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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 15, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native evergreen for privacy screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to incorporate a tree in my landscaping near my house (10-15 feet) for privacy, what are the best trees that don't shed their leaves and have nice flowers and their roots wont destroy my foundation?

ANSWER:

The following are small native trees (30 feet or less) that are evergreen and grow well in Austin. Unless you plan to plant right up against your foundation, none of them should cause it any harm.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) has beautiful purple blossoms in the spring with a sweet scent like grape koolaid.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) has small white flowers that make red berries that birds enjoy.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) has inconspicuous white flowers that attract birds and butterflies and produce small pale blue berries. There are dwarf cultivars that you should be careful to avoid if you want a tree-sized plant.

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) has clusters of cream colored flowers that produce small blue or black fruit that birds like.


Sophora secundiflora

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

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