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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

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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Saturday - August 02, 2014

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being densely shaded. The thirty feet in the middle gets direct sun all day. Is Evergreen Sumac a good choice considering the difference in lighting? If not, do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) will grow well in full sun and partial shade.   In the densest shade, they will be more open and tree-like.  They can be pruned to shape but they won't likely be as dense as the ones that grow in full sun.  In full sun they will grow denser and more shrub-like.  Here is more information from Aggie Horticulture.

Another possibility is Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) that does well in sun, part shade and shade and can be shaped into a dense hedge.  Here are instructions on How to Plant a Juniperus Virginiana Hedge.  You can see some of the varieties that are more shrub-like from Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension.

 

From the Image Gallery


Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

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