En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - December 28, 2013

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: California
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Privacy Screening
Title: Oak root resistant hedge for Southern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Southern California and my cypress hedge has oak root fungus. What kind of hedge can I plant that will grow fast and be resistant to the fungus?

ANSWER:

Las Pilitas Nursery, located in Santa Margarita and Escondido, has an article, Hedges, Windbreaks, and Screens with California Native Plants and Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, Inc. in Sun Valley has an article, Plants Resistant to Oak Root Fungus.

Considering both of the above lists, here are selections that are listed by Theodore Payne Foundation as being "Immune" to the oak root fungus.  They are the evergreen trees or shrubs on the list.

Mahonia aquifolium (Hollyleaved barberry) grows 3 to 6 feet high and Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry) grows 5 to 12 feet high.  [Note that the synonyms for these two use the genus name, Berberis, instead of Mahonia.]  Here is more information about Hollyleaved barberry from Las Pilitas and from Theodore Payne Foundation and here is more information about Nevin's barberry from Las Pilitas Nursery and from Theodore Payne Foundation.

Carpenteria californica (Bush anemone) grows 4 to 8 feet high.  Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Prunus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf cherry)  or Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (Catalina cherry) grows 10 to 40 feet.  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Theodore Payne Foundation.

Calocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar) grows slowly to 60 feet.   Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden and Theodore Payne Foundation.

There are certainly species on the Las Pilitas Nursery list that are not named on the Theodore Payne Foundation list.  The Arctostaphylos spp. (Manzanitas) are moderately resistant to the fungus; but here are some evergreen hedge species on the Las Pilitas "Hedges, Windbreaks, and Screens with California Native Plants" list to avoid:

There is another list, Plants Resistant or Susceptible to Armillaria mellea, The Oak Root Fungus, by Robert D. Raabe from the University of California, Berkeley that does include some California native plants.   However, a majority of the plants on the list are not native and, indeed, some are invasive species [e.g., Melia azerdarach (Chinaberry or Persian lilac)] so unless you check each species for its nativity and invasiveness, you should use caution in using for picking a substitute for your cypress hedge.  Here are a few choices from that list, however, that I have checked for nativity and invasiveness:

Garrya elliptica (Wavyleaf silktassel) grows to 10 feet and is evergreen.   Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Theodore Payne Foundation.

Calycanthus occidentalis (Western sweetshrub) grows to 15 feet, is deciduous but a fast grower.   Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and from Las Pilitas Nursery.

Shepherdia argentea (Silver buffaloberry) is decidous, grows to 6 to 20 feet with spiny twigs.   Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and from Las Pilitas Nursery.  The growth rate has been described as rapid to moderate.

 

From the Image Gallery


Hollyleaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Nevin's barberry
Mahonia nevinii

Bush anemone
Carpenteria californica

Catalina cherry
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Western sweetshrub
Calycanthus occidentalis

Silver buffaloberry
Shepherdia argentea

More Privacy Screening Questions

Decorative Trees for Scenic Bench in Fairhope IL
June 10, 2012 - I am looking for a recommendation for a pair of small trees (does not grow taller than 18-20 feet) that can provide shade on either side of a stone bench. The site is in full sun, western exposure an...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy in Round Lake IL
April 14, 2010 - I recently purchased a house in northern Illinois that overlooks a busy walking path. The yard is 80 feet wide and currently has a 4 foot chain link fence, but I would like to add something for priva...
view the full question and answer

Screening Suggestions in Brooklyn, NY
March 08, 2013 - My neighbor directly in back of me has shrubs that are growing all over my fence. Also his 9-foot-tall shed facing me is rusted. What can I do to improve my view so that I can enjoy my backyard more?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
April 07, 2010 - I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
view the full question and answer

Screen for highway noise in Conroe, Texas
March 18, 2010 - I have 120' of fence line which backs up to a busy highway, and now there are plans to widen it to four lanes. Is there a native tree or shrub which could help dampen the noise and block out the view...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center