Noise pollution in and around our homes is a major concern today. Noise is not only a nuisance but it also causes a lot of health problems for a lot of people. So it's important that we stop as much extra environmental noise as possible. Although it is impossible to stop all types of noise and at all times, we can make a point to stop as much unnecessary noise as possible. In this regard, trees and plants in our landscaping can play a major role. They not only add beauty to your home and gardens but also effectively cut out outside noise. So if your house is located near a heavy traffic area or highly populated area, it's a good idea to design your landscaping and garden to screen as much noise as possible.

Gardens, trees, and even hedges can insulate a home. They act as natural barriers and also make the environment healthy. Trees and hedges also act as shades and create the much needed privacy for your home. They stop curious neighbors and bystanders from peeping into your garden and rooms. Evergreen trees are great if you want to use natural barriers throughout the year. Since they have green leaves throughout the year, they can provide the protection and noise reduction we need all the time.

Leyland Cypress is one of the most desirable trees in the evergreen category. It grows quickly and covers a lot of area fast. They have thick foliage and can effectively cut out outside noise. The tree can grow to an impressive height of 75 feet. On an average they grow 3 to 4 feet per year! They can grow in direct sunlight but it is better not to expose them to heavy gale. Arborvitae is another evergreen tree that can grow up to 50 feet. They are beautiful trees and they have smooth leaves (unlike most other evergreens that have prickly ones). The Eastern Red Cedar can be as huge as a cypress. They grow best in partial shade. The only disadvantage is that they grow very slow compared to both the Leyland Cypress and the Arborvitae.

Beside trees, shrubs and small trees can also be an effective sound barrier. There are plenty of evergreen shrubs that look wonderful and stay healthy. These shrubs can also help in effective noise screening and can be used as hedges. Osmanthus is one such option. This particular plant can grow up to 15 feet. They are available in different varieties from small to large leaves and deep green to variegated ones. Partial sunlight is ideal for this shrub. There are varieties of Ligustrum, which you can use as hedges for noise screening. Bayberry too is extremely popular among the evergreen shrubs as borders or barriers to your lawn or garden. The Bayberry can grow from 10 to 20 feet. They are tough, fast growing and have a wonderful fragranance. The 2 different types of Bayberry are ‘northern' and ‘southern'. Choose the type according to the location of your home.

A simple hedge may not look unique. Try to mix different varieties and maintain them well. A tapestry hedge is very attractive. It can be created with golden cypress, holly and beech. You can also add flowering ones like sweetbrier, Escallonia etc. to add color to your hedges.

Source by Steve Boulden