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Can someone recommend a tall, quick growing tree that's not overly invasive that would serve well to plant around a backyard to help break the line of sight of neighbors into my pool / backyard?

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    This is going to vary widely by region - you'll almost certainly get the best answers from your state forestry service or agricultural extension. – Comintern Apr 14 '14 at 23:59
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    +1 to that, good call. I'm in midwest US, will ask around to some local arborist or something. – Chris W. Apr 15 '14 at 0:42
  • How much shade, sun? How much room width and length will you have for the plants? A picture of the swimming pool view and the area you want to plant. Have you thought of building an arbor or architectural screens? – stormy Jun 14 '14 at 19:25
  • I'm a Landscape Architect...could you get graph paper, whatever scale that works and make a plan showing: 1. Property lines of your property and your neighbors; 2. Placement of your home and their home. Your swimming pool, any fencing, existing plants. Label views from your home. For example; dining room view, upper story bedroom view...utilities. Send photos of the different views. Let's see if we can communicate using a scaled base plan in bird's eye view...oh, and include North, prevailing winds, scale, elevations (height) and any interesting notes. Include your ideas! – stormy Jun 17 '14 at 0:32
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Try a beech hedge. The leaves stay over the winter (they go brown and are rather pretty) and they go rights down to the ground. Trim it at the top to the height you want.

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Not sure if Palm trees grow in your area. Palm trees grow quickly and are very bushy. they work as a good curtain.

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Where I used to live everyone did Leyland Cypress. The are fast but not as dense when young as I would have liked. I found Thuya plicata 'virescens'. They provided screening instantly at 8'. They are a variety of our Western Cedar that grows more narrow and yet very dense, very dark green. They are much better in the wind than the Leyland oddly enough. In 5 years they were 15' and 5' to 7' wide some as close as 5-6' apart. I never had to shear them and they stayed dense to the ground.

Try not doing a straight line. I like to offset them from each other, grouping them in a more natural-looking way. If one dies, no one will be the wiser. I even like getting a few smaller trees to mix as well as a few understory, deciduous trees such as Serviceberry or Elderberry (the dark purple was gorgeous)! Birds loved these trees. Don't stake your trees if you can possibly help it. They will grow faster and stronger if you don't stake them. Try to dig up the whole bed you will be using for plants. If you are removing grass for this bed use it to form the foundation of your bed just stack the chunks upside down and top with 6-8" or more of good topsoil. Plan it so that the rootballs of your plants sit on undisturbed soil and keep soil away from the bark of the tree.

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Thuja "Green Giant," worked for us. It grew about a foot a year and blocked out the neighbors really quickly. Although it does grow REALLY tall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaHrOYx1w4M

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