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. Many thanks, Jackie Jacques
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: