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
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

Need suggestions for shrubs for a screening barrier along a fence line in Austin, TX.
July 24, 2009 - Hi! I am new to Austin and I live in a town home community that backs up to an existing neighborhood. There is no screening on my fenceline, which is only about 30 feet from my back porch! I also ha...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Amber Jubilee Ninebark in California
November 22, 2014 - AMBER JUBILEE bush separating my neighbor and me, is spreading its roots into our water pipes. Want to rip out. What plants are root friendly and also give you privacy?
view the full question and answer

Vine for Chain Link Fence in Virginia
March 25, 2015 - I am from Great Falls, Virginia. I would like to know what the best vine is to grow on aluminum fences to cover them up quickly but also doesn't damage expensive fences in a long term?
view the full question and answer

Screen for utility box in Seabrook TX
February 21, 2011 - Utility box cover: Thinking of using star jasmine on a three sided fence/trellis. Each side 3 ft sq. I can send a picture. Not sure best fence style to use or way to plant. Suggestions? Need cove...
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.