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
1 rating

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native trees for privacy screen in Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in the hill country outside of Austin,TX in somewhat rocky terrain. I wanted to plant a tree for a privacy screen to hide a neighbor's house. I was considering a Leland cypress. What are your thoughts? I am looking for a tree that is full at the top and bottom grows tall (juniper size), and is low maintenance. It will get partial sun. Also any other trees you may suggest? Thanks.

ANSWER:

The Leyland cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii or Cupressus leylandii) is a cultivated hybrid of Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) and Alaska Cedar (Cupressus nootkatensis) and, as such, is not really considered a plant native to North America. Since our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson are plants native to North America, we wouldn't recommend planting the Leyland cypress. Certainly the native range of its two progenitors doesn't include Central Texas and there are problems concerning hot summers making them prone to diseases.

Since you are looking for a privacy screen, you probably are interested in an evergreen. Here are a few suggestions with Central Texas as the native range:

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar), 30-40 feet, but can reach 90 feet

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel), 10-20 feet, can reach 30 feet

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), 12-25 feet, can reach 36 feet

You can also visit the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M University to search for trees using your own criteria.


Juniperus virginiana

Sophora secundiflora

Ilex vomitoria

 


 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy shield for Long Island, NY
May 13, 2009 - I live in Long Island New York (Smithtown), Zone 6, I think. My yard has mostly shade and I would like to plant something for privacy along my back fence because my neighbors house is close and their...
view the full question and answer

Thorny plants for a security perimeter in Austin TX
October 16, 2013 - Hello, I am trying to establish a security perimeter around my property that incorporates thorny or otherwise deterrent shrubs and vines. Can you recommend some attractive native plants that would su...
view the full question and answer

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Granbury Texas
December 21, 2014 - We need to put an evergreen privacy screen between our barn and our neighbor's new 132' long, unattractive building, which runs along & is just 40' away from our fence line & where they have decid...
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