Ultimate Guide to Neighbours Be Gone Trees

Written By:
Scott Carroll
Published On:
February 1, 2024
Trees used for privacy

A popular term amongst garden enthusiasts and green thumbs alike, Neighbours Be Gone trees are nurturers of solitude across the globe. 

With their rapid growth rates and dense foliage, they form natural screens against intruding sights and sounds. From tall Lilly Pilly leaves brushing against the sky to the thick hedges of Coastal Rosemary lining up like sentinels, their benefits go far beyond aesthetics.

Let’s dive into this guide on Neighbours Be Gone, where we will list our top trees and provide some planting and maintenance recommendations along the way!

Importance of privacy in residential areas

To understand why these trees are so beloved, we first must delve into the importance of privacy for homeowners. In every sense of suburban living – whether hosting an intimate gathering or enjoying some solo sunbathing – seclusion helps create an environment conducive to relaxation. 

For parents with young children especially, it’s reassuring to know that their play areas are safe from street-level distractions or wandering eyes.

Secondly, noise reduction is another highlight afforded by these leafy shields. Traffic noises, neighbouring renovation works, loud neighbourhood pets – if any sound disrupts your peace at home, these trees can significantly dampen it down.

Lastly and most importantly, property boundaries are distinctly marked out without appearing impersonal as typical brick walls, instead trees can be lined along fences to provide a natural barrier. Thus offering everyone their defined space while nurturing friendly neighbour relations.

Example of effective use of neighbours be gone tree planting

Overview of Neighbours Be Gone trees and their benefits

Known for their ability to grow vertically and laterally quite rapidly, these trees form dense hedges when lined up closely together. This makes them an ideal natural partition between properties without isolating homeowners entirely from each other.

But these trees aren’t just about seclusion – they’re also a feast for the eyes! From the eye-catching blossom of Mock Orange to charming green berries adorning Magenta Lilly Pilly, there’s a high chance you will admire it as much for its aesthetic appeal as for its privacy offerings.

Birds and critters are also fans of this private hideaway. So get your binoculars ready, and look forward to frequent visits by local wildlife in your backyard!

Understanding the different types of Neighbours Be Gone trees

Choosing the perfect Neighbours Be Gone tree will depend on your specific needs. Of all the Neighbours Be Gone trees, our top 5 favourites are:

  1. Syzygium Smithii (Lilly Pilly)
  2. Syzygium Paniculata (Magenta Lilly Pilly)
  3. Viburnum Tinus (Laurustinus)
  4. Murraya Paniculata (Mock Orange)
  5. Westringia Fruticosa (Coastal Rosemary)

From growth rate to height potential, I’ll share some insights on these five diverse yet equally effective choices.

1. Syzygium Smithii (Lilly Pilly)

Lilly Pilly Fruit

The Lilly Pilly tree is a widely favoured choice known for its resilience and adaptability. The Lilly Pilly flaunts dark green leaves all year round, intermittently contrasted by vibrant red new growth. It’s also marked by its small pink or white flowers and purple fruits, adding aesthetic appeal.

This evergreen can amass up to 15 metres given optimal conditions, but smaller sizes can be maintained with regular pruning. It thrives in full sun exposure but does well in partially shaded areas, making it easy to grow. 

The growth speed of this variety stands at about 1 metre per year under appropriate watering and feeding. For more information on the Lilly Pilly, check out our guide to handling Lilly Pilly problems and diseases here

How does it provide a screen or hedge?

With dense, bushy foliage extending from base to top, the Lilly Pilly naturally serves as an excellent privacy screen. Once they reach maturity, maintaining them at your desired height allows you to have an opaque barrier that effectively shields them against prying eyes and dampens noise pollution.

2. Syzygium Paniculata (Magenta Lilly Pilly)


The Magenta Lilly Pilly shares many similarities with its Lilly Pilly sibling but adorns stronger pink flushes in its new growth phase. As the leaves mature, they become rich, glossy green, complemented by clusters of fluffy white flowers during summer followed by magenta-coloured berries.

Measuring up to 7 metres high at maturity across varying soil types makes this a versatile selection for medium-sized hedges or screens. Depending on environmental conditions, one can expect a decent annual growth range of 50-70 cm.

How does it provide a screen or hedge?

The Magenta Lilly Pilly forms dense evergreen foliage from the ground upwards, perfect for creating robust privacy screens and hedges. Its colourful leaves and seasonal fruits are a delightful way to add interest while maintaining privacy in your outdoor spaces.

3. Viburnum Tinus (Laurustinus)

Viburnum Tinus (Laurustinus)

Viburnum Tinus dazzles with its glossy green leaves, carrying clusters of scented pinkish-white flowers that transition into metallic blue berries during late winters. Given suitable growing conditions – primarily sun/part shade and indulging in any well-drained soils – this plant achieves an average height of 3-4 metres with an impressive growth speed of about 60 cm annually.

How does it provide a screen or hedge?

Thanks to Laurustinus’ year-round leafage teamed up with its mid-winter flower spectacle, they can deliver vibrant yet private borders. Careful pruning will ensure they remain thick to the ground, providing a solid partition against undesired attention.

4. Murraya Paniculata (Mock Orange)

Murraya Paniculata is deemed beloved due to its highly fragrant white flowers that bloom in clusters throughout summer amongst its dark green shiny foliage. This nutrient-hungry plant can reach heights of 4 metres and rapidly expand when adequately nourished, achieving a maximum growth rate of over 1 metre per annum.

How does it provide a screen or hedge?

Mock Orange’s broad-leaved evergreen nature certifies an opaque barrier all year round while emitting a sweet perfume from its blooming flowers, guarantees adding charm along with fortification to your garden’s edge.

5. Westringia Fruticosa (Coastal Rosemary)

Westringia fruticosa appearance

Presented as shrubby tufts of greyish-green foliage graced by sporadic white or light lilac flowers, passed naturally as coastal rosemary. Westringia Fruticosa is prized for its drought tolerance and low maintenance needs while still able to grow up to 1.5 metres tall at a moderate rate of around 20-40 cm annually depending on exposure.

How does it provide a screen or hedge?

As the Coastal Rosemary expands into a dense, rounded form, it can serve as an effective and elegant screen against external disturbances. It offers serenity in your abode despite being relatively lesser in height than other counterparts mentioned above.

Choosing the right Neighbours Be Gone tree 

Selecting the appropriate privacy tree can make a massive difference to your living space. With so many options available, picking a lot of work situations and conditions best can be quite challenging.

Before you rush out to buy the first Neighbours Be Gone plant you come across, there are specific factors you need to consider:

  1. Growth rate: If instant privacy is paramount, lean towards a species known for its quick growth rate.
  2. Maintenance Level: Some trees demand more care than others. Assess how much time you can dedicate to pruning, watering, and general upkeep.
  3. Climate adaptability: Choosing a tree that will thrive in your local climate conditions is crucial – heat-resistant varieties for hot climates or drought-tolerant kinds if water is scarce.
  4. Local pests and diseases: Is the plant susceptible to any common diseases or pests in your area? Choose hardy plants that resist these challenges.

Getting answers to these questions beforehand can guide your decision-making process significantly.

Best Neighbours Be Gone Trees For Different Situations

Having considered factors behind selecting trees suited particularly for your needs, let’s focus on some of the best options applicable under various circumstances.

  1. Fast-growing options for immediate privacy: If you’re yearning for instant privacy or want particular sections of your yard hidden ASAP, Syzygium Smithii (Lilly Pilly) is an excellent choice. Renowned for its speedy growth rate, this lush evergreen has a dense canopy providing prompt screening requirements.
  2. Low-maintenance options for busy homeowners: Homeowners juggling hectic schedules may find Viburnum Tinus (Lauristinus) perfectly accommodating. This low-maintenance beauty requires minimal trimming and thrives with routine watering — an ideal fit for those leading busy lives.
  3. Heat-tolerant options for hot climates: For gardeners in scorching regions, Syzygium Paniculata (Magenta Lilly Pilly) is heat tolerant and can survive harsh sunlight while providing a beautiful privacy screen. It’s an excellent solution for gardens in hot climates, offering aesthetics and functionality.
  4. Drought-resistant options for water conservation: Living in areas prone to water scarcity or particularly conscious about conservation? Choose Murraya Paniculata (Mock Orange). This small tree stands out with its gleaming white flowers—one of today’s best drought-resistant ‘Neighbours Be Gone’ trees.

Remember what I mentioned before; every situation calls for a specific tree. Consider your circumstances carefully to choose the perfect tree to suit your needs. The right decision guarantees enhanced outdoor experiences and significantly increases property values – A win-win!

Neighbours be gone trees

Neighbours Be Gone Trees: Planting and Caring Guidelines

In planting Neighbours Be Gone trees or any species, a well-planned site preparation is crucial to help your plant thrive. Firstly, pick a suitable location where your tree can comfortably grow. Remember, these trees are primarily grown for screening. Thus, place them strategically to maximise their potential as a privacy barrier.

The second step revolves around soil preparation. Ensure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter, typically equating to healthier growth. Consider testing the soil pH, as most Neighbours Be Gone tree types prefer acidic to mildly alkaline conditions.

Planting your tree

After successfully preparing your space, it’s time to get hands-on with the planting process! Start by digging a hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball of your chosen neighbour’s tree variety.

Before placing your tree into the hole, examine its roots closely. If they’re too tight, gently tease them with your fingers – this will stimulate healthier root growth once it’s in the ground!

Now place the tree into the hole, ensuring that its base, where roots meet the stem (or trunk), should be at level with the surrounding soil surface or slightly above it but never below!

Backfill halfway, then water generously before filling up entirely, ensuring no air pockets are left among roots, which could potentially cause harm to our newly planted friend.

Watering and fertilising practices

Watering frequency for Neighbours Be Gone trees depends heavily on climate specifics and soil type; however, they tend not to require excessive watering, especially ones firmly established. Young freshly planted saplings would need a consistent moist environment until they settle in, so gentle daily watering often proves adequate during the initial weeks after planting, followed by weekly thereafter, depending on weather conditions!

Fertilising also converges towards the general thumb rule: balanced slow-release fertiliser applied at planting time and six monthly after that would provide trees with necessary nutrients for growth. Again, adjust frequency accordingly to specific climate conditions!

If you’re after more tree-specific information, head on over to our informative guide on the best fertiliser for the Lilly Pilly.

Pruning and Shaping Tips

Prune Neighbours Be Gone trees annually or whenever needed to maintain the desired shape. While most varieties naturally grow into hedge-like form, judicious pruning helps increase foliage density, making them even better screens.

Remember, always use sharp, clean tools when pruning for plants’ health and your own, performing the task with ease! Timing isn’t as critical; these resilient performers tolerate all year-round pruning, albeit dormant phase (later winter / early spring), often deemed the best uphill blooming period.

Pests & Diseases 

Neighbours Be Gone trees are generally robust and low-maintenance, leaving little room for pests and diseases. However, it’s still crucial to stay vigilant – Aphids being common pests and occasional Leaf Spotting issues being something to watch out for. Apply eco-friendly pest controls if necessary without delay, along with spotting symptoms while recurring leaf spots could warrant help from a local arborist or nursery professional to accurately diagnose and advise on effective treatment options!

Final thoughts

In conclusion, selecting the right Neighbours Be Gone tree can transform your garden into a private oasis, blending aesthetics with functionality. 

Whether you seek rapid growth for immediate privacy, low maintenance, heat tolerance, or drought resistance, there’s a perfect tree for every need. With proper care and selection, these trees enhance your outdoor living space and contribute to a harmonious, secluded, and beautiful environment for years to come.

Neighbours Be Gone Tree FAQs

What is the average height these trees can reach?

On average, different varieties of Neighbours Be Gone Trees greatly vary in height. However, if you’re particularly worried about coverage or security issues, rest assured – various types grow up to considerable heights:

  1. Syzygium Smithii (Lilly Pilly) approximately reaches 20 metres.
  2. Syzygium Paniculata (Magenta Lilly Pilly) typically measures 3 to 15 metres high.
  3. Viburnum Tinus (Laurustinus) grows between 2-4 metres.
  4. Murraya Paniculata (Mock Orange) tends to tower at approximately 3.5 metres.
  5. Westringia Fruticosa (Coastal Rosemary) is more often used for hedges than bulky screens due to its shorter stature, a maximum of 1-2 metres.

That said, please don’t mistake “maximum heights” as universally standard—your tree’s growth might vary depending on factors like soil quality and climate conditions in your region.

How long does it take for them to provide adequate screening?

When discussing “adequate screening” aspects, patience is undeniably king! Depending on their growth rate and planting healthy saplings, many Neighbours Be Gone Trees take around 3-5 years to reach a height that provides suitable privacy.

Providing optimal care and ensuring they grow in the right conditions is crucial, too. With ample sunlight, well-drained soil, mulching, and regular watering during their first few years can accelerate tree growth.

Do these trees require regular maintenance?

Much like owning a car or any investment, ongoing care is essential to reap the best benefits from your planted saplings. 

For instance:

  • Consistent fertilising feeds these plants with nutrients needed for growth.
  • Regular pruning promotes overall health, keeping diseases and defects at bay.
  • Occasional checkups ensure pests aren’t infiltrating your precious privacy screen.

However, low-maintenance options such as Coastal Rosemary (Westringia Fruticosa) may suit busy homeowners better since it doesn’t require any great deal of upkeep apart from an annual trim.

Can they be used as sound barriers?

Beyond merely providing visual seclusion, one must consider whether these trees can be noise buffers. Dense hedging plants like the Lilly Pilly varieties (Syzygium Smithii & Syzygium Paniculata) make fantastic noise reducers because their thick foliage absorbs sound waves efficiently. 

Make no mistake; while no plant can entirely block out loud noises (like traffic or heavy machinery), actively growing these magnificent specimens along your perimeter will remarkably curb unwanted sounds leaking into your tranquil residential sanctuary!