Blocking Road Noise with Trees and Shrubs
Many people choose to add a fence to a property is to increase privacy in a yard or to block street/road noise. Depending on your property this may or may not completely work. If you are trying to block out road noise but your home sits on a hill above the road chances are good that you are not going to be able to block it all out with the traditional fence. Fencing regulations make this difficult by limiting how high you can build, and for good reason. If we were all allowed to build fences as tall as we like we would more than likely end up with some very ugly neighborhoods. If you find yourself in this situation a great work around is to use trees and shrubs acting as a fence with no height regulations. A fence will help out with the majority of noise but in some situations you must go beyond the fence. As always, it is good to ask yourself a few questions before you get started on a project like this.
First, how urgently do you need to block out the noise? Is it immediate or can you live with it while you wait for the trees to grow? This will make a difference on how much you spend and what kind of plants you purchase. Some plants grow faster than others so it is good to do your research and find out what will be best for your situation.
How much noise is there? Do you need really thick trees or just something to block visibility? This will also have an impact on what kind of plants you purchase and how much money you spend. If you are trying to block out really loud road noise you will want a thicker tree/shrub that will absorb much of the sound. If sound is not an issue but you are trying to block a view you may not need such a thick shrub.
What kind of budget are you on? Plants range is cost and can be a make it or break it for your project. If you are looking for plants that are already grown to a certain height then you will be spending more vs. plants that are still small.
Like most projects it is important to do some research before you go out and buy. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a plant/tree that loses its leaves in the fall. What good is that going to do? So be sure to take the time and learn about what will fit your needs best. Below are some great resources on trees and shrubs that could help out on your project.
Fast Growing Trees – A list and review of trees that grow quicker than others
Best Trees to Block Road Noise – A short E-how article recommending trees to block noise.
Guide to Soundproofing a Home – Another E-how article on steps to soundproof a home
A practical Guide to Noise Control – An 160 page E-book guide to cutting down noise.