’re good for the environment too – screening trees and hedges can provide safe habitats and shelter for wildlife – especially important in towns.
Let’s look at our 3 reasons for using screening trees and shrubs in a bit more detail. Then, if you decide you need a bit of tree advice, you can contact Ashley Tree Services here.
1. Trees for privacy from neighbours – ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’
Most people don’t need a castle to keep invaders out; it’s just that being overlooked by neighbours can feel a bit uncomfortable. That’s because privacy, like eating and drinking, is a basic human requirement.
Like everything in a garden it’s about the right balance of features. Too much tree screening can feel like a prison. Too little garden privacy is like being on the stage every time you get your washing in or get the deckchairs out.
Remember: it’s perfectly natural to want your own bit of ‘secret garden’.
What trees are suitable for privacy screening?
Evergreens – with branches that extend down to the ground they make good privacy and wind screens. You won’t lose your privacy during the Autumn when deciduous trees and other shrubs lose their leaves and foliage
If you want to see your garden but don’t want to see an ugly view above head height then consider pleached trees. These are trees with long clear stems and denser heads of branches – perfect for selective privacy and changing the outlook of your garden.
Here are 4 screening trees to get you thinking:
- Evergreen magnolia – will provide privacy all year round
- Hornbeam – not as dense and dark as some conifers
- Silver birch – provides quick cover and can be trellised
- Willow – easy to weave into the shape you need
2. Screen out ugly views & show off the best bits of your garden
Fact: estate agents always consider the surrounding view when valuing your property.
An ugly view of the supermarket, an over bright street lamp, the bus shelter next to your garden wall can all catch your eye or a buyers attention for the wrong reasons.
This can cost you a sale or reduce the value of your house.
There’s a green solution! Screening trees and shrubs can be a cost effective and environmentally sound way to do 2 things: screen out ugliness and refocus attention in your garden to where you want it. Careful planting, pruning, pollarding and tree maintenance can not only ‘dissappear’ the neighbour’s messy shed it can also lead the eye where you choose, (to your favourite spot?).
Great landscape architects have used trees to refocus and lead attention for centuries. Think how an avenue of trees carries your attention forward – the same can apply on a very small scale with your own garden layout. Choose what you want to show off and plant, prune or pollard accordingly.
3. Using trees and shrubs as a windbreak
Exposed locations in the town or countryside often feel the impact of strong wind gusts and currents. This can damage property, cause chaos with garden furniture and batter your favourite David Austin roses.
Planting trees or shrubs as a windbreak or weather screen is about growing a semi-permeable barrier to protect everything on the leeward (sheltered) side.
Semi-permeable means that windbreak trees stop most of the wind but let just enough through to avoid breaking. A solid wooden fence on the other hand acts like a sail on a ship – at some point it just has to move with the wind. (This is when your fence ends up in the neighbour’s garden.)
If you plant trees in this way you’ll be in step with history. Farmers have done this for years – planting trees as windbreaks around agricultural fields to protect against wind damage to crops and reduce soil erosion.
In the UK the prevailing wind comes from the South-West. If your garden is exposed in this direction this is where a tree or shrub windbreak will be most effective.
Interestingly, the science of wind tunnels shows us that every 1 metre in height reduces wind strength for up to 10 metres horizontally on the sheltered side. This deflecting and slowing of the wind can also reduce drafts in your property which means lower energy bills. That makes a well maintained wind screen a serious money saving investment!
That’s lots to think about.
Tree screen maintenance by a qualified tree surgeon
If you already have a tree screen then don’t forget to pollard or prune as necessary .
The cost of this regular maintenance could be a serious investment in house value, energy bill reduction, plant protection and peace of mind.
We’re happy to advise on tree screening and making the most of your (secret) garden when you book an appointment with us.