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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.

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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 - April 30, 2014

From: Pleasanton, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Privacy Trees for Pleasanton, CA
Answered by: Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I was looking for some fast growing trees for my backyard that backs up to Valley Ave in Pleasanton, Ca. The city just cut down 4 Redwoods behind me and there is so much noise from the traffic now Can you help with some suggestions?

ANSWER:

It seems a number of folks from Northern CA have asked quite similar questions of Mr Smarty Plants.  The set of following recommendations cover several similar situations.

Fast-growing privacy shrub for Northern California home 

Fast-growing tree for privacy in Berkeley, CA

Privacy shrubs and trees that are safe for horses in California

Fast-growing, evergreen, non-invasive root tree for El Dorado CA

Evergreen tree for California screen

Trees for pool area in San Ramon, California

Evergreen shrubs for privacy in Merced County California

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California

There is some good discussion and many things to consider in these various messages, but Mr. Smarty Plants recognizes this buries the specific recommendations.  When I read through these messages, the following trees and shrubs appeared suitable to your part of Alameda County. 

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (Smooth mountain mahogany) - -moderate growth rate

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) - - no comments as to speed

Calocedrus decurrens (Incense cedar) - - fast growth early then slows

Umbellularia californica (California laurel) - begins growth slowly but once established grows rapidly to 40 feet

Prunus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf cherry)  - grows rapidly to 40 feet

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) – fast growing shrub

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blueblossom) - - fast growing shrub

Several more shrubs have been suggested, you'll find several more [If you want more to consider] in the above question/answer pairs.

 

From the Image Gallery


California laurel
Umbellularia californica

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

Blueblossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

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