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
5 ratings

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

From: Johnston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native evergreen trees or shrubs for privacy screen in South Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, we recently lost a grove of eleven 30+ year old white pine trees in a storm this month. They provided a natural 42'x30' screen to the front of our property and home. What type of fast growing (8+ foot) evergreen trees or shrubs would you recommend as replacements? I was considering layering a combination of magnolias and possibly Carolina Silverbells to the house side of the evergreens. We live in USDA Zone 7, Elevation 550', heavy red clay under 2-4" sandy loam topsoil, with high heat and humidity. We do have irrigation to that area. Thank you for your assistance and your web site.

ANSWER:

We're assuming you did not want to replace the trees you lost with more Pinus strobus (eastern white pine). They are a very fine native tree, but if you feel they might come down again in another storm, we'll see if we can find something else appropriate. The need for evergreen species does narrow the field, and we found ourselves considering more pines, junipers, hollies, etc.

If we understand you correctly, your intent is to palnt another screen of trees and/or shrubs at the front of your home, with magnolias, possibly Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) or Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay), and Halesia carolina (Carolina silverbell) in the space between the house and the screening trees. These are all North American natives, which is what we recommend at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and all three are natively distributed in South Carolina. Since we don't know the dimensions of your property, we would recommend that you become aware of the mature dimensions of these trees, so you don't get a "grove", cutting off natural light and air circulation around your house. Follow each plant link to a webpage of information on that plant from our Native Plant Database; then, at the bottom of that webpage, there will be a link saying "Search Google for (Name of Plant)". That will take you to a lot more information than we have room for in our webpages. You can do the same with the following lists of shrubs and trees, and hopefully come up with a plan for replacemeny of your previous planting of Pinus strobus (eastern white pine). All of these are also native to South Carolina and should do well under the conditions you have described.

TREES

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) - produces a pollen that is a major allergen

Pinus palustris (longleaf pine)

SHRUBS

Ilex ambigua (Carolina holly)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (myrtle dahoon)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Morella caroliniensis (southern bayberry) - Images


Magnolia grandiflora

Magnolia virginiana

Halesia carolina

Juniperus virginiana

Pinus palustris

Ilex ambigua

Ilex glabra

Ilex myrtifolia

Ilex opaca

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera


 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for privacy screen in Austin
March 11, 2008 - I would like some suggestions for plants to form a privacy screen between our backyard and our neighbor's. The site is shady, under old Texas Ash and pecan trees, and is located in North central Aust...
view the full question and answer

Combining native shrubs for hedge in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Smarty, Please tell me what the definitions are for all the various water, soil moisture, drainage and light requirements mean. Are the definitions global? I live in Central East Austin and inten...
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

Evergreen shrub for Austin TX
February 28, 2015 - I am wanting an evergreen shrub 6-8 ft tall to use as a screen in our backyard. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

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