Older homes in downtown areas have picturesque architecture and narrow backyards that must be finished carefully in order to maximize the space. If you have small backyard, you'll need to choose the right trees and the right fencing in order to create the perfect backyard space.
Fence For Privacy
Unlike suburban homes that have spacious backyards, old-fashioned row homes or duplexes often have small backyard spaces that abut those of the neighbors. Therefore, your first thought in finishing off your backyard is to make the space as private as possible.
Fencing for privacy usually requires that the fence go taller than the typical residential fence. It should be taller than a normal adult height. This is courtesy to both you and your neighbors; if you're having a party in your backyard, the tall fence keeps light, colors, and late-night noise more contained.
The best fences for privacy are wooden. Instead of picket-style fences, your fence contractor will lay wide wooden boards horizontally across support beams. The horizontal style helps reduce cost and helps reduce the number of cracks in between individual boards. If you aren't keen on painting your fence, choose treated wood so that it is not susceptible to rot.
Bring In The Trees
Even though your yard is small, you still want to plant some substantial vegetation in order to liven up the space and provide natural shade. However, because privacy fences are so tall and the yard space is so small, it is hard to find a tree that fits well in the space, without having crown growth restricted by the fence. For example, crabapple trees are small in mature height, making them popular for suburban yards. However, a crabapple tree simply will not grow tall enough to spread over the fence—the branches will be contained in the yard, making your yard appear even smaller than it is.
Similarly, problems come from choosing large trees, simply because the branches will reach over into a neighbor's yard space. You'll have to choose your trees carefully in order to make sure both the fence and the yard are properly accounted for. Trees that fit well into tiny yards include:
Columnar poplar or aspens. These genetically modified trees grow very tall, but the bush-like structure of the branches grows up instead of out. A simultaneous upside and downside of columnar trees is that they are very fast growing. This means that you'll have shade and greenery in only a few years, but it also means the roots of these trees are more likely to look for moisture underneath pavements and hardscapes. This tree is a better choice for wet climates.
Espaliered trees. Like columnar trees, this style of tree is cultivated so that it grows flat—almost two dimensional—against a fence. Regular crabapple trees, flowing plums, and other beauties can be planted right close the fence because the branches, almost like vines, will grow in the same direction that the fence stretches. In order to achieve this type of growth, a landscaper or fence contractor will need to train the tree to grow in this way through pruning and binding. After a few years, you'll have a fence and trees living in harmony with one another.
Naturally narrow trees. Popular and beautiful tree varieties that always do well along fences and in small yards include cedar trees, Amur cherry trees, Taylor junipers, and holly trees.
Planning a fence and trees for your tiny backyard may seem impossible with the space you have to work with. However, with a few techniques, growing the right trees, and picking the right style of fence, you'll have a private and green backyard oasis that is perfect for entertaining.