We recently put in a pool and created a 4 foot flowerbed on both sides, separated by a 4 foot path. We have a 6’ wooden fence but we’d like tall trees on both sides that may grow up to 20’. With the limited space, what would you suggest that will provide privacy, yet not cause a mess in the pool.
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners
Deciduous trees by their definition lose their leaves by winter, which will make for a mess in your pool, so for this reason I would recommend an evergreen.
Although you mention measurements, I do not know where you are located or the exposure (north, south, east, west) of your planting area. The amount of light this area receives, drainage in the site, and soil conditions are other important factors to consider when selecting a plant of any kind, including a tree.
Since you are looking for tall trees and would like privacy, a couple suggestions would be cedar or yew, depending on the factors noted in the paragraph above.
The advantage of cedars is that they grow faster than yews and have a lovely scent. However, cedars prefer full sun to thrive, though they can grow in partial shade. They also can take up much more width, especially if not well-maintained, than a yew, and like moist, yet well-drained soil.
Yew grows more slowly than cedar, so to get it to reach 20’, one will need some patience. That said, it is more dense than cedar (therefore, providing more privacy) and can be pruned into a slimmer, tighter hedge, if desired. It is more forgiving than cedar regarding light conditions and will grow in full sun to full shade. It prefers moist, yet well-drained soil.
A reputable and local garden center will be able to assist you with the exact variety(ies) to meet your requirements and grow well in your local area.
Here is a link to our Gardening Guide on Evergreen Hedging for more information:
Best of luck in finishing off your new pool area!