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

Tuesday - June 17, 2014

From: Wellfleet, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Screening Plants for Cape Cod
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need to plant some fairly high growing leafy plants/bushes/trees for privacy and as a sound barrier in (the remains of) a pine forest in Cape Cod, MA. The pines grow tall and skinny so that we can see/hear right through to our neighbors. Black walnut do grow in between the pines, but they are invasive so not good for our purposes.

ANSWER:

Thanks for considering native plants to create a screen in your pine forest in Cape Cod. In addition to having lots of seedlings, black walnuts also secrete a substance called Juglone that is toxic to many other plants and keeps away any competition – so you are smart to be wary of this tree.
To find a list of native plants to consider as interplants to create a privacy screen, the best place to start is the Lady Bird Johnson Native Plant Database. Under the Combination Search, select Massachusetts, shrub (then tree), perennial, shade, dry and 3-12 feet tall. There are several shrubs and trees that are the result of this search criteria that you might consider.
Alder:
Alnus viridis ssp. crispa (green alder)
Serviceberries:
Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)
Amelanchier bartramiana (oblongfruit serviceberry)
Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry)
Amelanchier sanguinea (roundleaf serviceberry)
Amelanchier stolonifera (running serviceberry)
Dogwoods:
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Cornus rugosa (roundleaf dogwood)
Hazelnut:
Corylus americana (American hazelnut)
Witch hazel:
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Holly:
Ilex opaca (American holly), evergreen
Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)
Spicebush:
Lindera benzoin (Northern spicebush)
Mulberry:
Morus rubra (red mulberry)
Ninebark:
Physocarpus opulifolius (Atlantic ninebark)
Cherry:
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)
Wafer ash:
Ptelea trifoliata (wafer ash)
Sumac:
Rhus aromatic (fragrant sumac)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)
Rose:
Rosa setigera (climbing prairie rose)
Yew:
Taxus canadensis (Canada yew)
Blueberry:
Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
Viburnum:
Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)
Viburnum rafinesquianum (downy arrowwood)

 

From the Image Gallery


Oblongfruit serviceberry
Amelanchier bartramiana

Allegheny serviceberry
Amelanchier laevis

Roundleaf serviceberry
Amelanchier sanguinea

Flowering dogwood
Cornus florida

American hazelnut
Corylus americana

Witch hazel
Hamamelis virginiana

American holly
Ilex opaca

Common winterberry
Ilex verticillata

Atlantic ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius

Black cherry
Prunus serotina

Wafer ash
Ptelea trifoliata

Mapleleaf viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium

More Trees Questions

Replacement for maple tree lost in Hurricane Sandy from Hauppauge NY
March 17, 2013 - Lost a Maple street tree in Hurricane Sandy, was forty-eight years old. Town will not replace the tree. Must do it on my own. What would you suggest? Nothing that grows too tall.
view the full question and answer

New growth on live oaks in Houston
September 27, 2011 - My 2 10yr. old live oaks are putting out new growth (branches?) although, here in Houston, TX we are having such a drought. For the last 3 months, I have conscientiously watered my entire yard via ...
view the full question and answer

Wind damage to pecan tree in Royse City, TX
June 14, 2009 - The wind broke my pecan tree trunk in two. It is approximately 2 in caliper and about 15 feet tall. Is there a tree trunk repair?
view the full question and answer

Will desert willow (Chlopsis linearis) grow in N. E. Mississippi
July 21, 2008 - I am located in N.E. Mississippi. A friend of mine sent me a few desert willow seeds. I have about 5 plants growing now that are about 6 inches tall. I was wanting to know first of all, is it possi...
view the full question and answer

Growths on Shumard Red Oak leaves from Katy TX
April 01, 2013 - Our beautiful Shumard Red Oak has developed lots of light green grape like growths on the leaves. Please inform us what this could be and how we should treat it?
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