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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.

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

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Wednesday - January 22, 2014

From: Anderson, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Fast-growing privacy shrub for Northern California home
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We have purchased a home in Anderson CA. We want a privacy shrub along the roadside of our home to reduce noise. 60'x 25' of full sun with rocky soil and many Oak trees.We want something that will grow quickly. What are my options?

ANSWER:

There are quite a few possibilities.   Below is a list of evergreen shrubs that are known to grow in Shasta County:

Frangula californica [synonym = Rhamnus californica] (California buckthorn)  Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in Escondido and Santa Margarita,  Santa Barbara City College and from the California Native Plant Society.

Calocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar)  Although can reach heights of 70 feet or so, they can be pruned to maintain a hedge.  Here are photos and more information from Missouri Botanical Garden and Las Pilitas Nursery.

Cercocarpus montanus [synonym = Cercocarpus betuloides] (Alderleaf mountain mahogany)  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Seven Oaks Native Nursery in Oregon.

Dendromecon rigida (Tree poppy)  Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and the California Native Plant Society.

Rhamnus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf redberry)  Here is more information from Theodore Payne Foundation and photos from CalPhotos at University of California-Berkeley.

Adenostoma fasciculatum (Chamise)  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Santa Barbara City College.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon)  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery and Sonoma County Master Gardeners.

Ceanothus cuneatus (Buckbrush)  Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery, Seven Oaks Native Nursery and Theodore Payne Foundation.

Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita)  Here is more information from California Flora Nursery.  There are other species and varieties manzanitas as described by Las Pilitas Nursery, Plants of California and Pacific Horticulture.

 

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