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I'm thinking about bamboo as a screen where NDN has ripped out a load of tall shrubs and trees so I can regain some privacy.

My original thought was trees (eg;amelanchia, acer viper, liquidambar, alnus, liriodendron, metasequoia all available at local GC £39 each), but I am tempted by bamboos - cost and quicker growth.

Has anyone got advice on which bamboos would be suitable, tall but 'less' invasive? I want to cover a stretch of about 5-6 fence panels, there is a trampoline in front which I'd prefer not to move (hence bamboo rather than tree). The rest of the area has a play tower / climbing / swing in front but has some room (1m 30cm at narrowest) behind it and then a shed. The compost bins sit here at present but will be moved I think.

I'll post a picture ...












PS - the rest of the garden isn't this messy!

Salino advice would be to think in terms of something a little smaller than what you have in mind... you don't really need huge trees or bamboo's for that situation... large deciduous and evergreen shrubs, with a small tree mixed in here and there... for Bamboo's, if this is really what you want, I would only consider clump formers such as Phyllostachys aurea or nigra....and Fargesia robusta or rufa...  on no account plant Bissettii or any other type... also I would not plant any Bamboo closer to a fence boundary than 3 foot away, as I would need all round access to chop off spreading culms, as even clumpers do need a bit of control after 5 years or so...

..although control is easy for these types...

..incidentally, I have no idea what NDN means here... to me it would mean what American Indians often refer to themselves NDN = Indian... or Native American... has been said in the previous post (and several previous to that I think  ), you really do need to do some careful research on this one if you want to avoid the pitfalls.

I think someone suggested a good book on the subject in the Bamboo thread.........may be an idea to arm yourself with as much info as possible so that you will at least have an idea of which type of bamboo may do the job you require of it.

As to costs, decent bamboos can be pretty expensive and some of the trees you mentioned might well compare pricewise ?


Thanks salino & Phillipa
(NDN is next door neighbour salino).

lol.!..oh I see ..sorry...I thought neighbour had to be in there somewhere...

Salino......I wondered too but was too feeble to ask  Perhaps some of us ( certainly me anyway ) need a rundown on abbreviations ?  At least I have OH taped now but some of the others are a bit of a puzzle.

I bought my bamboos from an expert who grows them in his garden and sells them, digs them up for you.  Cheap as well,  but the point being I could see where they got to in x years time plus got great advice on which types.  I love them, but you need the right one in the right place. 


Hmmm, think my heart is with tree/s really.

Been to local GC (garden centre!) and they have a unlabelled weeping willow , huge already, only £20 ... want it, want it, want it .... will cause problems won't it? Are there regulations how near they can be to buildings? How much space around it, can I stop the lower branches growing? Can I plant at the sides, how far away? Tempted to go back and buy it, shop closes in an hour...


Ok ok I've come to my senses

Trees it will be but not willow

Any advice on those I named in my first post?

I'm thinking a conical cherry (prunus amanogawa) to the left of the trampoline, an amelanchier in the middle of the picture and a liquidambar to the right of the composting.

Salino, height is definitely needed to gain privacy as the main garden is quite a bit higher than this area.

Embarrassingly, am still pondering this one.
Bumped up for photos really.
I am now considering the following:
Prunus - conical shape, crimson leaved variety.
Fagus (beech) - conical variety - not at home to check so excuse spelling etc...Dwark purple and dwark gold, alternating.
I like the idea of a 'striking' 'in your face' look to draw eye down to this part of the garden hence why I think alternating purple and yellowy lime leaves.
Beech appeals as I expect it will give better winter screening.
Prunus for the purple leaves and for the flowers of course.
What mix would you have?
Must get into action soon!!!
Beaus Mum

For starters the fence is a pretty one and glad you have chosen trees not bamboos  Do you think you will plant your chosen trees just at the points where you can see that neighbours windows and patio doors? Or do you hope to block the view completely? Personally I would plant just at the points 

Is tthe trampoline area To the immediate right or left of the slide picture? 

Just trying to picture it all 

Like your choices of small trees, what about a rowan too? They have all year round interest with blossom and berries, small apple tree, small pear? All these wouldn't take long to grow and can get quite nice sized ones for good prices at home base places etc

Anyway just some thoughts  Back to hw  I'll pop back later to see what you think  x




Why not a small tree for each panel of fence - crab apples, sorbus, flowering almond etc - and climbers on the fence. The canopy of most small trees will clear the fence and will provide privacy, and the climbers will provide colour and cover lower down. You could use all the same tree so that your eye isn't constantly drawn to the problem and will focus more on the underplanting, or use two varieties and alternate them if you want to make a feature of them.

Wish to block the whole lot out ( sun in my favour!) especially between the houses where the main road is visible.
Trampoline is to the left of the slide (looking from the garden).
I do have a liriodendron and an amelanchier that can go along the fence or somewhere else.
Was thinking of one per panel but absolutely useless at making a decision.



I'm just thinking that one tree per 6ft panel is too many, most of the trees you mention will quite quickly grow more than 6ft wide, and probably up to 24ft or more high. I would suggest using your liriodendron and amelanchier and perhaps one other with maybe some taller shrubs not more than  8-10ft high in the gaps between? Maybe evergreens to give you more screening in the winter.

If you have other garden areas, I'm not quite sure I would want to draw attention to the childrens play area - they are often not the most attractive.

Hope this helps - I've got a similar dilemma and I keep dithering too! It's worth taking your time though if you're planting relatively expensive trees.

Thanks and hi Lizzie, the fagus and prunus trees im considering grow to a 2m width as columnar varieties. Of course the others will be wider and im not sure mixing the two widths will look ok, but would need fewer trees and hopefully less cost.
Ponder, ponder..
Lirio, crab, amelancgier?
Will have to look up flowering almond fairy
definately don't want fruit trees.
Will have to consider overhang to ndn, which is probably why I got onto the columnar idea.

I like crab apples, not too near the fence because of overhang, but they aren't too big and have blossom in spring and fruit, for birds or jellies, in autumn. Pretty with daffodils planted underneath. There are some very nice columnar beech near here.

Beaus Mum

Mrs garden why don't you get cracking this weekend and get in the ones you already have and then you will have a better idea of how it looks and go from there 

You could get one tree/ shrub at a time and build the picture up as think it's pretty hard and long job planting up trees etc 


Some of the trees you have in mind seem rather huge... you only need to screen the view from those upper windows and as you can see on the pics, something 4m tall would be quite enough. Maybe something more modest but still upright would be better...

Prunus sargentii

 Viburnum Bodnantense Dawn