Whether you want to block unwanted views, reduce unpleasant noise levels, restrict wind levels or screen your yard from prying eyes, one thing is certain: privacy trees and shrubs can help. However, when it comes to adding this landscaping feature, many homeowners fall prey to a number of common mistakes, causing their privacy trees and shrubs to die off, grow in poorly, or fail to offer their potential advantages. Therefore, before you start your project, read these landscaping design tips to help you avoid problems and create the yard you want.
Mistake: Using One Type of Shrub or Tree
Many homeowners start their landscaping project with the intention of creating a uniform look, which is often achieved by using one type of plant. Unfortunately, this increases the chance that your shrubs and trees will be affected by insects and diseases, as these issues will quickly spread from plant to plant.
Solution: Use Different, Complementary Species
A mixed planting not only protects your screen from diseases and insects, but also increases the biodiversity of your landscape. This will draw different birds, animals and beneficial insects, helping to keep pests in check.
Mistake: Planting in a Single, Straight Line
A straight, evenly-spaced line is meant to look tidy, but this concept is often difficult to accomplish, and will likely end up uneven and even missing plants. Additionally, this will often be an ineffective way of blocking views, noise, wind and more.
Solution: Plant Clustered or Staggered Rows
Consider placing your privacy trees and shrubs in odd-numbered groups of three, five, or more to strategically screen your yard. This will look more natural and interesting, while also keeping your yard from appearing walled-off. You can also plant several rows of plants and shrubs, staggering the plants to block spaces in the preceding row. This will create a more uniform, established look. However, whichever option you choose, make sure to give each plant enough space to grow healthily.
Mistake: Ignoring Aesthetics
Privacy shrubs and trees are supposed to be a simple wall of plants, right? Wrong! While planting trees and shrubs can create a great backdrop for other gardening projects around your yard, avoiding creative opportunities can mean your privacy screen may quickly become monotonous.
Solution: Add Some Focal Points
While they might cost a little more than the rest of your plants, dotting your privacy forest you have created with an occasional, strategically-placed plant with an unusual color, interesting fruit, or beautiful fall colors. This will make your project more visually-pleasing and interesting for years to come.
While your reasons for planting your privacy trees and plants might be fairly straightforward–blocking an unattractive view, for example–this type of project has a lot of factors that must be considered in order for it to be successful. Before you begin, make sure to research everything from soil and sun conditions to complementary plant varieties to make sure your privacy screen will be healthy and flourish. And if you run into difficulties, don’t hesitate to contact a garden center or hire landscaping services for help.