Month: April 2021

6 Fast Growing Evergreen Trees for Shade and Privacy

Evergreen thuja privacy and shade hedge

Having your home or family activities on display for nosy neighbors is unnecessary. Knowing which fast-growing evergreen trees to plant for screening and shade will help you regain your privacy, outdoor comfort, and potentially increase your property’s curb appeal. gathered the following information about fast-growing evergreen trees to help you make informed decisions about planting the right shade and privacy trees in your yard.

Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees for Privacy

The following evergreens are fast-growing, long-lived, and highly recommended for planting as a year-round privacy screen.

American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) – Also known as eastern arborvitae, this species is most well-known and potentially the hardiest of the arborvitae.

Evergreen thuja hedge trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – Provided optimal growing conditions, American arborvitae can grow as fast as 3 feet per year and reach heights of 40 to 60 feet with a spread of 4 to 12 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Thuja occidentalis thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and can live from 50 to 150 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant arborvitaes in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be well-drained and free from clods, rocks, large weeds, and invasive plants that will compete for water and nutrients. Since this species reaches an average of 10 feet across at maturity, planting them 10 feet apart will work best in most scenarios.
  • Pricing – Thuja occidentalis can be found between $15 and $20 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $45 to $55 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.

Note: Depending on the species and cultivar, arborvitae can grow as a shrub remaining under 3 feet tall or as a 70-foot tree 25 feet wide.

Green Giant Arborvitae (thuja standishii x plicata) – Also known as Thuja plicata “Green Giant,” this tall, narrow, evergreen tree can be planted for privacy or as a specimen.

Evergreen thuja shade and hedge trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – When planted in optimal conditions, Thuja plicata can grow as fast as 4 feet per year and reach heights of 45 to 65 feet with a spread of 12 to 20 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Thuja plicata thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8 and can live from 40 to 60 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant this arborvitae in full sun with partial afternoon shade. Soil should be moist but well-drained. Besides being drought tolerant, this species is pest and disease-resistant. Planting these trees 5 feet apart usually works best for privacy screens.
  • Pricing – Thuja plicata can be found between $15 and $30 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $30 to $55 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.

Note: Arborvitae’s rot-resistance and fragrant qualities make it a popular choice for roofing shingles, hope/storage chests, and some musical instruments.

Leyland cypress (Cupressus × leylandii) – This fast-growing conifer is a hybrid cross between the Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and nootka false cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) species. Leyland cypress wood is popular in furniture making and boatbuilding.

Evergreen cypress trees for shade and privacy
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, Leyland cypress can grow from 1.5 to 3 feet per year and reach heights of 60 to 70 feet with a spread of 15 to 25 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Cupressus × leylandii thrives in USDA hardiness zones 6 through 10 and can live from 10 to 20 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant Leyland cypress in full sun or partial shade. The soil should be moist, well-drained, and acidic to slightly alkaline with a pH between 5.0 and 8.0. Planting this species 4 to 6 feet apart will provide a decent privacy screen within 2 to 4 years. If you are not in a hurry, plant your cypress trees 6 to 15 feet apart.
  • Pricing – Cupressus × leylandii can be found between $15 and $25 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $35 to $45 for a 2 to 3-foot tree.

Tip: When planting along a fence, plant your Leyland cypress trees a minimum of 5 feet from the fence; this will allow them space to grow in that direction as well.

Fast Growing Evergreen Shade Trees

The following evergreen trees are fast-growing and highly recommended for planting as year-round shade trees.

Eucalyptus Trees (Eucalyptus globulus) – This delightful, fast-growing evergreen tree is highly popular for its fast growth, year-round shade, and commanding presence when it reaches maturity.

Evergreen eucalyptus trees for shade and privacy
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, a eucalyptus tree can grow from 3 to 4.5 feet per year and reach heights of 150 to 180 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 to 7 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Eucalyptus globulus thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 11, and most species live from 200 to 250 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant eucalyptus trees in full sun or partial shade. The species will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained with low salinity. When planting multiple eucalyptus trees, they should be spaced 30 to 40 feet apart.
  • Pricing – Eucalyptus trees ready for planting can be found between $75 and $110 for a 1 to 2-foot specimen and $50 to $70 for a 2 to 3-foot tree. Depending on the species and size of the tree, these prices can fluctuate dramatically.

Note: Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful tree species planet-wide, the rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) transforms Into a rainbow as its bark sheds.

Boxwood Tree (Buxus sempervirens) – Also known as American boxwood, common boxwood, and European box, this plush, dark green species is often referred to and considered a shrub.

Evergreen boxwood trees used for privacy hedges and shade
  • Growth and Dimensions – When properly planted and cared for, boxwood trees can grow from 6 to 12 inches per year and reach heights of 15 to 20 feet with a spread of 15 to 20 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Buxus sempervirens thrives in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8 and can live from 20 to 30 years.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant boxwood trees in full sun or partial shade (in warmer climates, boxwoods will benefit from afternoon shade). The species will tolerate a wide range of soil types as long as it is well-drained.
  • Pricing – Buxus sempervirens can be found between $25 and $60, depending on the species and size.

Note: Boxwoods are frequently pruned into specific shapes and commonly found in topiaries.

Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) – This species is often referred to as eastern hemlock or Canadian hemlock and, before medical advancements, was considered valuable for its medicinal value. Today, the species is more commonly used for shade.

Evergreen hemlock privacy trees
  • Growth and Dimensions – Given optimal growing conditions, Tsuga canadensis can grow as fast as 2 feet per year and reach heights of 40 to 70 feet with a spread of 25 to 35 feet at maturity.
  • Hardiness Zone and Lifespan – Tsuga canadensis thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8 and can live up to 800 years, often taking 200 to 300 years to reach maturity.
  • Planting and Spacing – Plant hemlocks in partial shade for best results. The soil should be well-drained sandy or loam. This species should be planted 30 to 40 feet apart and 15 to 20 feet from structures.
  • Pricing – Tsuga canadensis can be found between $80 and $140 for a 5 to 6-foot specimen and $150 to $180 for a 6 to 7-foot tree.

Note: Besides making an excellent shade tree, Eastern hemlocks also respond well to shearing, making them a dense and graceful privacy screen.

If you would like more options, see our blog post for 5 Popular Marietta Georgia Shade Trees.

Fast-Growing Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees add an elegant touch to your landscape, often without much maintenance required to keep them healthy and vigorous. However, not all evergreen trees are created equal. Some evergreen tree species grow incredibly fast, dwarfing other tree species in a matter of one or two growing seasons, making them highly desirable when planted for privacy and shade. Evergreens are pretty resistant, but winter freezing temperatures can be problematic. Once planted, learn about Tips for Protecting Your Evergreen Trees and Shrubs this Winter to protect your investment and see to it that they become the healthy shade trees you intended.

Evergreens for Privacy and Shade

In this article, you discovered species, planting, and pricing information about fast-growing evergreens for shade and privacy.

Knowing how evergreens grow, you can make informed decisions about which species will suit your landscape better as shade trees or as privacy screening.

Not knowing which evergreens to plant for screening may lead you to plant slow-growing species, delaying the time it will take to regain your privacy.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Elm Tree Diseases Symptoms and Treatments

American elm tree or ulmus americana

Prevent your elm tree from rapid decline and death due to disease. Knowing how to identify and treat elm tree diseases will help you keep them healthy and thriving. assembled the following elm tree disease information, symptoms, and what treatments can help you save them from decline and death.

Elm Tree Disease

The following are some of the more common diseases that affect elm trees (Ulmus) and the treatments used to stop them from killing the trees.

Dutch Elm Disease (DED)

This disease was introduced to the U.S. in the 1930s and has since decimated the American elm (Ulmus americana) population. All native elms and European elms are susceptible, and the disease, 90 years later, still poses a significant threat.

Dutch elm disease is caused by two closely related fungi species (Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi), the latter being responsible for most of the disease’s devastation. This fungus species attacks the elm’s vascular system. The tree, in turn, tries to stop the spread of the fungus by producing tyloses (plug-like structures) that block the flow of water and nutrients, contributing to the tree’s demise.

Dutch Elm Disease Symptoms Include:

• Premature leaf drop.

• The first symptom in infected trees usually appears as a small yellow or brown wilting area of foliage referred to as “flagging,” often starting at the edge of the crown.

• Wilting rapidly spreads inward toward the trunk.

• Leaves wilt, yellow, and eventually turn brown.

• Branch death.

• Brown streaking in sapwood (revealed by removing the bark or by cutting a cross-section of the dying branch).

This disease advances very fast. Depending on the health of the tree and time of infection, Dutch elm disease can lead a healthy adult elm tree to its death in a single growing season.

Dutch elm disease symptoms include fast foliage chlorosis and death

Dutch Elm Disease Treatment:

• Extensive pruning of infected areas.

• Remove severely infected trees.

• Burn or bury all infected wood (kills beetle larvae).

• Sever root graphs (connections) with neighboring trees.

• Preemptively treat uninfected trees with pesticides targeting elm bark beetles.

• Sterilize all pruning and maintenance equipment and materials after contact with infected trees.
• Create bait trees by treating them with cacodylic acid, killing the tree, and luring the fungus carrying beetles (this method suppresses brood production, making the beetle more manageable).

• Apply anti-fungal sprays to areas where infected trees are or have been.

• Plant DED resistant cultivars.

Note: If Dutch elm disease is caught early enough, extensive pruning may save the tree.

Multiple DED-resistant American elms and hybrid elm species are currently available and being developed. Some disease-resistant cultivars include:

• Accolade

• Cathedral

• Discovert

• Homestead

• Jefferson

• Morton Glossy

• Morton Stalwart

• New Horizon

• Pathfinder

• Pioneer

• Prospector

• Regal

• Valley Forge

Tip: Hire an ISA certified arborist to accompany or supervise all DED treatment strategies.

Elm Yellows (Formerly Elm Phloem Necrosis)

Elm yellows or phloem necrosis is a fast moving tree disease

Elm yellows is an aggressive disease affecting elm trees that is spread via root grafts or leafhoppers. Also known as elm phloem necrosis, the disease is fast-moving, has no cure, and occurs principally in the eastern United States and southern Ontario.

This disease is caused by phytoplasmas that infect the tree’s phloem (inner bark). This infection quickly kills the tree’s phloem, girdling the tree and stopping its flow of water and nutrients.

Elm Yellows Symptoms Include:

• Root debilitation (root hairs die).

• The phytoplasma infection kills the phloem (causing it to change color and take on a wintergreen-like smell.

• Inner bark tissues exhibit butterscotch or light brown discoloration, usually in streaks.

• The crown will turn yellow and droop all at once.

• Leaf drop and death of branches.

Inner bark tissue discoloration may occur in branches, twigs, and the trunk on DED infected trees, where discoloration caused by elm yellows is more commonly found in the trunk.

Elm yellows symptoms can appear any time during the summer but are most common in mid-to late-summer.

Elm Yellows Disease Treatment:

• There is no cure for this disease. Once a tree exhibits signs of elm yellows, it is highly recommended to remove and destroy the tree. Thus, eliminating inoculum sources from the area.

• Thorough root removal after felling an infected tree.

• Control or management of phloem-feeding insects like leafhoppers and spittlebugs.

• Topical application of pesticides to deter insect feeding.

• Apply anti-fungal sprays to areas where infected trees are or have been.

Plant Asian and European elm species in areas where elm yellows is present. These cultivars exhibit resistance to this disease.

Note: Elm yellows does not move into new areas as quickly as Dutch elm disease, providing a larger window for infected tree removal, preventive treatments, and containment.

Laetiporus root rot (formerly Polyporus sulfureus)

As elm trees age, the damage inflicted by butt and root rot fungi can severely compromise their structural stability. Failure eventually occurs during strong winds or severe weather, often without warning, resulting in severe property or physical damage. Root and butt rot can be caused by one of many wood-decaying fungal pathogens, but one of the more commonly occurring in elm trees is Laetiporus sulphureus.

Laetiporus Root Rot Symptoms Include:

• Canopy dieback.

• Stunted shoots.

• Undersized or pale-colored foliage.

• Premature fall color change

• Clusters of yellow to salmon to orange, shelf-like fruiting structures (conks) that turn white with age form in summer or autumn months on the trunk near the ground and fall off during the winter.

• The conk’s underside has tiny pores in which millions of spores are formed.

• New conks form in the following summer and autumn months. The bark where the fruiting structures form will be slightly depressed and often cracked.

Laetiporus root rot kills elm trees by weakening roots near the root collar

Root and butt rot fungi damage may only be exposed when trees suffer windthrow or windsnap during strong winds or severe weather. In some cases, Root and butt rot symptoms are present but provide little to no information on the depth of decay in the roots and lower trunk.

Laetiporus Root Rot Treatment:

• Root rot, in nearly all instances, is a case for immediate tree removal. Especially when fruiting structures are present at the trunk base or on the root flare.

• Hire an ISA certified arborist to evaluate the infected tree and recommend a course of action.

Note: Tree root diseases can be best controlled by preventive measures. When planting new elm trees, select disease-resistant cultivars, only plant in well-drained soil, and avoid overwatering. Chemicals, like chloropicrin or methyl bromide, don’t cure the disease but can reduce the level of the infection. Such fumigants work best when applied in and around the base of an infected tree or in the hole left behind after tree removal.

What is Killing My Elm Trees?

In this article, you discovered information on some of the more deadly elm tree diseases, the signs they display, and how to treat or control them.

Knowing how to recognize and treat elm tree diseases can help you catch and treat a disease early enough to potentially save your tree.

Ignoring the signs of a diseased elm tree can result in catastrophic damages when that tree falls on your home or causes personal injuries.


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How to Maintain a Healthy Tree

TreeWhen you plant a tree in your yard, you’re investing in a life that you’ll be able to see grow tall and healthy if taken care of properly. To ensure the healthy life of a young tree, here are a couple tips to keep your tree or trees growing for a long time.

Pick the Right One
When going to pick out a tree, keep in mind where you are going to be placing it. If you are putting it in the corner of your yard for decoration, then a smaller one will do. However, if you’re looking for your tree to grow tall and eventually provide shade in your yard, then a bigger one is what you want. Keep a look out for different characteristics that will tell you if a tree is healthy or not. If you don’t know what those are, educate yourself before you go to buy one.

Properly Plant It
Much like knowing the signs of a healthy tree, learn how to properly plant the tree you want before you purchase it. Some require mulching while some require special treatment, so be sure you know your stuff before planting.

Some trees need a little help from stakes when they are planted or new. Be sure to plant your stakes in the right place before attaching them to the tree. If they are too close, you could end up damaging the tree or its roots.

Train Your Tree
When you plant your tree give it lots of attention and care. If you do, the tree will more than likely grow and become more healthy than an uncared for tree that is only cared for every couple of days and will require less regular maintenance.

Maintain Your Tree
Sometimes, you can’t help how a tree grows or how big it gets. When this happens, be sure to give it the proper maintenance. Trimming and pruning it will help keep it healthy and from becoming a huge problem for you down the road.

Big Foot Tree Service offers tree cutting services to homes throughout the Northern New Jersey area. If you need any services done for your trees, feel free to call us today at 973-885-8000!

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When Does a Deteriorating Tree Become Dangerous to Your Property?

Trees are one of the greatest assets of a property. They provide shade, increase land value and help with drainage. Trees are a valuable investment, but one that can be susceptible to a variety of natural problems. From disease to weather, there are a large number of factors that can be devastating to a tree, and keeping an eye on these problems can prevent that tree from becoming a hazard to your home.

Arborists recommend checking your trees at least twice a year as a regular rule, as this provides regular opportunities to examine each tree and establish a baseline look to identify any issues that may arise.

Experts recommend that you keep an eye on the branches of your tree, looking for any signs of dead leaves or stalled growth. This is particularly important with any branches that may extend over or near any structures, as failures of those branches could lead to damage to your roof or property. Watch for any points where the tree splits into a V-shape or where branches may cross over and rub up against one another. These are potential failure points in the tree’s structure, and any changes noticed between inspections may be a sign that it requires intervention.

Keep a keen eye on any trees near any recent construction, as well. The root network of trees can be impacted by activity nearby that may damage the roots through digging or affecting drainage. This can place stress on the tree that may show up as damaged or bark, increased mushroom growth around the base of the tree or an influx of ant colonies, according to HouseLogic.

Storms can cause the most noticeable impact on trees. A high windstorm or thunderstorm damage can cause immediate and clear change in a tree, whether through lighting strikes or a pronounced lean or uprooting. Such damage is generally something a tree cannot recover from and should be addressed immediately to prevent becoming a greater threat to your property or any nearby trees.

For more help deciding whether a tree has a problem, suggestions on how to address any concerns, or to remove hazard trees safely, consult with a professional arborist or tree service professional.

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