There are several big pine trees between my house and neighbor’s. We want some privacy so instead of fence, we are thinking planting some 4-5 feet privacy trees in between (red line).

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Would something like Emerald Green or Arborvitae survive under pine trees like that? Any suggestion?

  • It depends on the climate zone and soil. and possibly moisture. Apr 3, 2021 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


You won't be able to plant in between the trees because the soil will be full of roots from them - if you dig out or break too much root material, the trees will die. Anything you attempt to plant in between will also be in direct competition with the existing trees for nutrients and moisture too. You should be able to plant 3 feet away, maybe in that strip of lawn the other side of the trees, so long as you don't encounter lots of roots there too. If you can plant there, it might be better to choose evergreen shrubs instead of trees.

  • What about in pot containers? I can make some big wooden boxes also to grow something different. I guess I can deal with the soil. What about the sun and various chemistry between the trees...
    – HP.
    Apr 5, 2021 at 5:04
  • You'd probably have to choose plants that do fine in shadier conditions - so long as you don't choose plants that only grow in limey soil and detest any acid at all, and you can keep the boxes watered, no reason why they won't work well. Pine needles are acidic, as are pine trees, but it shouldn't change the soil ph in the boxes by much because the needles take years to break down - the worst problem might be the need to clear them off the top of the soil periodically so they don't build up too much.
    – Bamboo
    Apr 5, 2021 at 19:37

I wouldn't do trees, I'd do blueberry bushes to get two different uses. Pick a species that will get big and bushy that will produce a lot of berries.

  • 1
    I tried blueberry bushes below pine trees and they are dead after a year due to lack of sun
    – HP.
    Apr 5, 2021 at 5:03

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