Backyard privacy


Our West facing back garden now looks into two modern houses with such enormous windows we can see straight through the houses. An 18 to 20 ft. Cedar hedge was replaced with an 8 ft wooden fence. I would like some suggestions of fast growing flowering trees and / evergreens to bring beauty and privacy into my back garden. The fence line is 75 one end of the fence there is a beautiful Japanese maple and a not so beautiful honeysuckle. The height should be around 15 to 18 ft if possible.


Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. You have many choices available to you. In terms of evergreens there are varieties of cedars (Thuja) and juniper (Juniperus) that grow fairly quickly. For more information see this previous Toronto Master Gardener post on evergreens:

Several native species of flowering trees would be a great addition to any garden. For example service berries, (Amelanchier spp.) with their white flowers in spring, berries in the summer, bright orange leaves in the fall and silver bark in the winter have four season interest.  Some other lovely choices include: witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) and pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia).

The organization LEAF helps property owners in Toronto plant trees and shrubs at a subsidized price. You will find information about LEAF’s services and the species of native trees they offer at the following site:

Other options for fast growing flowering trees include: Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata) and smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria).  Good luck with this project.