I just want to make sure I get the right trees for my area. I live Southern Ontario (Essex County). I would like a fast growing evergreen to block neighbors view. I like on a farm with horses and trees would be full sun. Also looking for guidance on whichever tree you suggest and how far to space them to make that privacy. Thanks for any help! Victoria (I am not a resident of Toronto but was hoping to get some guidance. I click the box that said I was because I agreed to the term and conditions)
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about a privacy hedge. It’s a question that comes up often and below is a Gardening Guide with hedge suggestions written by Toronto Master Gardeners. On our website, you can also type “hedge” into the question box and many suggestions from previous answers will pop up.
You live in Essex County where the Canadian plant hardiness zone ranges from 6 to 7, which is quite warm for Ontario. Because of the long growing season, trees planted in spring will have ample opportunity to grow rapidly. In Toronto, an urban hedge might be comprised of a hardy tree such as Eastern White Cedar. It grows quickly and with some pruning to help the density, it will do well in full sun. When using cedars as a hedge, space each plant 2-3 feet apart.
As you live on a farm with more property, you may require a taller, wider hedge of large evergreen trees. The following evergreens can form a substantial barrier when mature:
1. Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’ or Hick’s Yew is fast growing up to 20 feet tall in full sun. Spacing should be about 1 – 2 feet apart, depending on the original planting size.
2. Picea pungens ‘Apache’ or Colorado Blue Spruce is a maintenance free tree with beautiful blue needles in spring. Maximum height is 100 feet with a width of 25 – 30 feet. Spacing should be 2 – 3 apart.
Once you decide the height and width necessary for your hedge, the links below can help you pick the right tree.
Below is another answer that details fast growing hedges that require little pruning.
When choosing a suitable tree for your hedge, read this Toronto Master Gardeners Guide on planting trees.