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

Feeding live oak and redbud trees from Fredericksburg TX
October 23, 2012 - Can you please tell me what to feed my live oak and texas redbud trees that survived the drought? We have granite soil.
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on Mexican Plum in Salado, TX.
July 24, 2013 - I do live in Cental Texas (Salado) and I have the same problem with my Mexican Plum as the lady in Bellaire, TX. Mine was planted in June in a raised bed and receives sun all day long. Within the la...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for running bamboo in California
May 20, 2013 - We currently have running bamboo planted next to the side our house facing West, which has provided wonderful shade in front of two large windows. However, because it is running bamboo we are afraid i...
view the full question and answer

Is any part of Mountain Laurel poisonous to goats from Belton TX
May 02, 2013 - We are considering planting Mountain Laurel in a field where we keep goats. Will any part of the Mountain Laurel be poisonous if eaten by the goats? If it would be poisonous, could you suggest some o...
view the full question and answer

What is eating the leaves of my oak tree in Cedar Park, TX?
May 25, 2010 - This one has a couple of arborists stumped. I have clusters of small, light-colored worms on the leaves of an oak tree, but no tents or webs. They are eating the chlorophyll in the leaves, leaving th...
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