Trees and shrubs that keep their foliage all year round are a great way to give your yard some privacy without the need of a bulky and unsightly fence.  Here are some of the fastest growing evergreens that can turn your yard from ordinary to extraordinary.

  1. Thuja Green Giant.  This mammoth evergreen can grow up to 40 feet tall!  This plant is is drought tolerant and resists insect infestations.  It grows well in practically any type of soil, and likes full sun exposure.  These plants can even be used as a windscreen in some rural areas.
  2. Leyland Cypress.  This cypress loves lots and lots of sunlight. Its bluish green hue makes it a popular evergreen to plant.  These trees can reach up to 70 feet tall. The Leyland Cypress can grow in most soil and is drought tolerant.
  3. Nellie Stevens Holly.  This is a tall shrub, growing up to 25 feet high.  It produces a beautiful red berry in late fall that attracts all kinds of birds and wildlife.  It needs direct sunlight and slightly acidic soil to grow well.
  4. Italian Cypress.  These beauties are perfect for smaller yards.  The Italian Cypress can grow to be anywhere from 40 to 60 feet tall, and 4 to 5 feet wide.  They are tall and straight like a column naturally, so you won’t need to trim it to maintain its shape.  These trees do best in warmer climates, are drought resistant, and grows well in most soils.
  5. Taylor Juniper.  Taylor Junipers are the trees for you if you love the look of the Italian Cypress but live in a colder climate.  It can grow to heights of 30 feet. It can grow in most soil, is drought tolerant, and is perfect for smaller spaces.
  6. Murray Cypress.  This tree grows very quickly and can grow to be 30 to 40 feet tall.  They can handle the harshest of seasons, and thrive in poor soil. Murray Cypress are the perfect tree for the low maintenance gardener.  
  7. Golden Bamboo.  This is a great option for those who want more of an exotic look to their gardens.  This bamboo can grow up to 10 feet tall. They like moist, well drained soil, and partial sunlight.  


For your next privacy fence, why not grow one instead of build one?


One of the wonderful things about having a large tree on your property is all the fun you can have!  Tree climbing, treehouses, and, of course, tree swings. To protect the integrity of your tree it’s a good idea to properly install a tree swing.  

There are several things to consider when deciding where to hang your swing:

  1. Tree type.  Oaks are the prefered tree because of their strength.  Don’t hang your swing on evergreens, fruit trees, or any other tree that is prone to splitting easily.
  2. Branch size.  A large branch is key, and should be at least 8 inches around and no more than 20 feet from the ground.
  3. Branch condition.  Choosing a healthy branch is important for your safety.  Examine the branch from top to bottom for any signs of disease, distress, or infestation, and do not hang your swing on a dead tree branch!
  4. The branch should be large enough that the swing can hang from the tree at least three feet away without the branch bouncing.

To attach the swing, you’ll need an eye bolt and some rope.  There are several different types of rope you can use for your swing, such as polyester rope, nylon rope, polypropylene rope, natural rope fiber, or a metal chain.  

Safety is very important in the installation and enjoyment of your rope swing.  Make sure to:

  • Replace the rope every few years.
  • Check the integrity of the branch to make sure it’s still stable.
  • Replace the eye bolt if the tree grows over it.
  • Use ropes and bolts that are approved for the maximum amount of weight.
  • Check the knots on the rope to prevent unraveling.

Tree swings can greatly increase the enjoyment of your trees for years to come.