Shade Vs. Screen

So, you want to get some poplars to shield that ugly condominium that just went up behind your property, or you just want to muffle the noise of the train that goes by every 20 minutes, or you just don't want to have to look at your neighbor's trashy property next door.

Mail order catalogs give you the choice of "shade or Screen" trees. While some trees have larger leaves than others, the main frame of the poplars is always the same. The way I see it, all trees are alike but with a few buzz words they give you choices! The power of marketing. You can make the trees look different by the way you plant them. If close together, they will grow very skinny and tall. Far apart, and the trees are free to expand sideways. Remove all lowerbranches, and you have shade.

Yes, you have choices: OP-367 will grow very wide, about 40 ft. The DN-34 is narrower, about 25 ft. and the Gazi is the narrowest, about 6 ft.

If you have an area that has to be shielded from the rest of the world, plant 2 rows of trees 6 feet apart and the rows spaced 6 ft. and staggered. In other words, in Zigzag. This will create a living fence which is solid in summer but somewhat transparent in the winter. This fence will also slow down the wind.

To muffle the sound, grow 4 or 6 rows in the direction of the noise.

If you need a fence that is solid all year long, then poplars is not the best choice. Get a privet. It's use is somewhat limited because it grows only about 15 ft. and it is a slow grower, but it could be the perfect solution.

If you want to try privets, I grow common Privet in large quantities, or you can start with cuttings.

Another choice? Try Thuja, an evergreen but be prepared to wait a few years for it to grow to the height you want.

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