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

Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
June 16, 2013 - I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs for wildlife and screening in Georgia
December 22, 2008 - I live in Bainbridge, GA. I have 3 acres and want to plant for wildlife. I would like to plant fast growing native shrubs along the 400' of road that will benefit wildlife and shield us from the tr...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen
August 10, 2015 - We are looking for a good plant(s) that would provide a privacy screen by our fence. We were looking at clumping bamboo (maybe black) because it grows quickly and it not too thick. The new plants woul...
view the full question and answer

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Plants to keep children out of yard
April 23, 2008 - I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS
view the full question and answer

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