Q.Choosing a tree
I need to plant a tree near the border of my property, that will grow really quickly to provide privacy from a new building that is planned on land about 20 meters from me.
Ideally I’d like a slightly higher crown, so that the base isn’t taking up valuable space in the garden.
I had looked at Hybrid Poplars, but have read that their roots are invasive and, as I have a drain and man hole cover approx 2 mts from my ideal planting site, I have realised that this is not the best choice.
The new property will directly look over and into my garden and home, so I need something effective.
How about holly oak, aka holm oak? although not fast growing at first, it can be pruned to elevate the canopy.
Quercus ilex AGM: is a rounded tree with smooth bark. It responds well to being pruned. Height and spread 25m (80ft) x 20m (70ft).
The privets are fast growing, as is laurel:
Ligustrum japonicum: This shrub has dark green glossy leaves which are upright and dense. White flowers from mid-summer to early autumn. Height and spread 3m (10ft) by 2.4m (8ft).
Ligustrum lucidum: has bright green leaves. White flowers up to 20cm long (8in) in late summer to early autumn. Height and spread both 10m (30ft).
Prunus laurocerasus 'Rotundifolia': is vigorous and makes excellent screening, becoming tree-like after some years. It bears fragrant white flowers from mid- and late spring 5m (14ft) by 4m (13ft).
This article from the Royal Horticultural Society has more information: