Because evergreens retain their leaves or needles year, they are consistently blocking views which deciduous shrubs would let through in the wintertime. Organic tree or shrub fences may also be planted in areas where local zoning laws don’t permit artificial fences over a certain height. Evergreens act as windbreaks in addition to providing privacy.
Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) are coniferous evergreens that grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8. Thriving in full sun and well-draining soil, they have a pyramidal shape that needs little to no pruning. The green needles are arranged in flat, horizontal sprays. “Brandon” is a fast cultivar that reaches 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide. “Techny” has the same proportions as “Brandon,” but is slow-growing. “Green Giant” will grow up to 60 feet tall and 20 feet wide.
Holly really are broadleaf evergreen shrubs that flower in the summer or spring and have winter or fall berries that attract birds and wildlife. Blue holly (Ilex meserveae) is a shrub using bluish-green leaves which grows up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide with full or partial sun and well-draining ground in USDA zones 5 through 9. California holly (Heteromeles arbutifolia) rises in USDA zones 7 through 11 in comparable conditions. California holly grows 15 to 30 feet tall with an equal spread and is also drought tolerant.
Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a fast columnar coniferous evergreen tree which grows in USDA zones 5 through 9, reaching around 50 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Leyland cypress needs full sun and well-draining soil and requires very little pruning to retain shape, but might be pruned for size. Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) are fast slender columnar trees which can reach 50 feet tall in USDA zones 8 through 10. They’re drought tolerant and can be grown in partial shade in addition to full sun. Cypress have flat, dense needles much like those of arborvitae.
Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) is a dense columnar broadleaf evergreen tree which grows in USDA zones 5 through 9. Boxwood needs well-draining soil and full sun or partial shade. The tiny green leaves may turn bronze or orange in the winter once the sunlight intensity changes. “Monrue” rises around 9 feet tall and 2 feet wide. “Pullman” rises up to 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Their shallow root system allows boxwood shrubs to be planted as hedges alongside building bases.