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

Barrier Shrubs for North Carolina
July 11, 2015 - Need a spiny barrier shrub that will grow in North Carolina shady rain forest (4,000 feet elevation) to deter trespassers wading down a creek from climbing on a private nature path that we constructed...
view the full question and answer

Low privacy hedge in Houston
June 17, 2009 - I am looking for a fast growing, dense (for privacy) shrub/s or plants, that will get at least 3-4+ feet high for a mostly shady area. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

mixed species privacy hedge in Central Texas
March 24, 2016 - I need to plant a privacy hedge along a fence line. I am in east Austin, blackland prairie soil. The soil is rich, usually at least moist but not soggy, and I find lots of worms when I dig. The fen...
view the full question and answer

Fast Growing Shrub for Oceanside New York Site
April 17, 2015 - Can you recommend a tall, fast-growing shrub for a sandy location (near an ocean beach in New York) in full sun? Iím looking for a privacy shield.
view the full question and answer

Need plants to provide a privacy screen in Cedar Creek, TX
March 31, 2015 - We need to screen out neighbor's house. What can we plant (fast growing tree or hedge) in partial shade? Area is dry in summer, but does get soggy during heavy rain. We live east of Austin in Cedar C...
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