Hey, I’m in 5a zone and need 3 narrow trees for a full sun location near a fence for privacy. The trees will hopefully fill out the 15′ of space and create a screen. It is a residential area and don’t need them to be 50′ tall. Ideally 20′-30′ tall and by the math 5′-8′ wide if they grow into each other or I trim them. Any suggestions?
Thanks for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners. Since you are looking for trees that will provide privacy, you will need evergreens so that you will have year round foliage. All of my suggestions for you below require full sun. Other factors that you will need to consider when choosing your trees are what type of soil you have, in particular whether or not it drains well, and how much wind your trees will be exposed to (some trees are more more sensitive to strong winter winds than others). All of these trees are hardy for growing in zone 5a.
My first suggestion is a cultivar of American arborvitae :
Thuja occidentalis ‘Hetz Wintergreen’ grows to 20 – 30 feet in height and 5 – 10 feet in width. It prefers moist, well drained soil, although it will tolerate drought. It is fast growing.
Thuja occidentalis ‘American Pillar’ grows to 15 – 20 feet in height and 3 – 5 feet in width. It prefers moist, well drained soil, although it will tolerate drought once it is established. It has a very fast growth rate.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Nigra’ grows to 25 – 30 feet in height and 5 – 8 feet in width. It prefers moist, well drained soil, and is tolerant of drought once established.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Klmeighteen’ PATRIOT grows to 20 – 30 feet in height and 5 – 6 feet in width. It prefers moist, well drained soil, and is intolerant of drought. Exposed, windy sites should be avoided.
Thuja occidentalis ‘Pyramidalis’ grows to 20 – 30 feet in height and 5 – 8 feet in width. It prefers moist, well drained soil, and is intolerant of drought. It needs shelter from strong winds.
There is additional information about American arborvitae at these links :
You could also consider these cultivars of Eastern red cedar :
Juniperus virginiana ‘Burkii’ grows to 10 – 25 feet in height and 4 – 10 feet in width.
Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’ grows to 15 – 20 feet in height and 3 – 4 feet in width.
Both of these trees prefer moist, well drained soil, but tolerate many soils and growing conditions, and are drought resistant. There is more information about them at these links :
Finally, you could consider Green Arrow Alaskan Cedar (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis ‘Green Arrow’), also known as Chamaecyparis nootkatensis ‘Green Arrow’ and Cupressus nootkatensis ‘Green Arrow’. This tree grows to about 20 feet in height and about 2 feet in width (so you will need more than 3 of them for your space). It thrives in consistently moist soil, but not in standing water. It needs protection from high winter winds. There is more information about this tree at this link :
Good luck with your new trees !
April 29, 2022