When it comes to screening your yard from neighbors, pines are not your friends.

They are fast-growing trees that only have one mission: become as tall as possible. Therefore, they don’t make agreeable hedges. Add to that the fact that when they grow, they tend to shed their lower branches in an effort to only feed the needles that see the most sun (aka up high). Before you know it, you can see your neighbors just fine between the stems and are under perpetual shade. Finally, pines are definitely not the sturdiest in windy weather. They have no problem snapping in half, because they can always regrow.

If anything, pines are a dangerous option for screening. Why plant a row of them around the perimeter of your home? So, here are Bransfield Tree’s favorite plants for screening that not only get the job done, but also look great doing it.



A classic ornament to your property, eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) have been known to live for over a thousand years. The Thuja ‘Green Giant’ is a commonly used cultivar. They also come in fastigiate varieties to give you a real Italian countryside feel if you don’t like so much fullness to your hedges.




Junipers, also called Red Cedars, are members of the cypress family. They are recognized by their bright green outer foliage and blue berries. You will eventually see some stem and space at the bottom, but they will remain full in the crown for you.





Originally from Asia, holly has become a holiday tradition in the U.S. The ones with berries are female You will get a nice dark green leaf with a glossy sheen.


Hinoki Cypress

Hailing from Japan, the Hinoki tends to be slow growers but can create screen in tighter spaces. With full sun they can really add a nice Asian feel to your garden area.


The hemlock is a fast grower and an important part of the New England landscape. They tolerate shade and can provide the fullness you require for screening. If you are worried about woolly adelgid, please note that this pest is a very manageable one. Proper pruning can tame it into a hedge (as shown).