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 - February 22, 2014

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for a barrier in Ft. Worth TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Hello, I'm looking for a natural barrier as an alternative to a fence in my backyard. I see several other questions answered relating to this but I'm looking for something specifically as a native shrub or bush to North Texas (not a tree) I live in an area with slightly richer soil (Oakhurst) so I might be able to get away with planting things that couldn't otherwise be planted in the DFW area. The back yard fence line runs a decent length and is already partially filled with Lagerstroemia and hackberries but I'd like to fill in the spaces with something that will also encapsulate the backyard more naturally. Thanks for any help you can provide!

ANSWER:

   I think that sounds like a great plan.  The way to get a good list of shrubs that are native to the Ft. Worth area is to use the Wildflower Centers lists of Recommended Species.  This link is to the  Texas North Central Recommended Species. 

  Searching this for shrubs, 6-36 ft [using the “Narrow Your Search” options on the right side] gives five options.  Of these:
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) and Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) seem well suited for the application you are asking about.  Slightly less suitable are Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush), Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush), and Ilex decidua (Possumhaw). On these,  Size and Aspect seems pretty good but they may have issues in that they should have moist soil.

   I also make a practice of checking the previous Mr Smarty Plants answers.  Like you mentioned, there are a few, but these seemed to apply to your desire for shrubs.  Perhaps these are a bit different from those you mention.  [The one from Central Texas is a bit far afield, but does have a great list of local shrubs!]
Hedge in central Texas 
Variety of native tall plants for a screen in shady area near Ft. Worth 
Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas    [lists bush and shrubs] 
Plants for pool area in Fort Worth 

 

From the Image Gallery


Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

More Privacy Screening Questions

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

Need a vine to cover a chainlink fence in the shade in Tarrytown, NY.
June 08, 2012 - Any advice for a vine to cover a chain link fence in shade
view the full question and answer

Screening plants for edge of pond in Illinois
December 16, 2008 - I have a backyard pond that I am restoring, adding aeration, plants, etc. Unfortunately, there is a farmer that stores old equipment on the shore of my pond and refuses to move it. It is an eyesore....
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Hedge to cover chain link fence
September 04, 2010 - Hi, I would like to hide 250 feet of 6' tall chain link fence on a western facing, sloped, very rocky soiled back yard I had to use a jack hammer to dig the holes. Esthetically I would like to be abl...
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