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

FAST GROWING PRIVACY PLANTS IN EL PASO, TEXAS
October 11, 2010 - Hello, First, I am totally ignorant of plants,trees planting,etc. However, I just moved to El Paso, Tx and find every home is surrounded by these hideous rock walls, which aren't nearly tall enough t...
view the full question and answer

White flowers to plant in front of evergreen tree screen in Altoona PA
June 15, 2010 - I have planted about 30 evergreen trees (as a screen). I would like to plant a row of low maintenance whitish flowering bushes or low maintenance large flowering plants in front of this row. Any sug...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for constant rain
June 24, 2008 - We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing th...
view the full question and answer

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center