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Creating height and also a screen - to keep prying neighbours at bay!

looking for small trees perhaps?

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Hello All,

Plants are expensive creatures - particularly when you have a garden almost stripped bare.

I'm after a range of plants, grasses which will act as a screen between neighbours and give that 'exotic' touch. Talking obvious choices such as pampous grasses, Bamboo etc but crucially, and the reason im on this forum asking is;

Im looking for evergreen small(ish) trees..10 - 12ft perhaps..any thoughts? What choices?

I know liquidamber are not evergreen, but i keep being recommended these types when i got to garden centres..Pear and apple trees as well i quite fancy.

SO - any recommendations for..either a small tree and/or a small evergreen tree...something that in the lighter months at least will add height to my garden as well as a 'wall' / screen from the neighbours.

Thanks for your time

Gary Hobson

IMO, bamboo makes an excellent screening plant.

You need to get a species that is not invasive, and that has erect stems (that don't flop). Most bamboos are evergreen too. I don't know of a better screening plant, that can be erected almost instantly.

The slight drawback is that bamboos are not cheap, especially if you want to buy a large one, that is already well grown.

Also, have a look at this thread about screening suggestions...


At this time of the year my berberis Darwinii is lovely. Orange flowers for several weeks on small evergreen foliage. Easy to control and prune. viburnum burkwoodii is another evergreen to consider as well as the varieties of mahonia.
I love my grasses....miscanthus variegatus makes an upright whitish impact grass ....I cut mine now and it will grow to 7 feet by autumn and keep,it's framework over winter. Calamagrostis brachytricha and Overdam flower late spring/early summer and throughout the summer and, again, with winter skeletons. ,all these grasses are well behaved, non invasive and stand up well against the wind.
Pampas grass? Yes it has it's place but it's a thug, difficult to cut back without cutting your hands and does not associate well with other plants.

have you ever thought of growing a cotoneaster against your wall  dense growing habit semi evergreen and profusion of red berry's in winter as the leaves go off they turn red as well.

 Picture from the Internet






it'd help if you can give some photos and dimensions. Do you have fence along your border? if so you can add trellis to the top and then you can use climbers too, also growing fruit trees as fans or espaliers can be a productive screen. Instant screening can be achieved with bamboo screening, I'd be loathe to plant bamboo as they have a habit of escaping and then you'll never be rid of it.


Thank you all for your prompt and kind replies. I will scour te' internet in regards to some of those names mentioned although it does appear Bamboo is the way to go at least for the screening I was after. Not sure of dimentions off hand however, the 'escaping' bit aware of and intended to create a boxed raised bed..sitting on a slab base..its a large/wide box so hopefully will do the job.

Any other thoughts on a small(ish) tree to add height and colour. Is the Liquidamber any good?

And apple/pear trees..worth a punt? leaves last long enough kindof thing?

Thanks again for the replies

Gardening Grandma

Hi, garjobo. For a quick screen, I like Leycesteria (Hiimalayan Honeysuckle), which  is not everygreen but grows quickly and has lovely purplish flowers and black berries. It strikes realy easily from cuttings. It reaches about 8 feet so in a raised be would be about ten feet. It can be cut to the ground in spring and will grow back to its full size quickly, or it can be left as it is.There's also sambucus, which grows very quickly and a nice lacy one called sambucus nigra laciniata.Iit gets to 15'. Obviously it would have to go  in the ground though.


Small tree I have been hankering after but have nowhere to put yet is a Cercis 'Forest Pansy'. I think it's stunning and not too dense but would give you some protection

Another one is Amalenchier Grandiflora - blossom, berries for birds stunning autumn colour, But may be a bit traditional - gaian use Mr Google sorry

If you use black bamboo which is stunning and plant frothe miscanthus in front I think that would look amazing

Right will try and post again


YAY it worked


Eucalyptus can be useful as you can hack it back into shape. Grows quick so useful if you want a speedy result, but as you are intending using a raised bed (and therefore containing it) you might find it a good option. Colour is good for harmonising or contrasting too. Have to agree about bamboo though!

Bunny ...
I have bamboo , it's great stuff .

Rosa, Granma - thank you for your replies..have jotted down the names given and will now turn Columbo.

To save creating a whole new thread - I am looking for bamboo..i have tried various outlets ( cheaper plant centres ) and apart from one kindly fellow offering to dig up some of his bamboo i have been unsuccessful in find some.

The plant stores charge the earth - literally!  I noted in Asda of all places, small bamboo for £10..i wished id of bought them last year! The type i dont know..but black bamboo does appear nice.

Looking on Amazon etc expensive stuff. Anyone recommend a decent, reliable planting website where i can perhaps purchase bamboo amongst others at a reasonable price? What internet site do you use?

I think I may have to plum for trying bamboo seeds - cheapest option. Been looking around at if its a viable option and that they will actually grow. Thoughts more than welcome. Easy enough to germinate...or it better to spend the £25 + on a plant?

Be veeerrrrryyyyy careful about which bamboo you decide to plant, especially on a bounday as they travel underground and throw spikes up all over the place, including your neigbours garden, paths etc.  Clump forming ones are less invasive.


How about a winter flowering honeysuckle. Lonicera fragans. It grows as a bush not a climber and is semi evergreen, drops most of its leaves at this time of year. wonderful scented flowers from christmas until now and blackbirds love to nest in them. Unfortunately to get decent plants now we have to dip into our pockets far more deeply, watch the reduced corners of garden centres as bargains can be picked up there. There are lots of evergreen bushes and trees to choose from but remember that they will cast deep shade when fully grown.

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