En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy plantings in Texas
August 16, 2008 - Our home currently has a 4' chain fence. We are a family of 7 with younger aged children and are looking for more privacy. In lieu of a replacement fence, what would you recommend planting to provi...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen for privacy screen
May 15, 2008 - I want to incorporate a tree in my landscaping near my house (10-15 feet) for privacy, what are the best trees that don't shed their leaves and have nice flowers and their roots wont destroy my found...
view the full question and answer

Puppy-friendly privacy screen in Montana
November 02, 2012 - I need some puppy-friendly short(< 30') privacy from the gigantic windows of my next door neighbor. But- there are power lines above the area that I needed to plant! I had planned on an aspen grove, ...
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Looking for shrubs to replace Photinia as a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
February 08, 2011 - Suggestions to replace diseased red tipped photinia. Looking for hardy privacy screen type of evergreen, not too deep with height of approx. 10-12' Thank you
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center