Growing a living privacy screen or hedge provides natural beauty that's unlike metal or wooden fencing. Hedges can also reduce noise from passing traffic, offer habitat for birds, provide shade and create private outdoor spaces. When planning a hedge row, consider whether you want a formal or informal look. Planting trees in a row often creates a more formal look than planting them in groups. Spacing the trees at the correct distance is key when growing a hedge or privacy screen. Some factors to consider when buying trees for hedging or screening are mature height and spread, growth rate, hardiness zone and maintenance requirements.