Evergreen tree suggestions wanted

They have recently built a new housing estate across the road from us on what was once beautiful but vacant land. It is ugly as all get out and radiates heat over summer, so I would like to plant a tree to block the view/heat. A mulberry or a large apple would be perfect, except they are deciduous and I would have to see the shanty town all winter.

I don’t know anything about ornamental trees and am after suggestions.

The tree needs to be:

  1. evergreen
  2. copes with frosts - zone 8 or 9a
  3. between 4m and 12m tall (13 foot - 40 foot tall)
  4. can grow a single trunk, then branch out once above head height
  5. reasonably fast growing

I was leaning towards one of the evergreen magnolias, but have a feeling that they stay thin and christmas tree shaped rather than branching out? I would love to hear your suggestions.

I built my fence using Green Giants. Couple Leyland Cypress and Laurels mixed in, but I think the Green Giants are the best.

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Cedrus deodora…deodar cedar.

Some pines or spruce maybe…but I don’t know which to recommend for your zone.

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I love my Leyland Cyprus. It grows fast which has it’s benefits so it holds up to snow load better then the green giant arborvitae. I would definitely favor growth over aesthetics for a green wall

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Laurocerasus officinalis
good tree. fruit tree


Good creative thinking. However, cherry laurels are poisonous. And most could not be grown in 9b or 10. (Might try prunus Lusitania, the Portuguese laurel…but even so, only fruit for wildlife.)

Laurocerasus officianalis … as in the laurel the Roman Emperors adorned their heads in…I don’t know the extent of it’s dangerous in eating the fruit…but I probably should find out if I ever was to take a vacation along the Mediterranen…before eating any.

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Are any of the above suggestions available in Australia?

The various Magnolia grandifloras do stay columnar, but some are broad columns.
5-10 years to reach your size range.
They are not particularly messy, the large fallen leaves are easily gathered.

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@Barkslip any input? I know you know your evergreens as good as anyone.

My input would be a thuja green giant, fast growing and tall.

Rhododendron can also grow to the minimum height you are interested in and stay there, although they may take more time than other options.

You could also intersperse shorter evergreens amongst deciduous trees, or even grow deciduous trees and include evergreen vines in the planting like Oregon Grapes.

I’m not sure if they get tall enough, but strawberry bushes might be an option? I discuss the previous two in my Bring me a Shrubbery thread.

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What about something like loquat?


Maybe somebody like @Stan has better ideas than myself being he’s in California.

Deodara Cedar is a great choice. I’m sure there’s faster, however. It does exactly what the poster wants becoming globular in shape as it ages. Same with Araucaria auaucana (Monkey Puzzle) but it’s more open so they’d see thru. Still a cool tree. I’d bet Cupressus cashmeriana is super common there but I’d have one if I lived in the south or California. It’s zone 9. It’s the wrong shape however. It’s a weeper that doesn’t become globular.

I just don’t know the zone 9 pines to comment. Spruces there are many. Then there’s all the exotic’s I don’t know very well or completely forgot about.


Italian cypresses planted two-three feet apart make a great green wall. Thuja is also a good option.

If fruiting trees are preferred, then you can go with citrus, Owari Satsuma mandarin can be hardy enough for you, depending on how cold it gets in your location. Make sure it’s not on a dwarfing rootstock.


Green Giant thuja is magnificent. I have 14-year old 30 foot trees spaced 3-meters now touching. It’s wide at the base and narrow as it goes up. Do not space this cultivar 2 meters like a lot of people do. Go at least 4-meters or better for anyone considering this as a screening tree or single-specimen. It’s really not the correct application for this situation. I needed to comment about it. Stan suggesting something else that’s tall and narrow is the correct application… also the correct plant for dry and arid soils/climates. Another cultivar of Thuja, ‘Hetz Wintergreen’ aka ‘Wintergreen’ is also a great candidate to Italian Cypress as is a Juniper: Juniperus virginiana ‘Taylor’. I have photos of all three from plants here at my home if you simply ask. All 14-years old.

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Lets see, zone 8 or 9a? Are you around Brisbane or where? In QLD?
If so, you could plant Satsuma or Mandarin as many of those types can take 20F or so, some types such as Owari Satsuma or Miho Satsuma as low as 15F or so and should be fine for moderate frosts, and are evergreen and also make great fruit. And are beautiful.


I didn’t know it gets as cold as zone 8 in Australia.
From fruit trees:
Citrus: Satsumas, kumquats
Some of the myrtle family fruits (there are some that grow that big)
Cornus capitata
Some of the Mexican cold hardy avocados?


Maybe a noninvasive clumping type bamboo would do ?
Like this …


I am near Canberra. We get frosts to -10C (14F) and heat to about 40C (104F). It is reasonably dry here most years.


I think this is too cold for mandarins. This is definitely not zone 9.

Deodara didn’t survive its second summer here in inland California with similar heat.


Oh ok. Yeah Canberra would probably bee too cold for mandarins long term. Depending on your micro climate. I know people with Satsuma in Louisiana zone 8b that have taken in the 12 to 14F range it gets below 17F about once per decade there down in the 12 to 14 range and the bigger trees survive. Some with damage and some hardly any. But below 15F is rosky unless you throw a tarp over them. Leeland cypress might be a nice evergreen option. For citrus Prague Citsuma (5F) and Ten Degree Tangerine (8F) should be nice options that will work for you since they can take more, but they probably are not in Australia yet.

Cedrus Deodora grows wonderfully in Charlotte, NC, Columbia SC and they have summer heat index 105 or more in daytime and night time heat index in the 80’s sometimes. I am not sure how it gets along in South Florida.

I planted one in 2009 and one in 2015 here in Kentucky z.6 that are alive and thriving…though the central leader burned up at -19F one year on the older tree.

Cryptomeria radicans (Japanese cedar) makes fast growing screens here in the Southeast US and seems to have less disease issues than Leyland Cypress. The wild type might be too big for your purposes (50-70ft), but there many cultivars of varying sizes from bush size on up. Cryptomeria japonica 'Radicans' JAPANESE RADICANS CRYPTOMERIA from  Greenleaf Nursery | Landscaping plants, Plants, Screen plants