Fence and Tree Question


Old 03-01-10, 09:12 AM
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Fence and Tree Question

I just bought my first house and I'm planning on fencing the front and backyard in the fall of this year. My problem is I want to plant some large/fast growing trees in my backyard near the property line in the next month or so. There is an unsightly apartment building behind my house that faces a different street that I'm dying to block my view of.

Here is my problem, I want to plant the trees now so I can block my view of the building quickly but I won't have the resources to fence the yard until later this year. I don't want to plant the trees and then have them be in the way of my future fence, especially since I am looking at particularly fast growing trees and I'm afraid that even if they are not close initially, they may grow into the fence in a few years.

Is there a way to plan for both without them getting in the way of each other? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Old 03-02-10, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Hi Khannanlt:

You don't have any location information in your profile so we can't give you any advice on specific trees you might consider.

Here's some general advice:

1. Generally trees grow upward. Unless you are considering an evergreen-type of 'tree' most trees will send out limbs above any reasonable fence height and would not interfere with a future fence. You would have to provice for the possibility of the fence post holes interferring with the root system of your trees, but if you plan your spacing in advance that should not be a problem. I've had trees two feet away from a fence without issues.

I'd suggest you decide now on the fence you will want in the future. That will tell you the distance between posts. Lay out the plan in your yard and mark where the posts will go. Then plant the trees midway between the posts. If you want a more coverage, plant a second row away from the fence but back from the post holes.

2. I don't know what your expectations are for a 'fast growing tree', but most trees grow very slowly (especially when you are trying to block out something). I've also found that many trees that are fast growers, tend to be 'messy' trees and to have weak upper limbs in a heavy wind.
Old 03-02-10, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Planting Trees

My advice is to build the fence first.

When locating the trees, picture what size they will be in 20 years and locate them accordingly.
Old 03-03-10, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for the advice. As for the variety of trees,I live in Atlanta, GA. I'll start working on a detailed plan of the backyard.
Old 03-03-10, 07:12 AM
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As long as you follow through and put the fence in this year I don't think you will have too much trouble. Yes, anything you plant in the area will be in your way. Nothing is easier than a wide open space, but I don't know of any trees that will grow so fast as to become a major problem in less than a year. Just pick your trees and think how big they will grow in a year and add in the amount of space you want to work on your fence.

Leyland cypress grow fast but if you are planting the inexpensive 1 gallon size they will still be probably be only 3' tall by the end of summer. My pick would be a holly like Nellie Stevens. They seem more resistant to disease, stand up to ice storms better and the thorny leaves will form a good barrier to prevent people from cutting through or hiding in the bushes.

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