Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Tall trees for privacy screen in St. Augustine FL
March 24, 2013 - Please let me know what kind of evergreen tall trees I can plant for privacy in my back yard in the st. Augustine, Florida area. Thanks for your assistance.
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

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.