Best Trees for Privacy in Chicago

Privacy for your family and your home can bring peace of mind. Trees are an excellent way to get privacy while benefiting from more natural elements in your yard, including higher oxygen quality, shade, and wind management. If you want to plant new trees on your property that will cultivate rapidly? Not every tree species popular for privacy in the country can survive in your Chicago backyard or growing fast. We will be going through a list of the most suitable trees for our seasonal weather conditions, which can mature quickly to give you the natural privacy you intend.


Boxwood is a type of evergreen tree that belongs to the box family. There are around 70 different species of boxwood, which come from all over the world. Most boxwood species grow in areas with a warm climate but can also withstand cold winters. This makes them ideal for Chicago.

Boxwood requires moist, well-drained soil. In winter, they can thrive with sunlight. There are many distinct varieties of boxwood, but just a few are cultivated as ornamental plants in gardens worldwide.

Boxwood trees can quickly grow up to 15 feet, which is great if you want to buy several for your perimeter, specifically for privacy. And suppose you are planning on growing your family roots on this property. In that case, boxwoods can last for hundreds of years, so you will know that you don’t have to worry about planting more trees in the future.

Hicksii Yew

Hicksii Yew trees are also a great species to thrive in the Chicago area. If you want the hicksii yew for privacy, we would recommend purchasing moderately mature trees to transplant as they can take longer to grow than others on this list. The extraordinary thing about this arbor species is that they can grow up to 20 feet in height and 12 feet wide. This large width allows you to plant each hicksii yew with a decent amount of space in between, bringing excellent privacy to your home over time. This species grows less than 12 inches in height each year, so it can be a great privacy option if you are not worried about waiting a few years.

Thuja Green Giant

On the other hand, if you are looking for quick-growing results, the Thuja Green Giant will be right up your alley. These large trees can seriously grow to be giants, hence their name, at over 40 feet tall. It would be best if you planted each tree between 5 and 10 feet apart from each other, depending on how tall you will want them so that they can extend in width without hurting each adjacent arbor. This species does a great job of blocking noise, which is a helpful factor for privacy. If you don’t want to hear the cars going by on a noisy back-facing street, these will help bring a peaceful backyard ambiance. Many Chicago area residents even plant the thuja green giant in a staggered pattern, creating two lines of trees to increase their sound and visible privacy even further. They are hard for insects and diseases to infest, so you won’t need to worry about a buggy yard. They are also very good at resisting drought and temperature change, so you won’t need to water them often during hot summers.

English Yew

Next on our list is the English yew. The English yew is an incredible choice for a privacy tree. But like the Hicksii Yew, this species grows relatively slowly at around one foot per year. Where it lacks in maturation speed, it makes up for mature size. These large arbors can reach up to 60 feet and get widths of 20 feet. One sizeable determining factor in choosing this tree is its poisonous nature. We recommend against planting English Yews on your property if you have children or pets because eating its leaves can be deadly.

Eastern Red Cedar

Across the country, the eastern red cedar gets a bad wrap for being quite invasive. However, it is still an excellent privacy tree. This conifer is native to the United States and may be found growing in fields and along roads. The seedlings can quickly dominate an area or an abandoned property. This plant could be considered a weed, and it might even be invasive in poorly maintained places. Like the thuja green giant, they are very resistant to drought. They’re also resilient to the wind, making them ideal for Chicago. They were even used as state windbreaks a century ago when they served as official windbreakers in several parts of the country.

Dawn Redwood

The dawn redwood is a decent tree for privacy that grows fast, though it also has its downfalls. It is a beautiful arbor with beautiful red and orange leaves. Still, it is not an evergreen tree, unlike many others on this list. This means that, like many trees in Chicago, its leaves fall off in the fall and will not come back until winter. On the positive side, though, it grows up to 4 feet tall per year and can reach enormous heights up to 80 feet.

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