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
2 ratings

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

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy shield for Long Island, NY
May 13, 2009 - I live in Long Island New York (Smithtown), Zone 6, I think. My yard has mostly shade and I would like to plant something for privacy along my back fence because my neighbors house is close and their...
view the full question and answer

Rejuvenating an old Wax myrtle hedge
February 15, 2016 - I have 8 wax myrtles that were planted about 9 years ago as a screen from our neighbors. They are about 12 feet high. During the past 9 months they are getting thinner and thinner. Two of them hav...
view the full question and answer

Drought Resistant Privacy Screen for North Side of Austin Texas House
July 10, 2016 - We live in the densely populated Mueller development, where there's barely 3 feet from our home to the 6 foot high privacy fence between us and the house next door. Since the houses are 2 stories, we ...
view the full question and answer

Eight Foot Screen for Austin, TX
September 01, 2011 - I'm looking for a fast-growing shrub to "extend" the height of my fence and provide privacy in my yard in Austin. My lot is pretty much full sun and very dry, mostly clay soil. 8' is my goal. Than...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screening plant for California
May 08, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen plant that can be used as a screen. Maybe something wispy. Any suggestions?
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