A popular topic for residential homeowners is privacy. How do homeowners achieve privacy when many subdivisions and homeowners associations don’t allow fences? The answer is a plant privacy screen.
Plant privacy screens are sometimes better than fences because they can block wind, noise, and unwanted views, as well as give you shade depending on the plant material. The first step is to decide what type of screen to go with.
OPTION 1: Formal Row Plant Privacy Screen
The most frequent form of screening found is formal row planting. Formal row planting is simple and can be monetarily beneficial if your local nursery allows for a break in prices for multiple plants of the same variety. Row planting can be done with trees or shrubs. Depending on the type of shrub, the rows and can be eventually transformed into hedges.
Homeowner’s should be aware of the risks of planting rows. Formal row planting is a great method if you are comfortable with potentially replacing one or two trees/shrubs every couple of years due to disease, pests, drainage, etc. More often than not, trees go missing and are difficult to replace or match in size.
OPTION 2: Mix Plant Material to Form a Plant Privacy Screen
Another option is to install a screen of mixed plant material. By mixing up the plant material you can protect yourself from a major loss of plant material due to disease or pests. Plant material is easy to replace when size or variety do not matter. A variety of plant material also attracts beneficial inhabitants that may help keep the pests away. Finally, mixing the plant material gives you screen a more natural look for you and your neighbors to enjoy.
OPTION 3: Cluster plantings for a Plant Privacy Screen
Cluster planting involves installing factions of 3 or more plants in odd numbers. The method of planting clusters is great for blocking specific views or winds, and also beneficial for creating pathways and directing airflow through your property. This textured technique can also provide backdrops for your annuals and perennial shows.
OPTION 4: Staggered plantings for a Plant Privacy Screen
A final type of plant privacy screen is planting rows of staggered trees and/or shrubs. With this method of planting, gaps are filled in quickly by the staggered or offset planting of each row, the property is better protected from strong winds and traffic noise, and the goal of achieving total privacy is achieved in a timely manner. It is recommended to space each plant based on the average diameter of the plants at maturity to get the best results out of your plant material and new screen.
Before deciding what to plant for your screen, it is important to do your homework and find out what plants can be planted and where. Ask yourself the following questions: What will be the width of the plant at maturity? What will be the height at maturity? Are there any power lines to consider if planting a tall tree? Will the area get at least 6 hours of sunlight? Will the plant material serve as a windbreak or just a screen? Should I use evergreen or deciduous?
Planning a plant privacy screen can be fun and challenging. If you’re not up for the challenge, hire a professional! Dowco is always here to help!
Ready for some help with your plant privacy screen? We service lawns in these areas: Chesterfield, Wildwood, Town & Country, Ladue, St. Albans, Ellisville, Glencoe, Ballwin and more!
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