Hello Toronto Master Gardeners,
I currently live in Newmarket..i bought my house 5 years ago in a typical suburb area and just recently finished an interlock pad in my backyard which caused a privacy problem… see the grade was bad, elevation was high and I’ve lost some privacy. I doubt most care for the intimacy of my problem but I was hoping it would provide additional insight to those providing a solution. Ideally there is a standard type tree that I can purchase for my garden (that is aligned with my fence) that I can have as a hedge. I’ve read about tree pleaching specifically with hornbeams but I’m not too sure I want to go down that route. I’ve considered some standard tree’s but my fence is 6ft tall so from what I understand my options are limited, currently I’m looking at the Willow Hakuro Nishiki Standard… ideally I plant about 10-16 of these trees to eventually connect and become a beautiful hedge.
If privacy is what you hope to achieve, then the dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro-nishiki’) seems to be doing the trick. It’s a very attractive tree which is becoming quite popular. You are correct in assuming that the height of your fence will limit your options, especially since you favour a “standard” tree. Presumably you had a good reason for deciding upon a “standard” type tree. Maybe you didn’t want to hide the fence. Most people probably would have gone with planting a row of cedars.
You are also restricted by the trees available in the garden centres in your region, especially if you want something a little bit different.
After reading about pleaching (this topic was new to me) it appears this method is not appropriate for your situation. Your current plan seems just fine and should make a very attractive privacy screen.
Below is a link to a Toronto Master Gardeners Guide on Hedging.