Thuja, boxwood and privet are trees and shrubs that provide effective and attractive privacy hedges. All of these plants grow quickly, reducing the time from planting to having a full privacy hedge. While all of these varieties are fast growers, they also do not grow so large that they become a problem and necessitate expensive professional pruning. Most of these plants grow more than 20 feet tall, and all are easy to manage for any home gardener.
Thujas, also known as arborvitaes and, somewhat erroneously, as cedars, are fast growing evergreen trees native to several different parts of the world. The diversity in this genus means there are thujas available to suit the needs of most gardeners. Most thujas only grow to about 20 feet tall, but a few giant varieties are available for those who require up to 60 vertical feet of privacy screening. All thujas take pruning well, so even large varieties can be trimmed much shorter.
Boxwood and privet are quite similar plants, both being small shrubs with dense green foliage. Even unpruned, both species rarely grow more than 10 feet high and about 6 feet wide, making them ideal for those with limited space. Gardeners can also trim these compact shrubs to even smaller sizes, as both varieties can take large amounts of pruning with few consequences.