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?


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
11 ratings

Friday - January 25, 2008

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Fast-growing evergreen shrub/tree as a screening fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Our commercially-zoned property is adjacent to a residential area. The city planning and zoning board has said okay to a vegetation boundary instead of a fence for blocking headlights. The requirements are that it reach at least 6 feet tall and be completely opaque within 2 years and it needs to be 5 feet across. We would like something that is evergreen and fast growing, but not invasive. Something that produces berries or flowers would be nice as well. Do you have any suggestions?


There are a couple of relatively fast-growing evergreens that come to Mr. Smarty Plants' mind first:

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) and Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

There are several other evergreens that aren't quite as fast-growing, but would also serve your purpose:

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Rhus virens

Juniperus virginiana

Ilex vomitoria

Sophora secundiflora

Prunus caroliniana




More Privacy Screening Questions

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Charleston, WV.
April 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in zone 6 and an looking for an evergreen privacy type hedge that grows no taller than 10'-12'. I am not interested in any boxwood type of hedge. The evergreens would be ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
June 22, 2011 - I am looking for a tall-growing tree/shrub to act as a privacy screen with neighbors on two existing borders, including, e.g., blocking out the neighbors tall swing set gym, deck, and other activity, ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy and noise screen in Austin
January 17, 2009 - Mr. Smarty, I purchased a home and notice that my neighbors seem to hang outside their garage on the weekends and thus causing some noise. I need some major privacy from this neighbor and I was think...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Pace Florida
March 10, 2014 - We live in the Florida panhandle and I wondering what we could use as a natural fence line between our property and the neighbor's. I love the look of oleander, but upon research found it to be toxic...
view the full question and answer

Small trees for property edge in Katy TX
April 16, 2012 - By deed restriction, I must have five trees on the side of my small suburban lot just west of Houston, TX. Due to the lot layout, the trunks are only about 8-10 feet from the house, with the trees abo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center