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

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

More Trees Questions

Possible fungus growing on mountain ash (Sorbus sp. or Fraxinus sp.)
January 20, 2008 - We have a mountain ash with something growing several feet off the ground that looks like duckbills or mushrooms. Can you tell me what is wrong with it. We lost one mountain ash tree to something an...
view the full question and answer

Desert willows in Florida
December 07, 2007 - I'm in Dunnellon, FL and I'm growing several chilopsis linearis from seeds, but they are coming in long, tall with very few leaves. and continuously fall over from their lanky growing ways. Any idea...
view the full question and answer

Possible fungal infection of oak trees in Mastic Beach, NY.
June 19, 2012 - Sir, I have a yard full of HUGE Oaks. The one in question is about 80' tall 48" in diameter at the base. They are all well maintained fed and trimed and elevated every 3 or 4 years. About 4 years a...
view the full question and answer

Tree protection during construction
February 18, 2008 - What measures can/should be taken to ensure the health, future of live oaks while building a new home? There are many small to medium oaks on this property, some very close to the house site and the o...
view the full question and answer

Plants for under live oak in Houston
July 09, 2011 - Hi, We have a live oak in our back garden in Houston and would like to plant a combination of some native shrubs and flowers near it (preferably perennial). The garden bed is about 4 metres from the...
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