Bay Scenery, Inc

Bay Scenery Landscape Construction

Creating Privacy with Screening Plants


If you’re a homeowner in Northern California, you understand the importance of privacy in your outdoor space. Whether you want to shield your backyard from nosy neighbors, block out street noise, or simply create a secluded oasis, screening plants can be your best friends. They not only provide the privacy you desire but also add beauty and greenery to your landscape. In this guide, we’ll explore popular plant types for creating privacy screens in the Golden State.

Consider Your Climate Zone

Before diving into plant selections, it’s crucial to understand your specific microclimate within Northern California. The region’s climate can vary from coastal areas with mild, maritime influences to inland valleys with hotter and drier conditions. Knowing your climate zone will help you choose plants that thrive in your particular area.

**1. Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens): Italian cypress trees are iconic in Mediterranean-style landscapes and make excellent privacy screens. They are tall and slender, providing a natural barrier without taking up much horizontal space. These trees are well-suited to the drier inland regions of Northern California.

**2. Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii): Leyland cypress is a fast-growing evergreen that’s popular for creating privacy hedges. They can adapt to various soil types and are especially suited for areas with moderate rainfall.

**3. Bamboo (Phyllostachys spp.): Bamboo can be a fantastic choice for a living privacy screen. There are clumping bamboo varieties that are well-behaved and won’t spread uncontrollably. Bamboo works particularly well in the milder coastal areas of Northern California.

**4. Ficus Nitida (Indian Laurel Fig): This dense evergreen tree is a great choice for creating a solid privacy screen. It thrives in the milder coastal climates and can be pruned to your desired height and shape.

**5. Japanese Blueberry Tree (Elaeocarpus decipiens): Known for its attractive foliage, the Japanese Blueberry Tree can add both privacy and aesthetic appeal to your landscape. It’s suitable for many regions in Northern California.

**6. Rhododendrons and Azaleas: For a splash of color along with privacy, consider planting rhododendrons and azaleas. These flowering shrubs thrive in the cooler, coastal areas of Northern California.

**7. Redwood Trees (Sequoia sempervirens): If you’re lucky enough to be in a redwood-friendly area, these towering giants can create a stunning natural privacy screen. They’re well-suited to the northern part of the state.

**8. Holly (Ilex spp.): Holly bushes, with their dense, spiky leaves, can make an effective privacy hedge. They tolerate a range of conditions and add a festive touch during the holiday season.

Maintenance Tips:

  • Regular pruning and maintenance are essential to keep your privacy screen healthy and in shape.
  • Consider the water needs of your chosen plants and adjust your irrigation accordingly.
  • Mulch around the base of your plants to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.


Privacy screening with plants in Northern California is not only functional but also a beautiful way to enhance your outdoor space. Choose plants that suit your specific climate zone and landscaping preferences, and enjoy the added seclusion and greenery they bring to your home.

Whether you opt for tall trees, fast-growing shrubs, or a combination of both, your carefully selected screening plants will transform your outdoor area into a private paradise.

Remember to consult with local nurseries or horticultural experts for personalized advice on the best plant choices for your specific location and needs. Happy gardening!

About Us

Bay Scenery is a multi-licensed contractor, one of the few in the area that is General Contractor (B – Licensed), Landscape Construction (C.27 Licensed), as well as pool construction (C.53 licensed).